The Chesapeake Bay provides economic benefits to its surrounding states in the form of tourism, fishing, recreation, and ecosystem services. However it is not sufficiently protected by these states and is suffering the consequences. This precious habitat needs more protection to ensure the long-term survival of the wildlife and services it provides. Creating a Marine Protected Area (MPA) at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and extending out in to the Atlantic Ocean will protect multiple habitats and fish populations, which will in turn improve the health of the Bay (Narula 2014). This MPA will restrict harmful fishing, drilling, dumping, and extraction techniques, while still allowing for large-scale commercial fishing so as to not hurt the industry (Brown et al. 2010). No-take zones are a small but vitally important part of any MPA, and will protect commercially important species to ensure their long-term survival (Wenzel 2011). A no-take zone is a designated area where any and all extractive fishing practices are prohibited. These zones offer the best protection available for the animals and habitat they protect. The designation of an “MPA” is a federal status, meaning the state government is not going to be entirely responsible for funding and enforcing this MPA. Instead, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Coast Guard will take on the responsibilities of enforcing the area (USA 2005).

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Poster Session

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