How many species of plants, fish and wildlife
More than 3,900 species call the Bay and its tributaries home. This includes familiar faces like the striped bass and the blue crab as well some not so familiar ones like elodea, a type of bay grass.
What new species have been recently discovered?
The newest species to be discovered in the Bay watershed unfortunately are invasive, non-native species. We first discovered the northern snakehead fish, a native of China, in 2002 in a pond in Crofton. Soon thereafter we discovered snakeheads in the Potomac River. On June 9, 2006, at the mouth of the Patapsco River, we first documented the Chinese mitten crab, a native of East Asia. This was the first confirmed report of a Chinese mitten crab in the Eastern United States. Most recently, in November of 2008, we discovered Eastern European zebra mussels for the first time in the Maryland portion of the lower Susquehanna River.
To protect Marylandís unique and essential native species, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is taking steps to help prevent invasive species from being introduced into our Stateís waters and to control and contain existing populations. We work with the federal government, other Maryland state agencies, neighboring state agencies and local organizations to respond to invasive species issues.
To learn more about the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries visit our website at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/bay/index.asp
- Bob Beyer,