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 Clean the Bay Your Way. Take a look at how you can make a litter cleanup work for your schedule and be safe for your family!

Time to Clean the Bay! Registration is open so let's go cleanup our region, plant native plants, and install rain barrels through June 5 for Clean the Bay Day 2021.

Register Now

  • 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.
  • 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 before the event 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.
  • Clean the Bay Your Way 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 the Bay. We will be encouraging you to use #CleantheBayDay 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.
  • Unsure about doing a litter pick-up during COVID-19 but still want to participate? Planting a native plant or installing a rain barrel are additional participation options for Clean the Bay Day 2021.
    • The Virginia Native Plant Society's native plant guides have lists of native plants suitable for most areas in Virginia.
    • Rain Barrels can be homemade or purchased. View the How to Install a Rain Barrel video for more information. If you choose to purchase your rain barrel online and want to enter the contest, make sure it will be delivered in time to be installed during the six-day event.

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

Every day, each of us can do our part to make the Chesapeake even more beautiful by preventing and picking up litter. Clean the Bay Day—a long-standing Virginia tradition 33 years in the making—inspires us to do just that. This annual event also introduces participants to some of the greater, unseen problems the Bay watershed faces such as degraded habitat, polluted runoff, and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. Clean the Bay Day shows us that we all can be environmental stewards of our waters. We hope you will join us in our mission to Save the Bay by learning more about the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and work to restore and protect the Bay and it's 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! If you'd like more information about becoming a Clean the Bay Day partner, please email or call 757-644-4122.

2019 Photo Album

Clean the Bay Day

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


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.

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