James Pinsky: Clean the Bay Day

James Pinsky

Most folks I know take great pride in their homes, and I bet animals feel the same way. The only problem is we humans aren’t always the best guests.

As such, throughout the year, thousands of volunteers donate thousands of hours to clean up the messes we make enjoying Mother Nature. Often the problems we cause with our litter and debris are at least eye sores, but sometimes much more than that. Trash is pollution and the damages it can and does cause goes far beyond cosmetics.

Quite a few conservation groups know our dirty little secrets. One of those groups is the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and for the 29th year in a row, they’re holding their annual Clean the Bay Day, this time on Saturday, June 3, so we humans can help our animal friends continue to have a clean, safe and enjoyable home. Did you know, since 1989, Clean the Bay Day has engaged over 146,000 volunteers, who have removed approximately 6.4 million pounds of debris from nearly 6,900 miles of shoreline in Virginia?

Why care? The Chesapeake Bay Foundation gives us a few reasons:

• Litter spoils the areas where we live and the open spaces we recreate in.
• Car batteries, tires, creosote pilings, etc., contaminate drinking water.
• Wildlife often mistake litter for food or prey.
• Litter is often an indicator of more major pollution issues.
• Studies have shown clear links between litter and crime rates. When an area is poorly maintained, criminal behavior often follows. On the flipside, litter-free environments are typically safer and people tend to litter less in clean areas.
• Litter takes several decades to biodegrade.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation said “Clean the Bay Day is a model for cooperation: The program is built on lasting relationships between dozens of cities and counties, non-profits, military installations, small businesses and large corporations. On Clean the Bay Day, we all come together with families, individuals, church groups, and elected officials from local, state and federal levels for a common cause: clean water.”

There are already a few events planned in and around the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is happy to help eager volunteers plan and execute their own events on Clean the Bay Day.

To learn more about Clean the Bay Day, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s website at www.cbf.org, or send an email to ctbd@cbf.org or call 757-622-1964.

James Pinsky is the Education and Information Coordinator for the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District. Contact him at 540.465.2424, ext. 104, or james.pinsky@lfswcd.org. Visit us at www.lfswcd.org or follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/lfswcd.