HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - It spans 200 miles from Maryland to Virginia and provides a home to countless plants and animals -- the Chesapeake Bay is a valued resource for everyone in Hampton Roads.
"If we don't take care of it, we won't be able to use it," said Kristin Webb, the Clean the Bay coordinator with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
For 33 years, volunteers have worked to clean up the biggest estuary in the United States, all part of Clean the Bay Day.
"Clean the Bay Day is an opportunity for everyone in communities throughout Virginia to clean out the waterways," Webb said.
More than 50,000 people have donated their time and energy to cleaning up the waterways and beaches around the bay as part of the event. That has resulted in more than 6.5 million pounds of debris removed from the nearly 7,400 miles of shoreline.
"There is so much out here," she said. "Plastic bags, bottles, cigarettes, candy wrappers, leftover soda cans."
Lately Webb said masks, gloves and more plastics have also made their way into the bay and along the shoreline.
"All of the streams and rivers connect, and it all ends up here, so that includes fertilizers, pet wastes -- it all comes in here."
Which is where you come in. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation needs your help in being a good steward of the environment and keeping the bay clean for generations to come.
Clean the Bay day runs for six days from May 31 to June 5. The event gives participants flexibility to do a litter clean-up anytime and as much as you want during that six-day period.
Registration is required to participate in Clean the Bay Day 2021. Registration will open April 30, and this page will be updated to include the registration link. Please fill out this form for an email notification when registration is live.