Clean the Bay Day

30th Annual Clean the Bay Day


9:00 am-Noon

Each year, on the first Saturday of June, thousands of Virginians simultaneously descend on the rivers, streams, and beaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to remove harmful litter and debris. 29 years strong, Clean the Bay Day is a true Virginian tradition and an annual opportunity for families, military installations, businesses, clubs, civic or church groups to give back to local waterways.

The 30th Annual Clean the Bay Day Needs YOU!
Saturday, June 2, 2018

We need:

  • Clean the Bay Day Partners
  • Clean the Bay Day Zone Captains 

We can't do it without you!
For more information, contact

The 29th Annual Clean the Bay Day (CTBD) was another big success all around the Virginia Commonwealth. On Saturday, June 3, we saw sites all over Virginia teeming with volunteers on streams, rivers, trails, and shoreline giving a little back to (by taking a lot away from) our waterways. All those individual contributions have a massive cumulative effect: In just three short hours we saw hundreds of miles of stream and shoreline unburdened of harmful debris and litter by the ton… and several thousand people had a great time doing it.

Since the event began in 1989, Clean the Bay Day has engaged approximately 152,000 volunteers who have removed more than 6.5 million pounds of debris from more than 7,390 miles of shoreline.

As usual, we had a great showing of elected officials, appointees, their staff, and press. And there was action all over:

  • In the program's birthplace, all seven cities of Hampton Roads were absolutely overflowing with volunteers. 
  • State parks throughout the watershed participated. 
  • A new partner in Alexandria—Huntley Meadows Park—impressed us with their energy and dedication.
  • Social media was alive with #cleanthebayday, including many sharing their "Stop Runoff" signs from the official event photo contest.

See this year's stats in the sidebar.

As usual, the most common items found during the cleanup were plastic bottle and bags, aluminum cans, and cigarette butts. Participants also found many strange items including a rusted-out car volunteers somehow managed to pull out, a dishwasher and stove, a complete bed frame, several shopping carts, 40 cucumbers, a whole coconut, a mannequin head, a headless Barbie doll, an old cash register, a computer, a full gas can, multiple car batteries, a weed-eater, contact lenses in a case, a vintage pepper shaker, and a full bushel of crabs (one of the more shameful examples of waste we've ever seen).  There were many other items that would not be prudent to report here.

What You Can Do the Rest of the Year

While we pull some pretty bad stuff out of our waterways each year, we always encourage our volunteers to "go beyond litter" and address the less visible factors and behaviors that threaten the health the Bay. Check out more ideas for what you can do every day to help Save the Bay.

About Clean the Bay Day

While litter is easily prevented and can be picked up by anyone on any given morning, tackling the major unseen threats to the Bay watershed, like degrading habitat, polluted runoff, and nutrient pollution, require broad and focused support. Clean the Bay Day often performs as a gateway program through which children and adults alike embrace environmental stewardship of their waterways. We hope you will help us in our mission to Save the Bay by learning more about the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, our best and perhaps only chance to finally restore and protect the Bay and her rivers and streams.

Clean the Bay Day is a model for cooperation: The program is built on lasting relationships between dozens of cities and counties, non-profits, military installations, small businesses, and large corporations. On Clean the Bay Day, we all come together with families, individuals, church groups, and elected officials from local, state and federal levels for a common cause: clean water.

Clean the Bay Day is predicated on strong cooperation and important, lasting relationships among CBF and dozens of partners, including municipalities, non-profits, the U.S. military, businesses, and corporate sponsors. We are always welcoming new partners and sponsors to share the limelight with us! If you'd like to know more, please send an email to or call 757-622-1964.

Support the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today


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.