Onancock's Burnham Guides Marks 10 Years of Dedication to Clean the Bay Day

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Young volunteers show off their haul from the Clean the Bay Day cleanup on Onancock Creek.

Burnham Guides

CBF commends Burnham Guides for their 10 years of support for Clean the Bay Day. The annual shoreline litter cleanup is held across Virginia on the first Saturday in June. Every year since 2009, the kayak guides have paddled Onancock Creek with a group of about 20 local volunteers to clean up trash in the waterway and surrounding marshes.

Bill Burnham pulls large litter debris out of Onancock Creek.

Burnham Guides

“Our days revolve around time out on the water. We always like to leave the creek better than we found it,” said Bill Burnham, who runs the paddling shop at Onancock Wharf with his wife Mary Burnham. “Pitching in on Clean the Bay Day is rewarding, and it definitely makes a difference.”

The Onancock cleanups started in 2009 in partnership with Southeast Expeditions, which continues to support Clean the Bay Day. During the event, both companies provide kayaks and canoes for free to those helping to clean up Onancock Creek. 

Most years the volunteers fill about 20 bags of trash with assorted litter, mainly glass and plastic waste. They also haul out large items like lumber, fishing gear and nets, pails, debris, and several tires. One year they even found an intact toilet.

Clean the Bay Day has brought together thousands of volunteers at hundreds of sites along Virginia waterways every year since 1989. Together these volunteers clean up tens of thousands of pounds of litter.

“The Burnhams’ ecotourism work inspires people to protect our waters yearround. They’re a model for contributing to both the community and the environment,” said Jay Ford, CBF’s Virginia Voices Outreach Coordinator. “Clean the Bay Day is all about people coming together to give back to waterways. It wouldn’t be possible without many local partners like Mary and Bill.”

The 32nd annual Clean the Bay Day will take place on June 6, 2020, at locations up and down Virginia’s Eastern Shore and across Virginia. More information is available at www.cbf.org/clean. Clean the Bay Day is seeking new partners on the Eastern Shore. To become an official partner please [email protected].

Kenny Fletcher 90x110

Kenny Fletcher

Director of Communications and Media Relations, CBF

[email protected]

Issues in this Post

Community   Volunteers   CBF in Virginia  


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