About This Reserve
As the nation’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay reserve contains a diverse collection of habitats including oyster reefs, seagrass beds, tidal wetlands, sandy shoals, and mudflats. To protect the full range of habitat, Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Reserve established a multi-site system that manages diverse habitats, from tidal freshwater to high salinity condition. The reserve is in the York River Basin and includes parts of Sweet Hall Marsh, Taskinas Creek, Catlett Island, and Goodwin Islands.
The Chesapeake Bay Reserve is one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The sites within this reserve are managed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the College of William and Mary and are protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. The NOAA Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.