EPA 903-K-03-002
    August 2003

      The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America.
     The  Bay watershed, the land that eventually drains into the Bay,
      covers 64,000-square miles and parts of six states—Maryland,
       Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York,  West Virginia, Delaware—
            and our nation's capital, the  District  of Columbia.

           Each person in the Chesapeake Bay watershed lives
         just a few minutes from a stream or river that eventually
            flows  into the Bay.  These waterways are home to
                thousands of different plants and animals.
                    Chesapeake Bay Program
                     A Watershed Partnership
The Chesapeake Bay Program is the unique local, state and federal partnership leading
 the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay. Bay Program partners include
      the states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; the District of Columbia;
   the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government;
    and the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body; and citizen,
              scientific, and local government advisory committees.

   The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for
  conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for
     the continuing benefit of the American people. Along with other federal, state
    and local agencies and private organizations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
             is working to improve the health of the Bay and its rivers.
                           Concept by Dave Folker
                     Art and Verse by Britt Eckhardt Slattery
      Any teacher, school or school district may reproduce this
                   for class  use without permission.
 Recycled/Recyclable—Printed with vegetable-oil-based inks on recycled paper (30  postconsumer).
 Printed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Chesapeake Bay Program.


This book belongs to

For at least half a century people have reported
seeing a "sea monster" in the Chesapeake Bay.
Affectionately known as "Chessie," popularized
cousin of Nessie (Scotland's Loch Ness monster),
the creature is reported to be gentle and
good natured.

What Chessie really is and whether this
Chesapeake phenomenon actually exists is a
matter of speculation—but Chessie does exist in
the following pages with an important message
for everyone who values the natural heritage of
the Chesapeake Bay Our fictional character
Chessie represents all those creatures that
depend on the Bay for food and habitat.

  I'm Chessie, the monster
     of Chesapeake Bay.
    I'm not very scary —
    I stay out of the way,
And some people don't believe
       I'm even there.
  But I am — as you see —
    with a story to share.


    I swim in the Bay,
from the north to the south,
From its freshwater streams
  to its saltwater mouth;
  For two hundred miles
   between its two ends,
  The Bay is my home and
  the home of my friends.


 We all live together in
  Chesapeake waters:
The catfish and rockfish,
the muskrats and otters,
 The oysters and crabs,
 the minnows and eels,
 With our neighbors —
bald eagles, black ducks,
  widgeons and teals.


    And plenty of people —
   by the millions — come in
    To fish or catch oysters,
       to sail or to swim.
  They bring in their freighters
    and build on  the shore.
   Each year there seem to be
more, more, MORE, MORE ..


     People! I love them,
     but oh, what a mess
     They can make with
        their projects.
     Sometimes, I confess,
    My patience gets thin.
 They don't think for a minute
   how the Bay will survive
When they dump so much in it,


 So the Bay's become dirty.
   It's mucky and brown
From the poisons that come
from each factory and town.
   The oil, soil and trash
  that pour in it each day
   May force us to leave,
But we'd much rather stay!


   So we've got to clean up
     if we want to be sure
    To have seafood to eat
   from water that's pure.
And we've got to start NOW
   there's no time to wait.
  Things will only get worse
      until it's too late.


   Who's going to clean up?
    Well, it has to be you,
 And your parents and friends
 and you neighbors. Me, too!
    Whoever likes having
 the Bay here — that's who.
     We all have to help
Here's some things you can do.


     Obey fishing laws.
    Take what you need
       and no more.
  Pick up litter and trash
       on the shore.
And never put anything into
the Bay that might hurt me
 or my friends in some way.


    That's all of my story.
 Now I've got to hurry and
  tell all my animal friends
        not to worry
   We'll get the job done,
 day by day, week by week,
and together we'll bring back
    the rich Chesapeake.


           Related publications about the Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay: Introduction to an Ecosystem
A comprehensive overview of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem that includes
information on the Bay's ecology, geology and plants and animals. A helpful
resource for students in grades 8-12.

A multi-disciplinary approach to teaching about the Chesapeake Bay. Bay-B-C's
includes background material and lesson plans for teachers of grades K-3,
with songs, games and stories for students.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Activity Kit
A three part kit —A non-technical Bay watershed  map emphasizing the immense
network of rivers and streams that make up the Chesapeake drainage system,
student work maps and a teacher guide.

The State of the Chesapeake Bay
This report, published every two years, describes the health of the Chesapeake
Bay, its tributaries, habitats, and the  creatures that call the Bay home.
For copies of these publications contact:
Chesapeake Bay Program
410 Severn Avenue, Suite 109
Annapolis, MD 21403
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Chesapeake Bay Field Office
177 Admiral Cochrane Drive
Annapolis, MD 21401

      Chesapeake Bay Program
       A Watershed Partnership
 410 Severn Avenue, Suite 109
     Annapolis, MD 21403

    Chesapeake Bay Field Office
    177 Admiral Cochrane Drive
       Annapolis, MD 21401