Registration Opens for Virginia’s Largest Annual Litter Clean Up

Clean the Bay Day Scheduled for Saturday, June 1, at Sites Across Virginia

Registration is now open for Clean the Bay Day, Virginia’s largest and longest-running annual litter cleanup scheduled this year on Saturday, June 1. Thousands of people across Virginia will come together on the morning of June 1 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. Sponsored by PRA Group, Clean the Bay Day relies heavily on around 60 partners to host, publicize, and run litter cleanup sites. 

“Clean the Bay Day started off as a discussion among four residents sitting around a kitchen table. They wanted a way to clean up their communities but also experience the huge benefits when people come together toward a common goal of restoring the Bay and creating healthier neighborhoods. Now, for a few hours one morning a year, thousands of people become part of that dream. That wouldn’t have been possible without CBF’s partners,” said CBF Grassroots Coordinator Lisa Renee Jennings. 

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. 

“Clean the Bay Day gives the Suffolk community the chance to play a part in beautifying their communities, but also improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Daniel McDonald, Suffolk’s Litter Control Coordinator and a Clean the Bay Day partner. “Clean the Bay Day connects us to volunteers across the state to reduce the litter and debris we contribute to this treasured natural resource. We know that a cleaner Bay means stronger protection for our neighborhoods from climate change threats, restored natural habitats for beloved wildlife, and cleaner air and water for our children.” 

The most common items found during the cleanups are plastics, glass bottles, aluminum cans, and cigarette butts. Participants also often find unusual items. In previous years, that has included a recliner, a cash register, a car door, a 19th century horseshoe, and a homemade drone.

“Our neighborhoods and waterways in Norfolk are a conduit of plastics and debris to the Chesapeake Bay and then out to the open ocean,” said Sarah Sterzing, Program Manager for Clean the Bay Day partner Keep Norfolk Beautiful. “Our wetlands, marshes, and rivers transport it, creating a crisis for the natural systems and wildlife that call the Chesapeake Bay home. Clean the Bay Day is Norfolk's opportunity to not only clean up, but educate and engage residents and partners to understand that we are all stakeholders in the health and future of this critical system. We need to realize that every day is Clean the Bay Day and do our part and inspire others to as well.” 

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. 

For questions, please send an email to [email protected] or call 757-644-4122. 


Vanessa Remmers

Virginia Communications & Media Relations Manager, CBF

[email protected]

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