Clean the Bay Day, Virginia’s largest and longest-running yearly litter cleanup, returns in full force this June 4 after a two-year hiatus from the event’s traditional format.
This year the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and partners are hosting more than 200 cleanup sites across the commonwealth, including in Northern Virginia, the Richmond Area, the Shenandoah Valley, Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. Thousands of volunteers will join in that Saturday morning to remove a massive amount of litter and debris from parks, streams, beaches and trails.
Until 2020, Clean the Bay Day had taken place for 31 straight years on the first Saturday in June. That year, the COVID pandemic led to the tradition’s first-ever cancellation. In 2021, the event returned in a limited capacity – volunteers picked up litter on their own time, then logged results online.
The event fully returns this June 4. Volunteers will gather at official cleanup sites at 9 a.m., where they will pick up gloves and trash bags and set out to recover litter that could pollute local waterways, pose a threat to wildlife, and create a hazard for people enjoying time outside.
“Clean the Bay Day is an easy way for anyone to make the world a better place. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of seeing how much cleaner you’ve left your community after a few short hours of working with a group of volunteers,” said CBF grassroots-coordinator Lisa Renee Jennings. “While it seems small, when everyone joins together the cumulative benefits to the environment are astounding.”
During pre-COVID Clean the Bay Days, as many as 6,000 volunteers joined together at hundreds of sites, recovering more than 100,000 pounds of litter. The most common items removed include plastic bags, bottles, aluminum cans and cigarette butts.
Since 1989, Clean the Bay Day has engaged more than 158,200 volunteers, who have removed approximately 6.64 million pounds of debris from nearly 7,750 miles of shoreline in Virginia.
The event is open to all, from children to adults, individuals to businesses and organizations. Those interested in volunteering can find more information or register at www.cbf.org/clean.
Top corporate sponsors for Clean the Bay Day include Ulliman Schutte-Alberici, the River Network, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and the Ball Corp.