Clean the Bay Day 2021


Rose Ramsey (left) and her mother Angela get in some practice for a COVID-safe Clean the Bay Day along a local stretch of shoreline.

Kelly Ramsey

A six-day virtual event


Clean the Bay Day has been a staple for Virginia's Chesapeake Bay community since its inception 33 years ago. Even though the current pandemic prevents us from gathering together as we have done in the past, we hope that our platform this year will allow us to regain that sense of unity we have felt every year on the first Saturday in June.

Our motto this year is all about flexibility and giving everyone the option to #CleantheBayYourWay. Take a look at how you can make a litter cleanup work for your schedule and be safe for your family!

  • The 2021 event will last six days, Monday, May 31 to Saturday, June 5. The six-day event gives participants flexibility to do a litter clean-up anytime and as much as you want during that six-day period. Have some free time during your lunch break? Do a cleanup! Get home and the kids are going crazy? Do a cleanup! We want this year's event to work with your schedule.
  • Registration is required to participate in Clean the Bay Day 2021. Registration will open April 30, 2021, and this page will be updated to include the registration link. Please fill out this form for an email notification when registration is live.
  • During that six-day period, participants have the flexibility to do a litter clean-up at any public location or private property where permission has been given. We will be sharing a map and a list in late March of all the sites we have identified as available for cleanup. Do not limit yourself to this list only though! If you know of a site that is in need of a cleanup, you have permission to be on that property and you are ensuring that you are taking the proper safety precautions, by all means clean away.
  • Interested in some healthy competition? We are working on ways for communities, schools, localities, public officials, or even a group of good friends to create a virtual team where participants can remain socially distance while enjoying the feeling of comradery.
  • #CleantheBayYourWay Since we are not able to physically be together this year, we still want to see all the amazing work you are doing to help us clean our Bay. We will be encouraging you to use #CleantheBayYourWay for you to socially share your experience during the week of May 31st to June 5th.
  • Participants must adhere to all current Virginia COVID-19 guidelines as seen at and will be asked to sign a waiver.
  • Still a little unsure about doing a litter pick-up during COVID-19 but still want to participate this year? Installing a rain barrel or planting a native plant are two additional options we are offering this year. We will be sharing some basic information through this website in late March on where to purchase and how to install a rain barrel and/or install a native plant.

Please feel free to email for any additional questions.

 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.

To learn about ways you can improve water-quality and environmental awareness within the parameters of social distancing, check out this article on Keeping the Volunteer Spirit Alive at Home.

For even more ways to save the Bay from home, please consider taking our Save the Bay Pledge and/or register for our Walk the Watershed second annual virtual fundraising event.

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 757-644-4122.

2019 Photo Album

Clean the Bay Day

Decades of Success: The 1970s

Even as a young organization, our work was effective and got noticed. Find out what we did.

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