WLG | impact '23–Clean the Bay Your Way

Published on Jun 9, 2023

WLG | impact '23–Clean the Bay Your Way

For WLG | impact '23, I participated in the Clean the Bay Your Way DIY Week as part of The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) annual Clean the Bay Day program. The Chesapeake Bay is a system dangerously out of balance, with low water quality standards, toxic contaminants, and aquatic life in danger. For over fifty years, CBF has been working tirelessly to restore balance, and Clean the Bay Day is an integral part of these efforts.

Founded in 1966, CBF is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay–"Serving as a watchdog, we fight for effective, science-based solutions to the pollution degrading the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Our motto, "Save the Bay," is a regional rallying cry for pollution reduction throughout the Chesapeake's six-state, 64,000-square-mile watershed, home to more than 18 million people and 3,000 species of plants and animals."

Intricate natural systems that filter water and provide the bay with diverse habitats and abundant life affect the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay. CBF created a Save the Bay report that first began in 1998. "CBF scientists measure its health by examining the best available historical and current information for 13 indicators in three categories: pollution, habitat, and fisheries. CBF scientists then assign each indicator an index score between 1 and 100." Once compiled together, these indicators offer an assessment of the Chesapeake's health. The most recently reported State of the Bay Report from 2022 remained a 32 (D+). Their mission is to reach a 70 on CBF's Health Index and sustain that score.

CBF works closely across multiple offices and fifteen field centers to lead the way in restoring the Bay, its rivers, and its streams. Through clean-up programs like Clean the Bay Day, community education programs, and engaging public leaders, CBF has fought successfully to create a new clean-up approach.


I participated by cleaning a trail leading to the waterfront at Caledon State Park (King George, Virginia). I collected two trash bags and responsibly disposed of them at the local sorting and recycling facility. Since the initiative began in 1989, this annual Virginia tradition (Clean the Bay Day and Clean the Bay Your Way DIY Week) has engaged more than 165,500 volunteers who have removed approximately 7.18 million pounds of debris from more than 8,250 miles of shoreline.

How can you get involved?

Every bit of litter counts! The Bay is still a system dangerously out of balance. To turn the tide, get involved through education, advocacy, litigation, and restoration.

While litter is easily prevented and can be picked up by anyone at any time, tackling the major unseen threats to the Bay watershed—like habitat loss, sediment, and nutrient pollution—require broad and focused support. Clean the Bay Day is a gateway program where community members embrace environmental stewardship of their waterways.

Watch The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's video to see why so many people participate.

Tori Mowery

World Law Group

Senior Specialist, Technology & Knowledge Management