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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 Build a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels collect and store a portion of the rainwater that runs out of a downspout or off of a roof, keeping this runoff out of our rivers and streams. This water is unsafe for drinking, but can be used to water plants or wash cars.


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: Chesapeake Bay Program

Use Native Plants

Plant native flowers, shrubs and trees. They often require less water and can attract birds, butterflies and honeybees.

Photo Credit: Stanley Zimny/Flickr

Conserve Water

Let trees create their own mulch. Allow leaves and other plant matter to collect under your trees to maintain moisture, control temperature and prevent erosion.

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: Najat Ahmad / Flickr

Prevent Invasive Species

Never dump bait or aquarium species into a storm drain or body of water. Introduced species can become invasive.

Photo Credit: Michael Shaheen/Flickr

Save Fuel

Drive less aggressively. Rapid acceleration and frequent breaking increases fuel consumption and can endanger yourself and others.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Save Energy

Unplug appliances like coffeemakers, toasters and televisions when they are not in use. For harder to reach outlets, you can plug devices into a power strip that can easily be switched off.

Photo Credit: SarahMcGowan/Flickr

Reduce Air Pollution

Use electric or manual lawn mowers and yard tools instead of gas-powered machines that can pollute our air.

Photo Credit: Susy Morris

Prevent Erosion

Want a garden but have a sloped yard? Create contours parallel to the slope of your yard or build raised beds to keep your topsoil from entering the waterways.

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.

NASA Science: Looking Outward, Inward, Homeward

03/31/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - NASA science pushes the boundaries of our knowledge about Earth, our Solar System and the universe. Learn about it in this talk by Dr. Ellen Stofan, principal advisor on NASA's science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments. Our s

3rd Annual VLM Birding Cup

04/10/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - The Virginia Living Museum's third annual Birding Cup event encourages people to go outdoors, breathe in fresh air, walk, look and listen throughout the Peninsula's wild and not so wild areas. This event is a timed search for as many species of birds as c

Atlantic White Cedar Restoration at Nassawango

04/11/2015 Nassawango Creek Preserve (Snow Hill,Maryland) - Join the Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) and plant Atlantic white cedar seedlings at the beautiful Nassawango Creek Preserve in Snow Hill, MD. This tree species is considered rare in the state of Maryland. Pre-registration is required for all conservat

Building Elk Neck

04/11/2015 Elk Neck State Park (North East,Maryland) - Longhouses, barns and CCC camps, oh my! Sit by the fire and listen to tales of Elk Neck's past and learn about how Elk Neck State Park was created nearly 80 years ago during the Great Depression. Call for more details and to make your reservation! Day-use

Star Party and Laser Light Shows

04/11/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Free sky observing begins at sunset at the Virginia Living Museum. 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 "Hypnot

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 - As weather becomes more mild and spring break approaches, treat your family to a weekend or daytrip at one of these fascinating Gateways. Learn about everything from marine life and ecology and discover the Chesapeake as you walk along land trails or explore historic towns and buildings.

Historic St. Mary's City

Historic St. Mary's City, an outdoor museum, is the site of the fourth permanent settlement in British North America, and the perfect destination for a day trip. Come learn about life in Maryland's first capital through an exciting mix of colorful living history and fascinating archaeology, all set in a beautiful Tidewater landscape along the St. Mary's River.

Cape Charles Historic District

Established in 1884, Cape Charles was built as the railroad's southern terminus from which steamships carried passengers and freight across the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk, Virginia. While many enjoy exploring the railroad history of Cape Charles through walking tours and exhibits in the Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center, the area also includes recreational activities, such as fishing, clamming, crabbing, and boating.

Pemberton Historical Park

Pemberton Historical Park sits along the Wicomico River and is the site of Pemberton Hall plantation and Pemberton Hall, a restored 1741 plantation home. Visitors can enjoy the plethora of experiences offered; the park includes a museum and many of the original plantation grounds and sites of slave quarters, along with trails through open fields, pine and hardwood forests, tidal streams and wetlands, all of which overlook the Wicomico.

Baltimore and Annapolis Trail

Among the most visited parks in Maryland, the "BandA Trail" stretches along the route of the old B and A Short Line Railroad, which formerly connected the state's capitol (Annapolis) with its major port and commercial center (Baltimore). Historic transportation structures such as the electric powerhouses, switch boxes, and the Severna Park Station still stand along the Trail and enhance its appeal for park visitors.

Jones Falls Trail

Take a day to visit Jones Falls Trail, a hiking and biking trail in Baltimore City that currently extends from Druid Hill Park to Penn Station. The trail parallels the Jones Falls River and passes by a number of historic mills, a scenic overlook at Round Falls and the Baltimore Street Car Museum.

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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