Earth Day is in April, but Clean the Bay Day is in June
As beautiful as the Chesapeake Bay is, there’s no denying that plenty of debris winds up in its shallow waters and shorelines. This not only diminishing aesthetics but also harms the life it sustains. Hence, how Clean the Bay Day came about.
Without government programs to declutter the Bay, each year on the first Saturday of June, thousands of Virginians descend on rivers, streams, and beaches of the Chesapeake watershed to remove litter and debris. Clean the Bay Day has become a Virginian tradition. The event is a yearly opportunity for families, military installations, businesses, clubs, and civic and church groups to give some TLC to local waterways.
This year’s 30th Annual Clean the Bay Day is Saturday, June 2nd. Since the event began in 1989, more than 150,000 volunteers have removed over 6.5 million pounds of debris from some 7,390-plus miles of shoreline. The most common items found are plastic bottles and bags, aluminum cans and cigarette butts.
Other items have included a rusted-out car that volunteers managed to pull out, a dishwasher and stove, a complete bed frame, shopping carts, a mannequin head, an old cash register, a computer, a full gas can, car batteries, a Weed Eater, and much more.
Clean the Bay Day is only possible with participation and partnerships. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and dozens of partners, including municipalities, nonprofits, businesses, and corporate sponsors, all chip in. You can find out how to help on the CBF website. The website also includes helpful things you can do every day to make a difference.
By Chris Knauss, Southern Boating May 2018
Photo Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Foundation