Registration is now open for Clean the Bay Day, Virginia’s largest and longest-running annual litter cleanup. Thousands of people across Virginia will come together on the morning of June 3 for this event organized by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). Every year since 1989, on the first Saturday in June these volunteers remove a massive amount of litter and debris from parks, streams, beaches, and trails.
“In just one morning a year, working together on Clean the Bay Day we create huge benefits for both people and our waterways. There is a real sense of satisfaction in rolling up your sleeves, grabbing gloves and a trash bucket, and leaving your community noticeably cleaner,” said CBF Grassroots Coordinator Lisa Renee Jennings. “With pollution from microplastics a growing concern, this is a chance to be part of the solution.”
CBF and partners plan to host more than 200 cleanup sites across Virginia, including in Northern Virginia, the Richmond Area, the Shenandoah Valley, Hampton Roads, and the Eastern Shore. Since 1989, this Virginia tradition has engaged more than 165,500 volunteers who have removed approximately 7 million pounds of debris from more than 8,250 miles of shoreline.
The most common items found during the cleanups are plastics, glass bottles, aluminum cans, and cigarette butts. Participants also often find unusual items. Last year, that included a recliner, a cash register, a car door, a 19th century horseshoe, and a homemade drone.
Just like rainfall leads to polluted runoff, rain also washes litter from streets and parks into waterways. This leads to microplastics and other pollution far downstream in rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Leaving sites cleaner sends an important message on reducing litter and plastic waste.
This year’s event starts at 9 a.m. and is open to all, from children to adults, individuals to businesses and organizations.