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Take Action

Welcome to the Chesapeake Bay Program Take Action section. Here you can find a bunch of ways to connect with the Chesapeake Bay and all it offers.

How to Drive the Bay-Friendly Way

Most of us can’t stop driving altogether. But there are lots of ways we can send less pollution into our air and water – and save a few extra gallons at the same time.


For Bay restoration to be a success, we all must do our part. Our everyday actions - from fertilizing our lawns and using water to driving our cars to work and school - have a major impact on the Bay, one that can't be fixed by government and non-profit restoration partners alone. By making simple changes in our lives, each one of us can take part in restoring the Bay and its rivers for future generations to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

“Grasscycle” Lawn Clippings

Instead of fertilizing, leave leftover grass clippings on your lawn for a natural source of nitrogen.

Photo Credit: Michelle Tribe/Flickr

Use Pesticides Properly

Never use more pesticides than you need. Take care to store chemicals properly so containers do not leak.

Photo Credit: Scott Akerman/Flickr

Reduce Pesticide Use

Instead of applying chemical pesticides to your sidewalk or garden, use boiling water to kill weeds, ant colonies and other pests.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Reduce Emissions

When possible, walk, bike or take public transportation to reduce vehicle emissions that can pollute our air and water.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Keep Sewage On Board

Keep sewage on board your boat in a portable toilet or holding tank. Dispose of it only at an approved pump-out facility.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Reduce Emissions

Avoid letting your car idle. Idling for even 10 seconds can waste fuel, damage your engine and pollute our air and water.

Photo Credit: Marvin O./Flickr

Reduce Polluted Runoff

Apply no more than the recommended amount of deicer to melt ice on your steps or driveway.

Photo Credit: eddie.welker/Flickr

Use Fertilizer Properly

Do not apply fertilizer to dormant lawns or frozen ground, where it could easily run off your property and into storm drains.

Attend an event

Find a fun and exciting Bay-related event to attend with this list of upcoming events happening across the Chesapeake watershed. Events range from nature workshops for children and families to bird walks to restoration activities like trash clean-ups and invasive plant removals.

Groundhog Meet and Greet

01/31/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Get ready for Groundhog Day with this Saturday event at the VLM. There will be special groundhog activities and crafts as well as a chance to meet Chesapeake Chuck, the Museum's resident groundhog! Included in museum admission. A planetarium program will

Groundhog Shadow Ceremony

02/02/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Forget Punxsutawney Phil; he has nothing on Hampton Roads' own Chesapeake Chuck! The Virginia Living Museum's resident groundhog will make his annual appearance to determine if we'll experience 6 more weeks of winter or have an early spring. Will Chesape

Bacchus Wine and Food Festival

02/06/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Enjoy delicious samplings of fine wine, fabulous food from 18 area restaurants, an eclectic mix of live music and a huge silent auction at the Virginia Living Museum's 11th annual Bacchus Wine and Food Festival, a "Best of the 757" gala. 7-10 p.m. Ticket

Follow the Drinking Gourd

02/07/2015 Virginia Living Museum planetarium (Newport News,Virginia) - "Follow the Drinking Gourd" takes us back to the days when freedom was a dream for those held in slavery. Some looked for hope to a certain constellation with its bright shining star. The story is a poignant and inspiring tale of one African-American fami

Skipjack Nathan Volunteer Orientation

02/12/2015 Dorchester Historical Society (Cambridge,Maryland) - The Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester, docked in Cambridge, is looking for volunteers for sail crew, docents, maintenance, and administrative functions. If interested, please come to this Orientation Session and information presentation for an overview of

Join a group

See our directory of watershed organizations that includes contact information for more than 600 nonprofit organizations that are actively working to restore and conserve natural resources and create sustainable communities across the Chesapeake watershed.

watershed orgs

Looking to join a watershed organization near you? Enter your address below to find out what groups are doing great things to restore and protect the environment in your locality.

Visit the Chesapeake

Exploring Chesapeake Bay Trade and Travel - For hundreds of years, the Chesapeake has served as a major transportation route-for both traders and travelers. Come visit the following Gateways to learn about the Chesapeake's maritime history and discover how the Bay has helped shape the nation's economy and commerce vitality from colonial times to the 21st century.

Calvert Marine Museum

Learn about the history of boating and fishing, as well as the transformations that took place to keep the boating industry thriving on the Chesapeake Bay. You also can hear about ancient animals that once inhabited the Chesapeake and observe their evolution.

The Mariners' Museum

One of the largest, oldest and most comprehensive maritime history museums in the world, The Mariners' Museum houses a treasure trove of more than 35,000 items from and inspired by human experiences with the sea. The Mariners' Museum is located in Newport News, Virginia, near the tidal portion of the James River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

Richardson Maritime Museum

Discover the wooden boatbuilding heritage of Dorchester County and the surrounding region, as you tour this museum and engage the ship models, tools and artifacts.

Watermen's Museum

At the Waterman's Museum, you will hear the story of Virginia's working watermen and the workboats that they used. You also will learn about the boat shop where volunteers work to restore old boats.

See more places to visit.

Public Access

Public access points are places anyone can visit to swim, hike, paddle or simply enjoy the history and natural beauty of the Chesapeake. Providing access to natural areas helps the public build a connection with the rivers, forests and wildlife of the Bay watershed. Check out our interactive map with over 1000 public access points around the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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