Volunteer for Virginia's Clean the Bay Day

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF)’s 30th annual Clean the Bay Day is fast approaching, but there’s still time to register as a volunteer and be part of the time-honored Virginia shoreline cleanup.

A “vintage” Clean the Bay Day. Photo: Robert Dean

On June 2, volunteers will gather together for three hours at locations across the state to clean up litter and debris and join the ranks of those who’ve participated in the event over the past three decades.

Founded in Hampton Roads in 1989 by Robert Dean, Clean the Bay Day has made quite an impact; according to the CBF, Clean the Bay Day has been responsible for the removal of 6.4 million pounds of debris from almost 7,400 miles of Virginia shoreline since its inaugural run. During 2017’s event alone, approximately 6,000 volunteers removed around 100,000 pounds of debris from more than 440 miles of shoreline and stream.

Individuals and groups can register to volunteer for Clean the Bay Day by selecting a location from an interactive map or a list of cleanup sites. Once a locality is chosen and registration is complete, volunteers will be assigned to a specific site. All supplies are provided at cleanup locations. 

Individuals with good organizational skills might consider signing up as a “Zone Captain,” a volunteer who oversees a specific location during the event. Zone Captains arrive to their sites before volunteers, chat with and collect documentation required by CBF from volunteers, guide their “team,” and pass data along to their local representative.

 Photo: Clay F. Rush
Photo: Clay F. Rush

CBF Hampton Roads Grassroots Manager Tanner Council says the event and its volunteers make a big difference in the quest for a healthier Chesapeake. “Over the past 30 years Clean the Bay Day has become a true Virginian tradition. It’s so simple, yet so effective,” he says. “Litter is the most obvious sign of pollution in our waterways. When thousands of people work together, they make an amazing improvement along hundreds of miles of shoreline. Anyone can help clean up, and the big 30th anniversary is a great time to join.”

To learn more about and register as a volunteer for Clean the Bay Day, click here

-Laura Boycourt