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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: Rene Schwietzke/Flickr

Reduce Waste

If your car is nearing the end of its life with you, don’t send it to the junk yard—donate it! Many non-profits accept cars as donations and will repair or recycle the vehicle.

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: 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: Marvin O./Flickr

Reduce Polluted Runoff

Apply no more than the recommended amount of deicer to melt ice on your steps or driveway.

Photo Credit: Simon Garcia/Flickr

Start an Environmental Club

Start or join an environmental club at your school to help raise awareness of Bay-related issues.

Photo Credit: Owen Lin/Flickr

Conserve Water

Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water rather than under the faucet.

Photo Credit: smiling_da_vinci/Flickr

Use Toxic-Free Cleaning Products

Use eco-friendly cleaning products to keep toxic chemicals out of our waterways. Plain soap and water can rid surfaces of bacteria and are safer for our water supply.

Photo Credit: Caroline Gagné/Flickr

Reduce Greywater

Use phosphate-free or biodegradable soaps when you need them on the water, but save washing dishes and showers for land whenever possible.

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.

Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop

05/30/2015 National Aquarium in Baltimore (Baltimore,Maryland) - Celebrate 48 Days of Blue! Join staff from Blue Water Baltimore to build your own rain barrel! Rain barrels are an easy way for you to harness stormwater, lower your water bill, and reduce pollution in our streams. All of the necessary tools and instru

Sail on Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester

05/30/2015 Nathan of Dorchester (Cambridge,Maryland) - Enjoy a 2-Hour Sail on a traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjack on the beautiful Choptank River. Depart from Long Wharf, Cambridge. Each sail is unique depending on wind, weather, captain and crew. On most 2-hour sails we demonstrate oyster dredging. For

National Trails Day Hike

06/06/2015 Elk Neck State Park (North East,Maryland) - Get a jumpstart into celebrating 'Great Outdoors Month' by joining a Ranger on National Trails Day to hike the Beaver Marsh Trail. Have your hiking shoes ready to enjoy and explore Mountain Laurel filled forests and lively marshy habitats. Meet at the Bea

World Oceans Day at the VLM

06/06/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Celebrate the world's oceans with a day of family activities at the Virginia Living Museum designed to raise awareness of the importance of ocean conservation. See displays of ocean specimens from the museum's non-live natural history collections, explore

Sail on Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester

06/06/2015 Nathan of Dorchester (Cambridge,Maryland) - Enjoy a 2-Hour Sail on a traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjack on the beautiful Choptank River. Depart from Long Wharf, Cambridge. Each sail is unique depending on wind, weather, captain and crew. On most 2-hour sails we demonstrate oyster dredging. For

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

Celebrating Mothers - Mothers are educators, constantly exposing their children to new experiences and ideas. This Mother's Day, return the favor. Take your mother, grandmother or any other mother figure to any of these Gateways and explore with her the beauty and diversity of the Chesapeake.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

A retreat for birds during the winter months this refuge, which preserves more than 26,000 acres, is located in the Blackwater and Nanticoke River watersheds on Maryland's Eastern Shore. This tidal marsh is a haven for several threatened or endangered species, including nesting bald eagles.

Belle Isle State Park

This 733-acre park, which features the historic Belle Island plantation, is a window to the beautiful lower Rappahannock River in Lancaster County. Observe seven miles of waterfront filled with marshes, wetlands, and forests that provide for diverse wildlife such as blue herons, bald eagles, white-tailed deer, turkeys, groundhogs, and amphibians.

Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Park

A beacon of safety for mariners, the Piney Point Lighthouse was built in 1836 and is one of the oldest of the 11 original lighthouses constructed on the Potomac River. Observe the museum's collection of historic workboats including the skipjack Joy Parks, a bugeye, Potomac River dory boat and a log canoe while enjoying this park.

Lightship Chesapeake and Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Marking the entrances to the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays for almost 40 years, the Lightship Chesapeake features a masthead light, foghorn and bell which helped guide mariners to safe harbor, while its anchors held it in position defying the most violent storms and waves. Learn about the oldest "screwpile" lighthouse in Maryland while observing this historical structure.

Historic London Town and Gardens

This 23-acre park located on the South River in Edgewater, Maryland, includes part of the late 17th and early 18th century town of London, which is currently being excavated by archaeologists from the Lost Towns Project. Visit the William Brown House, a National Historic Landmark house museum; an eight-acre woodland garden; and the Richard Hill Garden.

Concord Point Lighthouse

Known as the never ending light, the Masonry tower located at Havre de Grace, Maryland, is one of the oldest lighthouses to be continuously lit. Enjoy a panoramic view of its quant scenery while learning about this historical landmark.

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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