Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network? Is it a National Park?
The Chesapeake Bay watershed, which includes America's largest estuary, is too big and diverse for any single National Park to encompass. The Gateways cover the whole watershed, which stretches from New York to Virginia, and includes parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Gateways include over 160 public and private parks, museums, refuges, water trails, land trails and historic sites. The National Park Service brings these places together with a common goal: to help you to understand -- and care about the Chesapeake Bay.
2. How can I visit the Chesapeake Bay Gateways?
Go to www.baygateways.net. You'll find a list of the Gateways as well as maps and helpful trip planner, plus an outstanding introduction to the places and stories that make the Chesapeake a great place to explore. If you are already in the Chesapeake Bay region, ask for a Map and Guide wherever you see the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network logo.
3. Can I get my National Parks Passport Stamped at the Network?
While many individual Gateways have stamps of their own, the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network is still growing and does not yet have one...but stay tuned...
4. Is there an entrance fee?
Many Gateways do charge entrance fees, and they vary from site to site. Visit www.baygateways.net to find specific information about the fees, programs and amenities at the Gateway you want to visit.
5. So what is the story on the health of the Chesapeake Bay?
Over the past four centuries, the human population of the entire continent has grown dramatically, and we have created great changes in the environment. Our influence on the land and water is perhaps most evident in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which includes major metropolitan areas such as Baltimore, MD, Norfolk, VA and the Washington, DC. Major rivers lead into the Chesapeake Bay, as does everything they carry from streamside towns and cities. Add the effects of major industries on our streams and air, and you begin to get the picture. Right now, public and private partners are working furiously to understand our impacts and solve the problems that have changed life and livelihoods on the Bay.
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways are your bridges to understanding Bay life, and to learning how you can be a positive influence on this grand estuary. For more information on Bay life visit our website (www.baygateways.net) as well as our partners in the Chesapeake Bay Program at (www.chesapeakebay.net).
Did You Know?
The Bay supports more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals, including 348 species of finfish, 173 species of shellfish and over 2,700 plant species.