Clean the Bay Day

2022 Clean the Bay Day 1171x593

Clean the Bay Day participants clean up on Ancarrow's Landing in Richmond, Virginia.

Kenny Fletcher/CBF Staff

Since the event began in 1989, this Virginia tradition has engaged more than 165,500 volunteers who have removed approximately 7.18 million pounds of debris from more than 8,250 miles of shoreline.

Mark your calendar for our next annual Clean the Bay Day, Saturday, June 3, 2023. Sign up for CBF emails to ensure you get the latest event updates.

We would like to thank each and every one of our litter collectors, zone captains, and partners who worked together to make our 2022 Clean the Bay Day event possible.

Last year, more than 3,500 volunteers gathered at more than 200 sites across Virginia, on foot and by boat, removing an estimated 75,600 pounds of debris over an estimated 250 miles of shoreline (see our map below of cleanup results). Among the thousands of volunteers were many elected officials, community leaders, service members, Scout troops, small businesses, and large corporations. See our map of cleanup results.  Check out our photo album.

As usual, the most common items found during the cleanup were plastic and glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic bags, and cigarette butts. Participants also found many larger items, including a recliner, a cash register, and a car door. Unusual items included a 19th century horseshoe and a homemade drone. The vast number of plastic bags recovered highlights the importance of measures localities can adopt, such as a disposable bag fee, which encourages shoppers to use reusable bags or pay a five-cent fee per plastic bag. Fees collected provide funding to clean up existing litter, mitigate pollution, and educate the public.

Find out more about Clean the Bay Day and what you can do to help save the Bay the rest of the year.

Clean the Bay Day 2022 Cleanup Map

Click on a circle for information about clean up efforts at that site.

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 habitat loss, sediment, 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 last chance to finally restore and protect the Bay and its rivers and streams.

Clean the Bay Day is built on strong, 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 at local, state, and federal levels for a common cause: clean water. 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 [email protected] or call 757-644-4122.

We would like to thank all of the volunteers, partners, and sponsors that make this event such a stellar success each year. On behalf of CBF and all the Virginia waterways leading to the Bay, thank you

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

2022 Photo Album

Posted by Chesapeake Bay Foundation on Monday, June 6, 2022

The Bay Needs You

The 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 advocating for a clean Bay, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

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