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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 Dispose of Leaves the Bay-Friendly Way

Fallen leaves shouldn't end up in the landfill or the burn pile. Instead, consider mulching, composting or curbside collection.


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: Linda_N/Flickr

Create a Rain Garden

Rain gardens can add value to your home and absorb more water than a conventional lawn.

Photo Credit: thisisbossi / Flickr

Reduce Polluted Runoff

Wash your car on grass or gravel rather than pavement so soapy, grimy wash water won't run off your property.

Photo Credit: ristok/Flickr

Clean Your Boat Properly

Use extreme caution when painting and cleaning your boat to avoid polluting the water.

Photo Credit: SaltyGrease/Flickr

Compost Kitchen Scraps

Instead of throwing kitchen scraps down the garbage disposal, compost them to create a rich soil for potted and in-ground plants.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Properly Dispose of Waste

Encourage your marina owner to maintain an adequate pump-out facility if one is not available.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Take Shorter Showers

Take shorter showers. Cutting your shower time by five minutes can save 10-12 gallons of water per shower.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Stash Your Trash

Stow and secure used bags, bottles, fishing lines and other trash on your boat so litter doesn't fall into the water.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Avoid Bay Grass Beds

Steer clear of bay grass beds in shallow waters to avoid harming this critical habitat and food source.

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

Experiencing the Living, Natural Bay - The Chesapeake Bay is home to a variety of areas where you can explore the formation of the Bay, its wildlife, its diverse habitats and its striking scenery. Experience the innate beauty of the Chesapeake against the backdrop of early fall by visiting these Gateways.

Calvert Cliffs State Park

More than 15 million years ago this region of Calvert County was covered by a warm, shallow sea. When the sea receded, the cliffs at Calvert Cliffs State Park were exposed and began eroding. Today, these cliffs reveal the remains of prehistoric species, including sharks, whales, rays and seabirds that were the size of small airplanes.

Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers Water Trail

The Choptank River is the longest of the rivers on the Chesapeake Bay's Maryland Eastern Shore. The Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers Water Trail encompasses 80 miles along the two rivers, and can be traveled by canoe, kayak, or small powerboat. Paddling or boating along the Choptank and its primary tributary is a wonderful way to explore the unique character of this classic Chesapeake landscape, and experience the rich heritage of this area.

Marshy Point Park

The largest area of natural wetlands and forest available for the public in the Baltimore area, the shores of Dundee and Saltpeter Creeks encompass over three thousand acres. The incredible diversity of life in the Chesapeake Bay can be discovered here through exhibits, lectures, family nature walks and guided canoe trips.

Janes Island State Park

Nearly 3000 acres of Chesapeake Bay marsh, beach, and highland can be discovered at Janes Island State Park in Crisfield, Maryland. Bordered on the west by the Tangier Sound, and dissected by many small waterways, visitors are sure to spot waterfowl and other birds, as well as fish and shellfish populations in the park and surrounding areas.

Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Visitor's Center

Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is a perfect getaway for bird watching, hiking, biking, and fishing. In addition to the 100 geese that stay at Merkle year round, you also are likely to see red fox, groundhogs, white-tailed deer, ospreys, hummingbirds, purple martins, herons and a variety of songbirds on your visit.

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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