Fun Fact About the Chesapeake Bay
This week at J World Annapolis we are hosting our third annual Kids on Keelboats program. Kids on Keelboats is a five day sailing camp for kids age 12-16, held on our fleet of J/80’s. The kids follow our Basic Keelboat curriculum while also learning about Chesapeake Bay ecology, Annapolis history and more. Kids keep you on your toes – so here are 10 things you may not have known about our Chesapeake Bay.
- The Bay was formed during the end of the last Ice Age as glaciers melted, causing the Susquehanna River basin to flood.
- The largest river feeding into the Bay is the Susquehanna, which provides the Bay with 19 million gallons of fresh water each minute.
- The Bay is the largest estuary – where river water combines with seawater – in the United States and third largest in the world.
- The Chesapeake Bay is fairly shallow; average depth is only 21 feet.
- The Native Americans, who originally lived in the area, gave it the name Chesepiooc, meaning “great shellfish bay.”
- More than 500 million pounds of seafood are harvested from the Bay each year.
- A single adult oyster can filter up to 60 gallons of water a day. Oysters were once so plentiful they could filter the entire volume Bay water in a few days. This process now takes over a year.
- Forests cover 58 percent of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The region loses about 100 acres of forest each day to develop.
- The watershed for the Chesapeake Bay consists of parts of six states, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the entire District of Columbia.
- The Bay and its tidal tributaries have 11,684 miles of shoreline – that’s more than the entire U.S. West Coast.