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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 Construct a Compost Pile

Composting is a cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and put organic waste to work. Your homemade compost can then be used to feed household and garden plants.


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: 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

Observe Wake Laws

Following speed limits and no-wake laws helps avoid churning up sediment, harming underwater grasses and eroding nearby shorelines.

Photo Credit: Christian Schnettelker/Flickr

Reduce Waste

Go paperless when possible. Email documents, share electronic files and review documents on a screen instead of printing to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Don’t Overapply Fertilizer

Use only the amount of lawn fertilizer you need. Twice the product won't make your lawn twice as green!

Photo Credit: Envios/Flickr

Use Toxic-Free Personal Products

Use eco-friendly lotions, cosmetics and perfumes to keep toxic chemicals from washing off of our bodies and into our waterways.

Photo Credit: felix.castor/Flickr

Dispose of Chemicals Properly

Follow safe (and legal) disposal methods for household chemicals like paint or motor oil.

Photo Credit: mzuckerm/Flickr

Reduce Hazardous Waste

Use mercury-free, non-toxic thermometers. Mercury thermometers should be disposed of at a household hazardous waste facility.

Photo Credit: Team Tanenbaum/Flickr

Test Your Soil

Test your soil to determine how much fertilizer—if any—your lawn needs and the best time to apply it.

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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