The Chesapeake Bay is swallowing up hundreds of acres of coastline so quickly experts say low-lying areas like Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge will probably vanish within our lifetimes.
“When we look at historical maps of the loss, it’s just dramatic,” says Matt Whitbeck, a supervisory biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
It’s happening because the land is sinking and the water is rising, according to Zoe Johnson with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
“The sinking is due to a process called glacial isostatic adjustment,” she explained. “The land is readjusting as the pressure from the glacial period about 18,000 years ago lifts.”