Clean the Bay Day: Chesapeake Bay Foundation brings back day dedicated to cleaning the bay

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Rose Ramsey and her mother Angela Ramsey clean up litter ahead of Clean the Bay Day. (WYDaily/Photo by Kelly Ramsey. Courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation)

REGIONAL — The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is bringing back its annual Clean the Bay Day in a new way this year. What was once a single day dedicated to litter pickup has been reimagined as a week-long cleanup across Virginia.

Last year’s Clean the Bay Day was cancelled due to COVID-19, making it the first time the CBF tradition skipped a year since the event’s start in 1989.

Before 2020, on the first Saturday in June, thousands of volunteers gathered at hundreds of cleanup sites across Virginia and recovered over 100,000 pounds of litter each year.

Now, with a whole week dedicated to the clean up, anyone can participate safely in order to help restore the environment by either cleaning up litter wherever they may be, planting native plants, or installing rain barrels. Volunteers can take action on their own time and at their own pace at any convenient location. Afterwards, they can then log their results online.

“The reimagined Clean the Bay Day makes it easier than ever for people to pitch in to restore their local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay,” said CBF Clean the Bay Day Coordinator Kristin Webb. “Have a few minutes free? Grab a trash bag and gloves and do a litter cleanup in your neighborhood. Want to get out of the house with the kids? Do a cleanup in a local public park.”

This year’s Clean the Bay Day will run from May 31 through June 5. Volunteers are encouraged to post videos and photos on social media and enter to win prizes by using the hashtag #CleanTheBayDay.

Families or friends can form a virtual team and report progress through the Clean the Bay Day online portal, where their actions are visible to others taking part in the event. Registration and reporting results are required to participate and win prizes.

“We’re fostering some friendly competition as people report their results on the Clean the Bay Day webpage and post photos and videos on social media,” Webb said. “This is going to bring people together and result in even more people taking action. From Charlottesville to Richmond to Virginia Beach to Northern Virginia, I can’t wait to see reports and photos rolling in of how everyone is doing their part for our waterways.”

Prizes will be provided in several categories, including best photo and best video.

Those interested in volunteering can find more information or register by clicking here.

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