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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 remove organic matter from the waste cycle and reduce your carbon footprint. Once you create compost, it can be used to feed your 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: mksfly/Flickr

Compost Fallen Leaves

Instead of spending hours raking, blowing and bagging fallen leaves, try composting them instead.

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: Lynac/Flickr

Share Resources

If you live in an urban or metropolitan region, don’t buy your own car. Instead, utilize ride-sharing services, carpooling or public transit. Not owning a car reduces your carbon footprint on average.

Photo Credit: Andy Powell

Reduce Polluted Runoff

If a pesticide spills or leaks, don't use a hose to clean up. Soak up the liquid with an absorbent material like sawdust or kitty litter, sweep the material into a plastic bag and clean the area with a mixture of water and bleach.

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: Chad Cooper/Flickr

Prevent Pollution

Only fill your gas tank 90% of the way full. This leaves room for gas to expand when it warms up without overflowing the tank.

Photo Credit: thomasbrandt/Flickr

Use Fertilizer Properly

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

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.

The History and Practice of Tattoos

03/08/2015 Calvert Marine Museum (Solomons,Maryland) - Presented by Dr. Lars Krutak as part of the Stories Skin Deep Tattoo Series. Anthropologist, photographer, and author Dr. Lars Krutak will discuss the messages encoded in ancient and more contemporary forms of tattooing, using word, imagery, and video to

Frogs! A Chorus of Colors

03/14/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Explore TOAD-ally cool creatures and get eyeball to eyeball with live frogs from around the world! View more than 70 live frogs from across the globe, complete with their noisy croaks, yaps, chirps, whoops, snores and whistles, all housed in detailed ha

Star Party/Laser Light Shows

03/14/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Free sky observing begins at sunset. Explore the evening skies above Virginia in the planetarium show "Virginia Skies" at 7:30 p.m. Then enjoy music accompanied by dazzling laser light effects in the planetarium shows "ElectroPop" at 8:30, "Laser Queen" a

Modern Tattoo Art and the Maritime Tradition

03/15/2015 Calvert Marine Museum (Solomons,Maryland) - Presented by Jay Coleman, tattoo artist, historian, and educator living in Washington, DC. Lecture part of the Stories Skin Deep Tattoo Series. Join us in the Harms Gallery.

Death from the Skies

03/16/2015 Ferguson Center Concert Hall (Newport News,Virginia) - Asteroid impacts! Cometary debris! Extinction level events! These are the topics covered in this science-based but fun look at giant impacts from cosmic objects. Dr. Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) talks about how these events have shaped our history, how

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 Stewardship - Everyone who lives in or visits the Chesapeake Bay watershed can help in its restoration, conservation and preservation. Visit these Gateways to learn more about the Bay's natural resources and current efforts to preserve them.

Mathews County Visitor and Information Center

The Mathews County Visitor and Information Center is located in the historic district of Mathews, Virginia. In addition to providing assistance to visitors, the Center encourages Bay stewardship at the grassroots level. The Center provides the opportunity to experience Bay conservation and restoration first-hand, as well as gain insight as to the Middle Peninsula's vast Bay habitats, preserves, water trails, public and scenic access points, and ecotourism opportunities.

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (UMCES)

Founded in 1925, and now part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory performs research on the Chesapeake Bay and other marine systems. At the visitor center, visitors can learn about on-going research efforts to monitor the health and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, fisheries and other coastal issues.

Pickering Creek Audubon Center

With more than 400 acres of forests, fields and shoreline on the Eastern Shore, Pickering Creek Audubon Center provides a natural environment for learning about the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors can explore the preserve along nature trails looking for bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, herons, ospreys, owls, bluebirds, purple martins and many more species of birds. Or, participate in programs on Bay ecology, traditional crafts and much more.

Patuxent Research Refuge - National Wildlife Visitor Center

With the mission to conserve and protect wildlife and habitat, the Patuxent Research Refuge is the nation's only National Wildlife Refuge established to support wildlife research. The refuge includes the National Wildlife Visitor Center, which features exhibits about various aspects of wildlife conservation both in the Chesapeake and across the nation.

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is an island refuge at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay. This refuge provides a wonderful example of conservation with different varieties of Chesapeake Bay habitats, including 1000 acres of tidal marsh, 600 acres of upland forest, and 600 acres of croplands managed for wildlife and as a demonstration of Bay-friendly agricultural techniques.

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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