Volunteers help make Chesapeake Bay clean and healthy

Posted at 7:58 PM, May 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-31 19:58:55-04

Norfolk, Va. - It's not too late to roll up your sleeves and volunteer at the "Clean the Bay Day" event on Saturday, June 1.

"After 25 years, it's become a Virginia tradition, and it says a lot about Virginians' desire and demand for clean water across the state," said Tanner Council, Hampton Roads Grassroots Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Council says between 7,000 and 9,000 people across the Commonwealth of Virginia will help stop litter in its tracks Saturday. In fact, volunteers will collect between 150,000 to 250,000 pounds of trash and debris in just three hours.

"The Chesapeake Bay's value to Virginia really cannot be overstated. From an economic standpoint, from a recreation standpoint, and really from a cultural standpoint, this is something that has made Virginia what it is, and unfortunately, it's in a degraded state," said Council.

Over the years, volunteers have picked up everything from styrofoam cups and plastic bottles to shopping carts from the Bay and its rivers and streams. But there have been  other items volunteers have found that have been very harmful to marine life that call those waterways home.

"Wildlife entanglements are typically the saddest thing you're going to see out there. You can see the suffering that comes along with an animal that has come across a piece of litter or something that really shouldn't be there, and the animals has mistaken it for food or habitat," said Council.

Lucikly, Council says those entanglements do not happen a lot, due in part to efforts like Clean the Bay Day.

"Beyond just the litter that they're going to pull out, and it feels good when they leave the site, they're going to see that they made a big difference," said Council.

This is the 25th Anniversary of the Clean the Bay Day. The event is from 9 a.m. to Noon Saturday, June 1. If you haven't pre-registered, there are several locations you can walk-up and volunteer.  Click on the following website for more information: