The Watershed Journey of A Raindrop:
- A watershed is an area of land that contributes water to a body of water. The Chesapeake Bay’s watershed is made up of about 64,000 square miles of land that includes six states and the District of Columbia. In this video, watch the journey of Rio, the Raindrop as it falls to the land near the Appalachian Mountains and travels through various streams and rivers on its way downhill to the Chesapeake Bay. Along the route, Rio, like other raindrops, is affected by pollution as well as natural filters that make the water cleaner. After watching the video, work on our How Does the Land Affect the Water? Investigation to explore facts and features related to the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Importance of Trees:
- Trees are among nature’s most important natural filters. They clean our air and water as well as provide shade and habitat for animals. But how much do you really know about them? Can you identify different species of trees that grow in the Chesapeake Bay region? Did you know that a tree’s rings can be used to determine how old it is and even if certain weather events occurred during its lifetime? In this video, educators Liz and Ronnie will walk you through how trees improve water quality, how to identify them, and how you can analyze tree rings. In the companion investigation, you can learn more about how important trees are to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.
Riparian Buffers and Clean Water:
- Riparian buffers, which are trees, shrubs, or other vegetation along a stream or waterway, are an important tool to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The plants help filter pollutants that would otherwise enter the stream and ultimately the Bay. The buffers reduce land erosion and sediment delivery to streams or sedimentation, which can be harmful to stream health. Although erosion and sedimentation are natural processes, inappropriate land use can accelerate their impact and cause sediment pollution. In this video, CBF Field educator Liz Yocom details how riparian buffers can improve stream health and identifies several macroinvertebrates that can be found in streams. After watching the video, complete the Riparian Buffer Investigation.
Freshwater Stream Health:
- The Chesapeake Bay watershed is composed of a network of streams and rivers that funnels freshwater from the land into the Bay. Over time, many of these streams have been negatively impacted by human activity, which has reduced the water quality entering the Bay and caused a loss of biodiversity. In this video, educator Doug Walters explores a tributary stream and discusses how to evaluate its health. After watching the video, see if you can identify key factors related to stream health in our physical freshwater stream investigation What Makes A Healthy Stream? and our biological freshwater stream investigation What Lives in Our Freshwater Stream?.