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General Information Product 142

Prepared in cooperation with The Chesapeake Bay Program

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers through science, restoration, and partnership

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (4.54 MB)


The size of the human population in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Nation's largest estuary, has doubled since 1950, resulting in degraded water quality, loss of habitat, and declines in populations of biological communities. Since the mid-1980s, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), a multiagency partnership that includes the U.S. Department of the Interior, has worked to restore the ecosystem of the bay. The U.S. Geological Survey has the critical role of providing scientific information used to to document and understand ecosystem change, which in turn is used to help assess the effectiveness of restoration strategies in the bay and the watershed.

To address the needs of the President’s executive order (E.O. 13508) to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay, the USGS has four primary science themes:

Check markpromote adaptive management and decisionmaking support to enhance ecosystem management
Check markassess and explain water-quality conditions and change
Check markdocument the status and change of the health fish, wildlife, and critical habitats
Check markforecast and assess impacts of climate and land-use change

First posted June 28, 2012

For additional information contact:

Eastern Geographic Science Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS-521
Reston, VA 20192

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

U.S. Geological Survey, 2012, Chesapeake Bay Watershed—Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers through science, restoration, and partnership: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 142, 1 sh., available at

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