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Chesapeake Bay


Larger Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by Virginia and Maryland. The Chesapeake Bays watershed, covers 64,000 square miles, in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. More than 150 rivers and streams drain into the Bay. The Bay itself is about 189 miles long, from the Susquehanna River in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the south. (Geologically, the Bay is the drowned valley of the Susquehanna, meaning that was where the river flowed when sea level was lower.) At its narrowest point, near Annapolis, Maryland, it is only 4 miles wide and is spanned by the Bay Bridge[?]. Near its mouth, it is spanned by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnels[?].

The word Chesepiooc is an Algonquin word meaning "Great Shellfish Bay".

Cheaspeake Bay was the site of the Battle of the Chesapeake in 1781 during which the French fleet defeated the Royal Navy allowing the United States to become independent.

The largest rivers flowing into the Bay are:

The Bay was once known for its great seafood production, especially crabs, clams, and oysters. Today, however, the body of water is less productive than it used to be, perhaps because of agricultural development (and runoff) on the Eastern Shore[?] and urbanization, particularly on its western shore. Yet it still yields more fish and shellfish than any other estuary in the United States.

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