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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 Pick a Crab

The summertime crab feast is a Chesapeake Bay tradition. Learn how to dig in with this guide to picking a blue crab.


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: Sustainable Furnishings/Flickr

Be Bay-Friendly at Work

Encourage your coworkers to be Bay-friendly by packing trash-free lunches, recycling office paper or using less water and electricity.

Photo Credit: John Kirriemuir/Flickr

Prevent Invasive Species

Thoroughly clean your boat hull and all fishing gear before moving to another body of water.

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: ds4832/Flickr

Maintain Your Septic System

Do not plant trees or shrubs near your septic drain field. Roots clog septic drain lines and cause overflows.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Fertilize in the Fall

If you need to fertilize your lawn, do it in the fall. Spring rains wash fertilizer off lawns and into local waters.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Fish Responsibly

Practice proper catch-and-release fishing techniques to avoid harming and killing the Bay's fish.

Photo Credit: David Goehring/Flickr

Dispose of Medicine Properly

To keep medicine out of our waterways, don't pour expired or leftover drugs down the sink or flush them down the toilet. Instead, return unused medicine to a consumer drug return location or foul your medication with coffee grounds or cat litter and put it in the trash.

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.

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

Weekends and Daytrips - With the extra time that a long weekend provides, take a daytrip to one of the Gateways in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. From nature sanctuaries to historic battlefields, there are many opportunities to experience an array of educational and fun activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Chickahominy Riverfront Park

This new 140-acre park sits on the Chickahominy River near its confluence with the James River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The park provides a range of opportunities for recreation in a riverfront surrounding, including overnight camping, boating and fishing. Dramatic river vistas and the rural character of the area help set Chickahominy Riverfront park apart from many similarly sized local or county parks.

Kiptopeke State Park

Kiptopeke State Park's location near the tip of the Virginia Eastern Shore makes the park a prime location for bird watching; Kiptopeke's hawk observatory is among the top 15 nationwide. Though you could easily spend the day bird watching, the park also offers guided hikes, fishing clinics, canoe programs and beach bonfire programs.

The Mariners' Museum

For more than 70 years, the Mariners' Museum has illustrated the spirit of seafaring adventure, assembling a renowned and strikingly diverse collection of maritime artifacts. The museum includes 10 permanent galleries, with changing and traveling exhibits. The museum is also home to the third largest maritime library in the world with a collection of books, maps, charts, manuscripts, photographs, and other items that chronicle six centuries of maritime history.

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge

More than 650 species of plants and 200 species of birds have been observed at the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which sits on the Potomac River, a major tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. Waterfowl, deer, red fox and raptors are abundant and can easily be observed from the wildlife drive or more than three miles of hiking trails along grasslands, tidal marshes and the river's edge.

Tuckahoe State Park

The whole family can find something to enjoy at Tuckahoe State Park, which is home to 20 acres of open water for boating and fishing, and 12 miles of trails for scenic hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Picnic grounds and a playground for children also are available.

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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