Virginia’s Clean the Bay Day Cancelled, but Spirit Lives On


Volunteers clean up the Potomac River at Oronoco Bay Park in Alexandria, Virginia for the 31st annual Clean the Bay Day.

Rebecca Long

Virginia’s Clean the Bay Day tradition has taken place on the first Saturday in June every year since 1989, but for the first time this year it will be cancelled due to COVID-19. The annual litter cleanup organized by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and local partners is one of the largest volunteer events in Virginia.

In previous years, thousands of volunteers participated at hundreds of sites from Hampton Roads to the Richmond area to Northern Virginia, often cleaning up well over 100,000 pounds of litter and debris from shorelines, rivers, parks, and streams.

“We’re all reeling from the many changes this year has brought, but the spirit of Clean the Bay Day is alive,” said CBF Hampton Roads Grassroots Manager Tanner Council. “Many dedicated Virginians are still doing their part to clean up the environment.”

Cleaning up litter is a great way to celebrate Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, which starts on June 7.

“Wherever there is litter, there is a chance to help,” Council said. “This Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, look for ways to safely remove litter from your neighborhood streets, parks, or nearby waterways.”

Rains wash litter from streets, parks, and shorelines into nearby waterways, where they pollute the water and threaten wildlife. While Clean the Bay Day is cancelled this year, CBF is already planning for the next event, scheduled for June 5, 2021.

Those who want to take steps towards a saved Bay this month can also join CBF’s Walk the Watershed, a virtual event in which teams commit to walking a total of 200 miles between now and the end of June. While walking they can perform restoration activities like picking up litter, as well as raise funds for Bay restoration. 

Kenny Fletcher 90x110

Kenny Fletcher

Virginia Media & Communications Coordinator, CBF

Events   CBF in Virginia   Virginia Office, Richmond  

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.

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