One Person, One Park, One Hour

Snakeden-Branch_Famartin-CC-BY-SA-4-via-Wikimedia-Commons

Southeast view of the Snakeden Branch in Virginia.

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Bay advocate Bill Hafker thinks beyond Clean the Bay Day

The following was first published in the Richmond-Times Dispatch.

Clean the Bay Day is Virginia's largest and longest-running annual litter cleanup, held on the first Saturday in June at hundreds of cleanup sites across the Commonwealth. This year 3,500 volunteers picked up an estimated 75,600 pounds of debris. For Clean the Bay Day, I decided to do my own one-person cleanup of one small park for one hour.

I visited 14-acre South Lakes Drive Park near my home in Reston, Virginia, from which the little Snakeden Branch takes its life-giving water, and life-threatening trash, to Difficult Run, the Potomac, and then into the magnificent Chesapeake.

I was pleased that my efforts removed two trash bags of bottles, cans, plastic bags (most already in the streambed itself), and assorted other trash from the park grounds. I sorted what I collected, and I was able to recycle roughly half of what earlier that day was litter likely bound for the Bay.

Bill Hafker

I felt good about doing this work that needed to be done. I felt worse, however, knowing that I, and thousands of others working that day, wouldn't NEED to be doing this if everyone could work together to keep the current tidal wave of solid waste from threatening our Bay, and all the waters and lands of the Commonwealth!

My fellow Virginians should be shopping with reusable bags, recycling everything that can be recycled, and simply not littering. They should also be urging local leaders to adopt plastic bag fees and advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics. I also believe we should be urging our legislators to create a beverage container deposit program to provide an incentive for recycling.

Our elected officials could help make the needed fixes. This would help not only our precious environment, but also secure the economic benefits a healthy Bay watershed provides.

Local businesses should lessen their use of single-use plastics. Major corporations and trade associations should join, or even help lead, the fight to save the Bay.

If we can educate and activate our fellow passengers on spaceship Earth, or more modestly just those in the unique and precious Chesapeake Bay watershed, to take both small personal steps and big collective steps, maybe we can all celebrate some future Clean the Bay Day where there is no litter to be found. Now THAT would feel good!

— Bill Hafker, CBF Clean Water Captain and retired environmental engineer

Issues in this Post

Community   Water Quality  




Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in the media or articles 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 Website, or any link contained in a linked Website, or any changes or updates to such Websites. The inclusion of any link is provided only for information purposes.


The Bay Needs You

The 2020 State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. 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

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. Close