Today is Earth Day, so here's 10 interesting facts about our Chesapeake Bay (from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation):

 

1. The Bay holds about 18 trillion gallons of water. That amount of water would fill more than fifty billion bathtubs to the brim.

 

2. Only about half of the water in the Bay comes from the ocean. The rest comes from the 64,000 square mile watershed, which extends approximately 524 miles from Cooperstown, NY to Norfolk, VA.

 

3. Roughly 51 billion gallons of water enter the Bay each day from the 100,000 streams, creeks, and rivers that feed it.

 

4. A person 6 feet tall could wade through more than 700,000 acres of the Bay without becoming completely submerged. The deepest part of the Bay, called "The Hole" is more than 170 feet deep.

 

5. Every year, new parking lots, driveways, roofs, and other hardened surfaces from development convert land in the Chesapeake Bay region from great green filter to hard grey funnel. Every four years, an area of land the size of Washington, D.C. is lost.

 

6. Most sewer drains don’t go to the sewage plant – polluted runoff from your street runs into local waters and ultimately to the Bay. Your crabcake used to swim through that.

 

7. The Bay produces about 500 million pounds of seafood per year.

 

8. Seventy to ninety percent of all striped bass, known locally as rockfish, were spawned in the Bay.

 

9. The Bay's fishing industry used to harvest tens of millions of bushels of oysters. Today, harvests have fallen to less than one percent of historic levels.

 

10. Seventeen-million people live, work, and play in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

 

[Shared on Facebook by Kent Island Online with Mary Neely.]

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