Clean the Bay Your Way
Clean the Bay Day has been an annual Virginia tradition since its inception 33 years ago. Year after year, thousands of Virginians work simultaneously across the state to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay by removing litter and debris from its rivers and streams. Even though the current pandemic prevents us from gathering together on one day as we have done in the past, we are adapting this year's event to continue the tradition in a safe, effective way.
This year's event is all about flexibility and giving everyone the option to Clean the Bay Your Way. The three simple steps below will provide further information on how to get started and join the Clean the Bay Day movement!
Step 1: Registration
There is no cost to participate in Clean the Bay Day but donations are always welcome.
There are two types of registrations this year.
- Virtual Team Registration: Schools, families, companies, localities, individual groups, or communities are encouraged to create a virtual team to help clean up their portion of the Chesapeake Bay's watershed. Team litter cleanups will be conducted separately and their litter pounds will be aggregated in the teams' dashboards. This allows for participants to be united but still remain safe in the midst of the pandemic.
- Individual Registration: Individuals are encouraged to register as a single participant.
Step 2: Clean the Bay Your Way and Logging Your Data
- The data collection form will be available to all registered participants at the start of the event on May 31.
- Each registered participant will have their own link to the data collection form. Please do not share your link with anyone.
- Links to your data collection form will be available from your Participant Center.
- This year there will be no assigned clean up areas and you are not required to register for specific time slots.
- Participants have the flexibility to do a clean up at any public location or private property where permission has been given.
- If you know of a site that is in need of a cleanup, you have permission to be on that property, and are taking the proper safety precautions, clean away.
Unsure about doing a litter pick-up during COVID-19 but still want to participate? Planting a native plant or installing a rain barrel are additional participation options for Clean the Bay Day 2021.
Plant a Native Plant
- Our native plant guide provides a list of some native plants suitable for most areas in Virginia.
- View the Virginia Native Plant Society's native plant guides.
Install a Rain Barrel
- View the How to Install a Rain Barrel video.
- Rain Barrels can be homemade or purchased. If you choose to purchase your rain barrel online and want to enter the contest, make sure it will be delivered in time to be installed during the six-day event.
Planting a native plant or installing a rain barrel must be done on your own property or on private property with advance permission. Public spaces should not be used for planting/installation. Registration is still required and data logging will be done the same as the litter cleanup option.
Participants must adhere to all current Virginia COVID-19 guidelines and will be asked to sign a waiver during registration.
Step 3: Sharing on Social Media and Contest Entry
- Even though we are not able to physically be together this year, we still want to see all the amazing work you are doing to help clean the Bay.
- After submitting your data, you will see a thank you page that will prompt you to share your photos and videos of your Clean the Bay Your Way activity on a variety social media platforms.
- Be sure to use the #CleantheBayDay hashtag when you post on social media.
- Each virtual team and individual participant will have a dashboard that combines all of your data entries for the event.
- The dashboards will be accessible from the virtual team and individual participant pages and from your participant center.
- Feel free to share the link to your dashboard on your social media channels and challenge other groups or participants to a friendly competition.
The Clean the Bay Your Way contest will run during the six days of the event. Prizes will be awared to the top three photo contest winners and the top three video contest winners. Entries of photos and videos will be submitted via the data entry survey. Prizes include:
- Gift certificate for 25 raw oysters from a Chesapeake Oyster Alliance partner
- Pair of REI Flexlite Camp Chairs
- REI Soft Sided Pack-Away Cooler
- 12-month pass to Virginia State Parks
- North End Bag Co., The Bank Note Bag.
- Taste Unlimited Gift Basket
See the contest rules for more information.
About Clean the Bay Day
Every day, each of us can do our part to make the Chesapeake even more beautiful by preventing and picking up litter. Clean the Bay Day—a long-standing Virginia tradition 33 years in the making—inspires us to do just that. This annual event also introduces participants to some of the greater, unseen problems the Bay watershed faces such as degraded habitat, polluted runoff, and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. Clean the Bay Day shows us that we all can be environmental stewards of our waters.
Partnership and Support
Clean the Bay Day is predicated on strong cooperation and important, lasting relationships among CBF and dozens of partners, including municipalities, non-profits, the U.S. military, businesses, and corporate sponsors. We are always welcoming new partners and sponsors!
If you'd like more information about becoming a Clean the Bay Day partner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional event information and resources, visit the below links:
Official Contest Rules
Remember to Stay Safe
All participants should follow Virginia's guidelines for COVID-19 precautions.
Questions? Contact us at email@example.com.
Check out these highlights from the last in person Clean the Bay Day in 2019.