I think I speak for all Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff when I say how frustrating it is to have the springtime, one of our busiest times of year (aren't they all!), dangling before us and not being able to engage in the hands-on way that we typically do.
This is especially true for those of us on CBF staff whose lifeblood is grassroots work, where we meet face-to-face and work hand-in-hand with the public for healthy waterways and, ultimately, a cleaner Chesapeake Bay.
Our offices, events, and carefully crafted programs like Clean the Bay Day, Grasses for the Masses, and oyster gardening have been impacted as we adhere to the state stay-at-home orders and CDC guidelines to protect our volunteers, staff, and others across the watershed.
But still we continue to do what we do best—engaging the public to take that extra step for the sake of our natural resources. An old adage goes: "Those who can do, do. Those who can do more, volunteer." There is still plenty to do from home when it comes to saving the Bay (see our list below).
For most, volunteering is what they give in their extra time.
For some, volunteering is a necessity unto itself, like the food or oxygen that we all need to make life complete. In my experience, you see both in the same person over time.
In any case, during even the best of times, I marvel at the extraordinary strength of character I see in our volunteers, people from all walks of life who take that extra step to advocate or volunteer for CBF.
I never take their time for granted. I could spend half my days profusely thanking people for their time!
Those who know me in my territory of Hampton Roads, Virginia, will recognize the adage: "We simply cannot do it without you." Nothing has changed that belief or that reality.
Which brings me to my main point: When all this blows over, we will need you more than ever.
If volunteerism is a muscle, it needs to exercise lest it atrophy. So however you do it, whether it is for water quality, for your neighborhood, or for those working the front lines—from nurses to cashiers—here are some suggestions and handy links to things you can do to keep your volunteer muscle lean (and maybe inspire your family and friends!).
- Watch our webinars!
- Read a book with your future Bay saver at home.
- Donate to CBF. Less than 10 percent of our revenue comes from any public source—private donations make our world go 'round!
- Calculate your Bay footprint.
- Remove invasive species from your yard.
- Host a Chesapeake Bay 101 with your family/kids.
- Print and post these 10 reminders for your family.
- Practice Bay healthy lawn care.
- Sign up for a summer Oyster Gardening Seminar.
- Become a Clean Water Captain.
- Download and complete these five Bay coloring pages.
- Test your knowledge: Take the Oyster quiz.
- Host a Chesapeake Bay Movie night (aka watch a webinar).
- Start a compost pile for food waste.
- Install a low-flow showerhead.
- Complete three CBF action alerts.
- Plant a native tree.
- Clear your neighborhood storm drains.
- Pick up litter on your daily walks.
- Build a pet waste bag station for your street/neighborhood.
- Pledge to save the Bay safely from your own home.
Please, let us know what you did by sharing on social media—your dedication and effort are our lifeblood, our food, and our oxygen. And thank you. We simply cannot do this work without you!
Tanner Council, Hampton Roads Grassroots Manager, Chesapeake Bay Foundation