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
  • Lafayette River Restoration There's an active movement underway to restore this wonderful resource.
  • S.O.S. - Save Oyster Shell Donate your empty shells to CBF so we can recycle them into more oyster reefs and repopulate the Bay with more oysters.
  • Pollution-Reduction Demonstration Project at Oregon Dairy The water quality of a local Lancaster stream is looking up these days, thanks to a group of nearly 100 CBF members, volunteers, staff, and partners.
  • Virginia Oyster Restoration CBF's oyster restoration programs offer citizens the tools and information needed to help restore native oysters
  • Antietam Farm Stewardship Program Providing resources to help restore streams in this highly erodible watershed.
  • 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.
  • Spat Catcher Program Each spring, volunteers from the Lafayette River area hope to attract swimming oyster larvae to special cages suspended from piers and docks.

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