Thousands of participants came out to the shorelines Saturday to do their part this weekend for the 27th Clean the Bay Day.
According to a Chesapeake Bay Foundation press release, in just three hours, about 6,000 volunteers at nearly 275 sites across the state removed approximately 125,000 pounds of litter and debris from 530 miles of shoreline.
“The Bay and its waterways work for us every single day, boosting our economy and quality of life,” said CBF Clean the Bay Day Coordinator Tanner Council. “Clean the Bay Day is an easy, tangible way for individuals to give a few hours back and make a big difference.”
The release notes that the most common items found during trash pickup are plastic bottles, plastic bags and cigarette butts. Household appliances, auto parts and tires and other large harmful items were also part of the findings.
Some more uncommon items were pulled out of the waters as well, including a stolen, burned car, a couple of bumpers, a rusty safe, a 50-foot gill net and a wedding cake topper.
Cleanup efforts were made from Hampton Roads all the way up to Northern Virginia with 15 cities and 23 state parks who hosted cleanup sites.
“I hope today is but a first step for many volunteers to become more engaged in Bay stewardship,” said Council. “We all must double-down on efforts to reduce less visible pollution harming the bay. If we do not, we will continue to have dirty waters, human health hazards, and an economy that cannot reap the rewards of a healthy bay.”
The release added that since 1989, Clean the Bay Day has engaged approximately 140,000 volunteers who have removed more than 6.2 million pounds of debris from more than 6,500 miles of shoreline.