(RICHMOND, VA)—Clean the Bay Day, Virginia’s long-running annual litter cleanup, is coming back in a new way the first week of June after being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Last year was the first time the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Virginia tradition missed a year since the event began in 1989.
Since that hiatus, Clean the Bay Day has been reimagined as a week-long cleanup across Virginia. The new format allows anyone to participate safely and help restore the environment by either cleaning up litter anywhere, planting native plants, or installing a rain barrel. Volunteers take action on their own time and pace at any convenient location, then log results online. CBF encourages volunteers to follow state and federal guidelines on mask use and social distancing.
Before 2020, for 31 straight years on the first Saturday in June thousands of volunteers gathered at hundreds of cleanup sites across Virginia and recovered over 100,000 pounds of litter every year. This year, rather than a one-day event, Clean the Bay Day will run from May 31 through June 5. Volunteers are encouraged to post videos and photos on social media and enter to win prizes by using the hashtag #CleanTheBayDay.
“The reimagined Clean the Bay Day makes it easier than ever for people to pitch in to restore their local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay,” said CBF Clean the Bay Day Coordinator Kristin Webb. “Have a few minutes free? Grab a trash bag and gloves and do a litter cleanup in your neighborhood. Want to get out of the house with the kids? Do a cleanup in a local public park.”
Those interested in volunteering can find more information or register at www.cbf.org/clean. Families or friends can form a virtual team and report progress through the Clean the Bay Day online portal, where their actions can be visible to others taking part in the event. Registration and reporting results are required to participate and win prizes.
“We’re fostering some friendly competition as people report their results on the Clean the Bay Day webpage and post photos and videos on social media,” Webb said. “This is going to bring people together and result in even more people taking action. From Charlottesville to Richmond to Virginia Beach to Northern Virginia, I can’t wait to see reports and photos rolling in of how everyone is doing their part for our waterways.”
Prizes will be provided in several categories, including best photo and best video. CBF’s Clean the Bay Day thanks REI, North End Bag Company, and Virginia State Parks for donating prizes.
“Clean up litter, win great prizes, and Save the Bay,” Webb said. “Join us May 31 through June 5 to Clean the Bay Your Way.”