The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most extraordinary places in America. The unique estuary and its 64,000-square-mile watershed have tremendous ecological, historic, cultural, economic and recreational value to the region and the entire country. For more than 25 years, the partners of the Chesapeake Bay Program have worked to protect and restore the Bay and its watershed. Goals are set for the health of the Bay and the restoration measures needed to return the ecosystem to a healthy state. This document is the annual review of the partnerships progress. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are unhealthy primarily because of pollution from excess nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment entering the water. The main sources of these pollutants are agriculture, urban and suburban runoff, wastewater, and airborne contaminants. Despite small successes in certain parts of the ecosystem and specific geographic areas, the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay did not improve in 2008. The Bay continues to have poor water quality, degraded habitats and low populations of many species of fish and shellfish. Based on these three areas, the overall health averaged 38 percent, with 100 percent representing a fully restored ecosystem.