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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 don't have to 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: daryl_mitchell / Flickr

Reduce Polluted Runoff

Make sure your home's downspouts drain onto grass or gravel rather than paved driveways or sidewalks.

Photo Credit: ewitch / Flickr

Reduce Polluted Runoff

Instead of washing your car at home, bring it to a car wash! Commercial car washes clean and often recycle their wash water.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Fertilize in the Fall

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

Photo Credit: thomasbrandt/Flickr

Use Fertilizer Properly

Make sure to not apply fertilizer to drainage areas in your yard, where it could easily run off your property.

Photo Credit: Chad Cooper/Flickr

Prevent Spills

Because gasoline can expand and contract, it's best to only fill your boat's gas tank about 90 percent of the way full. This leaves room for gas to expand without overflowing the tank.

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: Shinichi Higashi/Flickr

Save Energy

Most of the energy required for washing clothes is spent heating water. To save energy, set your washing machine to cold water or the woolens setting.

Photo Credit: Joby Elliott/Flickr

Conserve Water

Instead of sprinklers, use soaker hoses or drip irrigation to water your lawn and garden.

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.

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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