Thousands of volunteers across Virginia helped picked up 65,500 pounds of litter as of Saturday as part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Clean the Bay Day.
Clean the Bay Day is Virginia’s largest and longest-running litter and shoreline cleanup. The annual event began in 1989. This year, the event fully returned after a two-year hiatus from its traditional format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to preliminary numbers, more than 3,000 volunteers gathered at nearly 200 sites across the state on foot and by boat. About 65,500 pounds of litter and debris over an estimated 250 miles of shoreline and trails were collected.
“What a success. Volunteers removed a massive amount of litter from waterways during this year’s Clean the Bay Day,” said CBF Grassroots Coordinator Lisa Renée Jennings. “When everyone joins together, we can make a really big difference for our communities, local rivers and streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.”
CBF says the most common items found were plastic and glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic bags, and cigarette butts. Volunteers also recovered many larger items, such as a recliner, cash register and a car door.
According to CBF, they also recovered many unusual items from rivers and streams, including a 19th century horseshoe and a homemade drone.
Volunteers included many elected officials, other community leaders, service members, Scout groups, small businesses, large corporations, and thousands of other Virginians.
Since 1989, over 161,700 volunteers have removed approximately 7.1 million pounds of debris from over 8,000 miles of shoreline in Virginia.