Chesapeake Bay Harbor

Boats docked in a Chesapeake Bay harbor
Mary Hollinger/NOAA

Shellfish from the Chesapeake Bay are prized by seafood lovers. But the Bay's ecosystem and fisheries are threatened by human disturbances, including the introduction of non-native species.

Non-native species such as the rapa whelk have invaded the Chesapeake Bay and threatened the Bay's clam fishery. Scientists believe that the whelk reached the Chesapeake by hitching a ride across the Atlantic, probably as larvae in a ship's ballast water.

Learn more about the rapa whelk and other invasive species that have caused significant ecological, economic, or environmental impacts.