Restore

Photo by Margaret Sentman
Photo by Margaret Sentman

In the four centuries since the explorations of Captain John Smith, the Chesapeake Bay has lost half of its forested shoreline, more than half its wetlands, nearly 80 percent of its underwater grasses, and more than 98 percent of its oysters. Across the watershed, approximately 1.7 million acres of once-untouched land were developed by 1950. Development has accelerated dramatically since then, with an additional 2.7 million acres built on or paved over between 1950 and 1980.

The human pressure of these changes has imposed heavy negative impacts on the health and resilience of the Bay. Although we will never return to the pristine territory explored by Captain John Smith during those early voyages, CBF is fighting to return this fragile ecosystem to balance. In programs across the watershed, many of them conducted with CBF volunteers and partner organizations, CBF is restoring native oysters, planting underwater grasses, and planting trees and stream buffers to restore the Bay's natural filters. 

Find out more about our restoration programs and the issues CBF is working on in your part of the watershed or volunteer for one of our restoration projects.

You may also be interested in
  • Oyster Gardening in the Inner Harbor CBF and the Waterfront Partnership have created The Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership as art of the Healthy Harbor Initiative to make Baltimore's Inner Harbor swimmable and fishable.
  • Pleasure House Point Leading the effort to conserve Pleasure House Point, one of the last remaining natural waterfront areas of Virginia Beach.
  • A New Day for Oysters Maryland's Harris Creek is host to one of the largest oyster restoration projects ever undertaken in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Virginia Oyster Restoration CBF's oyster restoration programs offer citizens the tools and information needed to help restore native oysters
  • Great Shellfish of the Bay Now, thanks to increased awareness, extensive restoration efforts, resisting the introduction of a non-native oyster species, and favorable weather conditions, there is hope for the mighty oyster yet.
  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Landowners in Pennsylvania can protect water quality in the rivers and streams that flow into the Chesapeake Bay by making their streamside property or farmland more conservation-friendly with help from this program.
  • Stream Restoration Healthy rivers and streams provide vital habitat. CBF and our volunteers are working to keep Pennsylvania waterways healthy and restore those that are impaired.

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