Thirty Years of Stewardship

ctbd 1989

On a cold night in January 1989, I gathered 12 friends of mine together in the clubhouse of the old White Heron hotel on Laskin Road. Plastic bags, fishing line, cigarette butts, and heaps of other trash were defiling our waterways. And we wanted to do something about it.

I learned of a cleanup project on the coast of Texas coordinated by the Center for Marine Conservation. After reaching out to them, I picked the brain of Kathy O'Hara, who was instrumental in laying the foundation for a similar cleanup in Virginia.

My greatest worry leading up to the first Clean the Bay Day was getting enough volunteers to leave the comfort of their homes on a Saturday morning to get dirty and tired picking up trash. Interviews with local news outlets such as the Virginian-Pilot and WTKR-TV3 helped spread the word.

And when June 10, 1989 came, it was clear I underestimated the love Virginians have for their waterways. More than 2,000 volunteers participated, shattering my greatest expectations.

Thanks to the Herculean efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, over the past 29 Clean the Bay Days, the numbers we have accumulated are incredible—

Isn't that incredible?! But perhaps more important than the sheer amount of trash we have removed from our waterways is the impact on the thousands of volunteers. Playing a small role in saving the Bay and restoring Virginia's rivers and streams instills a sense of honor and responsibility to protect our environment. And this often sets in motion a lifetime of stewardship for our waterways.

When we met on that cold January night, my friends and I couldn't have imagined Clean the Bay Day would blossom into what it is today. But thanks to thousands of Virginians, together, we are making a monumental impact. It's always been a fervent hope of mine that someday Clean the Bay Day will no longer be necessary, and the first Saturday in June will be just another beautiful day.

For now, this annual tradition continues. Won't you join us as we celebrate our 30th anniversary? With hundreds of cleanup sites throughout the Commonwealth, from Hampton Roads, Central and Northern Virginia, to the Eastern Shore, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Register now!

Robert Dean, Founder of Clean the Bay Day in 1989

Issues in this Post

Polluted Runoff   Community   Conservation   Events   Polluted Runoff   Restore   Water Quality   Brock Environmental Center   CBF in Virginia   Hampton Roads Office   Virginia Office, Richmond  




DISCLAIMER

PLEASE READ OUR TERMS OF USE

The views and opinions expressed in the media, articles or comments on this site are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by CBF and the inclusion of such information does not imply endorsement by CBF. CBF is not responsible for the contents of any linked Web, or any link contained in a linked Web site, or any changes or updates to such Web sites. The inclusion of any link or comment is provided only for information purposes. CBF reserves the right to edit or remove any comments and material posted to this website and to ban users from the site without notice. Partisan, pornographic or other inappropriate content, product or service promotion, foul language or bad behavior is expressly forbidden and will be removed.


Share Your Clean Water Story

What does the Bay, its rivers and streams mean to you? What impact have the Bay and its local waters had on your life? We'd like to know.

Share Your Story

Volunteer

Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

Volunteer
x
This website uses cookies to tailor and enhance your online experience. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, including details on how to disable cookies, please visit our Privacy Policy. Agree