The Chesapeake Bay Foundation participated in the Clean Earth Challenge as part of their annual Clean the Bay Day on June 3, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. During this short three-hour period, over 4, 425 community volunteers participated and collected over 113, 947 pounds of debris (the equivalent of approximately 1,025,673 pieces of trash).
This wide-scale cleanup effort took place across 200 sites throughout the state of Virginia by foot and boat (including 17 cities/counties, 25 independent organizations, 24 state parks and more) and covered over 345 miles. Zone captains managed the process, recorded data and submitted the numbers for the final impressive tally!
Also included in the cleanup was CBF’s military partners who had 841 volunteers remove 10,305 pounds of debris cleaning up an approximate distance of 10 miles.
Common items included cigarette butts, bottles and cans, food wrappers and fast-food litter. One of the most unusual items collected was a pork tenderloin in its original packaging and large items like a treadmill and tractor tire.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) was founded in 1966 and is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay. Serving as a watchdog, CBF fights for science-based solutions to help improve and mitigate the pollution degrading the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams.
“People often think that Clean the Bay Day is only about cleaning on or near waterfront areas” says Hilary Falk, President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “However, collecting trash or debris in outlying areas that can travel to enter our rivers and streams and ultimately the Bay is just as critical.”
Since its inception in 1989, Clean the Bay Day has become a Virginia tradition. More than 170,066 volunteers have removed approximately 7.30 million pounds of debris from more than 8,595 miles of shoreline.
CBF’s motto is “Save the Bay” and serves as a regional rally cry for pollution reduction throughout the Chesapeake’s six-state, 64,000-square-mile watershed. This area is home to more than 18 million people and 3,000 species of plants and animals.
Way to go Clean the Bay Day volunteers for helping turn the tide!