Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



The Chesapeake Bay, lying in the eastern portions of Maryland and Virginia, is the largest estuary in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. It is approximately 180 statute miles long (156 nautical miles) from the mouth of the Susquehanna River'to the mouth of the Bay at the Cape Henry/Cape Charles line. The width ranges from 3.4 miles to 35 miles with an average depth of 27.7 feet. More than 50 rivers contribute fresh water. The five largest are the Susquehanna, the Potomac, the James, the Rappahannock and the York.


Water quality -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.), Water -- Pollution -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.)