The Ecosystem Of The Chesapeake Bay

1973 Words Dec 1st, 2015 8 Pages
The Ecosystem

Introduction to Basic Geography

Fig. 1.1

Scene in Fig. 1.1., the Chesapeake Bay is substantial in size; at roughly 64,000 miles, it contains roughly fifty rivers and thousands of streams and creeks. It encompasses parts of 6 states, including all of Washington, DC. The Chesapeake Bay is what is known as a watershed, an area that contributes to the drainage to a water body, stream, river, lake or ocean. Rainwater that falls within the 64,000 square miles that is the Chesapeake Bay will subsequently travel through many streams and rivers, eventually making its way into the largest estuary system in the United States.

The Estuary System

An estuary system is “the resulting collisions of sweet and salt-fresh river water flowing seaward and ocean water inland.” It is an aquatic system where salt and freshwater are constantly mixing. An estuary system is one of most active systems of the planet; it is a hybrid system that contains the best and worst qualities of the ocean, river, and lake systems it conglomerates. Estuaries are unique in nature because of their ability to be the most productive ecosystem on the entire planet; humans have attempted and failed to reach the productivity that estuaries naturally grant. There productivity lies it the constant change that occurs from the conflicting flows of fresh and ocean water. Ocean and freshwater are measured largely based on salinity, or the level of parts of salt per thousand. Ocean water usually…

More about The Ecosystem Of The Chesapeake Bay

Open Document