RICHMOND, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from a separate story that aired on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on May 2, 2022.
More than 3,000 people gathered across the state Saturday to participate in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Clean the Bay Day.
According to a news release, the event began in 1989 and has since become the largest organized litter clean-up in the commonwealth.
While the total amount isn't yet final, officials say that volunteers on land and by boat collected an estimated 65,500 pounds of litter over 250 miles of shoreline.
“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.”
Typical litter items include plastic bags and bottles, aluminum cans, cigarette butts and more. Unique items, such as a 19th century horseshoe and a homemade drone, were also found.
Among the volunteers for one of the groups who organized in Hampton Roads was Rep. Elaine Luria. Many other community and state leaders also took part in the clean-up project in their respective cities and towns.
“The Chesapeake Bay is a crucial part of our Coastal Virginia economy and way of life. From litter pick up events like Clean the Bay Day to historic investments made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we must continue to work together to protect, preserve, and restore the Bay and its watersheds,” Luria said in a statement.
“I encourage all Virginians to give back to the Bay and protect our local waterways for future generations to enjoy our region’s natural treasures and resources.”