• The working watermen community of Tangier Island VA at sunset. Photo by Starke Jett.

    Chesapeake Bay

Public Access

The Chesapeake Bay and the major rivers are the region's ecological and cultural lifeblood. They are the primary features that have shaped human habitation for millennia.

Yet, the very resource that signifies Chesapeake, or Susquehanna, or Potomac to the world has become one that is hard for many people to reach. Year after year, residents of the Chesapeake watershed repeat the refrain: access to the water is too limited. Citizens want more places along the water where they can walk, sit, play, picnic, camp, swim, fish, watch wildlife and launch their canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats and powerboats. Access to the water is a quality of life issue.

In this section, you can download the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan, read the background on who developed the plan and why, and click on links to see five different maps about public access in the Chesapeake region.

Did You Know?

The Bay watershed

The Chesapeake Bay watershed includes parts of six states (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) and all of the District of Columbia.