The course examines the basic physical, chemical, and biological components of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and how they interrelate in both healthy and degraded states of an estuary. The course focuses on the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. It also covers the relationships of the bay with the surrounding watershed, atmosphere, and ocean as well as relevance to other coastal systems. Particular emphasis is on to anthropogenic stresses such as nutrient and contaminant pollution, habitat modification, and harvest of fish and shellfish. The most current Chesapeake Bay management issues and policies being pursued at the federal, state, and local levels of government are discussed in depth, including their scientific foundation.