The 28th Annual Clean the Bay Day (CTBD) was another big success all around the Virginia Commonwealth. On Saturday, June 4, 2016 we saw sites all over Virginia teeming with volunteers on streams, rivers, trails, and shoreline giving a little back to our waterways. All those individual contributions have a massive cumulative effect: In just three short hours we saw hundreds of miles of stream and shoreline unburdened of harmful debris and litter by the ton… and several thousand people had a great time doing it.
Clean the Bay Day also helped kick off the very first Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week.
As usual, we had a great showing of elected officials, appointees, their staff, and press. And there was action all over: In the birthplace of the program, all seven cities of Hampton Roads were absolutely overflowing with volunteers. The U.S. Navy had a precedent-setting turnout. Every state park in the watershed (22 total) participated. Richmond and Charlottesville saw a huge spike in participants this year. Social media was alive with #cleanthebayday, including many sharing their "Stop Runoff" signs from the first official CTBD photo contest. And we had our first bilingual "Día de la Bahía" events, which attracted many volunteers from the Richmond-area Latino community.
So, again, THANK YOU and your team for everything you have done to support the program this year. Here is a preliminary look at this year's numbers:
CTBD 2016 in summary:
(Data is still rolling in)
Approximately 6,000 volunteers…
Removed about 138,000 pounds of debris…
From over 440 miles of stream and shoreline.
(All in just three hours!)
Media Coverage: At least 70 TV, radio, print, and electronic pieces
VIPs: A mix of 20 elected officials (federal, state and local), gov't appointees + miscellaneous staff and aides, sponsors and press
Cities/Counties Represented: 18
Independent Organizations Represented: 25
Military Installations Represented: 13 (over 1,200 enlisted and their families)
State Parks Represented: 22
Total Sites: ~265
A New Cumulative: Since 1989, Clean the Bay Day has engaged approximately 146,000 volunteers who have removed more than 6.4 million pounds of debris from more than 6,900 miles of shoreline.
As usual, the most common items found during the cleanup were plastic bottles, plastic bags, and cigarette butts. But household appliances, automobile parts (especially tires) furniture, shopping carts, ghost crab pots, and construction debris were a big part of the overall yield. Volunteers were also surprised by many strange finds including a lottery ticket station, a crock pot, a jet ski, a complete car transmission and an axle, multiple mattresses, a teddy bear with Mardi Gras beads, an enormous stuffed bear, a headless GI- Joe, a taxidermy deer dead, a screen door, a smart phone, one walkie-talkie and two kitchen sinks.
Once again, thank you all very much. And a very special thank to our sponsors and partners who made this event such a great success this year!