Bay Journal

Topics: Wildlife + Habitat

Remnants of bald cypress swamps grace Chesapeake watershed

Towering over coffee-colored waters, a majestic tree, the bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), dominates isolated swamps of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Although more common to swamps in the Southeast, stands of bald cypress can still be found in parts of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, where it inhabits areas too wet for many other trees, catching attention with its odd knobby “knees” and buttressed trunk.

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Dolphins!

It’s summer, and humans aren’t the only mammal tourists visiting the waters of the Chesapeake. Will you be lucky enough to see an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin? If not, you can learn more about these animals by taking this quiz....

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About Wildlife + Habitat

The Chesapeake Bay region supports more than 2,700 species of plants and animals, including 348 species of finfish and 173 species of shellfish.

It is also home to at least 29 species of waterfowl. Nearly one million waterfowl winter on the Bay – approximately one-third of the Atlantic coast’s migratory population. The birds stop to feed and rest on the Bay during their annual migration along the Atlantic Flyway.

Nearly 80,000 acres of bay grasses grow in the shallows of the Bay and its tributaries. Young and molting blue crabs rely on bay grass beds for protection from predators.

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