Text Size: A  A  A

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: felix.castor/Flickr

Dispose of Chemicals Properly

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

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Avoid Bay Grass Beds

Steer clear of bay grass beds in shallow waters to avoid harming this critical habitat and food source.

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: 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: Scott Akerman/Flickr

Reduce Pesticide Use

Instead of applying chemical pesticides to your sidewalk or garden, use boiling water to kill weeds, ant colonies and other pests.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Reduce Emissions

When possible, walk, bike or take public transportation to reduce vehicle emissions that can pollute our air and water.

Photo Credit: eddie.welker/Flickr

Don’t Use Fertilizer as a Deicer

Never use lawn fertilizer as a deicer. It contains nutrients that can run off your property and pollute local waterways.

Photo Credit: John Kirriemuir/Flickr

Prevent Invasive Species

Thoroughly clean your boat hull and all fishing gear before moving to another body of water.

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.

Holiday Evening in the VLM's Planetarium

12/20/2014 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Since 1965, we have journeyed in the footsteps of the Magi, seeking the identity of a mysterious star which foretold the coming of a king. Over the years, the scientific thinking has changed, archeology has revealed new clues about the lands in which thes

High Noon Year's Eve

12/31/2014 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - The whole family can enjoy this day-time western-themed New Year's event at the Virginia Living Museum. Come dressed as a cowpoke. Meet Bubbles the Clown and special animal friends form the Teeny Tiny Farm, make crafts, play games and enjoy fun activities

First Day Hike: Beaver Marsh!

01/01/2015 Elk Neck State Park (North East,Maryland) - Ring in the New Year by breaking in your hiking boots! Join a Ranger on an invigorating two mile trek on the Beaver Marsh Trail, exploring upland forests and marshy habitats along the way. Meet at the Beaver Marsh trailhead in the Rogue's Harbor area. Don

Star Party/Laser Light Shows

01/10/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Free sky observing begins at sunset Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Virginia Living Museum. Take a tour of the current night sky in the planetarium show "Virginia Skies" at 7:30 p.m. Then, the planetarium's brilliant LED laser system accompanies the music of "i

Winter Lecture Series

01/15/2015 Annapolis Maritime Museum (Annapolis,Maryland) - The Annapolis Maritime Museum's 2015 Winter Lecture Series Sessions will be held on Thursdays at 7 p.m. from January 15, 2015 through March 5, 2015. The series features a diverse range of topics and presenters. For additional information please visit the

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

Viewing Chesapeake Waterfowl - The Chesapeake is home to hundreds of species of wildlife, wildfowl and waterfowl. Come visit these Gateways to see waterfowl in their natural habitats or preserved in museums. Learn about these animals that rely on the Bay's ecosystems and watershed residents' conservation efforts for their survival.

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.

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is a 2,285-acre island refuge at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The refuge has a number of different types of Chesapeake Bay habitats and serves as an important migration stopover and wintering area for thousands of waterfowl representing over two-dozen species including the majestic tundra swan.

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge

The Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge is located at the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula at the mouth of the Chesapeake The refuge serves as a gathering place for migrating birds, which wait for favorable wind and weather to cross the Chesapeake Bay. The refuge also supports osprey platforms and nesting structures for barn owls, bluebirds, wood ducks, great horned owls, eastern screech owls, and several species of woodpeckers.

Patuxent Research Refuge - National Wildlife Visitor Center

The Patuxent Research Refuge's mission is to conserve and protect wildlife and habitat through research and wildlife management techniques. Research at the refuge was instrumental in the return of osprey to the Bay. Many waterfowl species stop to rest and feed at the refuge during migration. More than 200 species of birds occur on the refuge. A pair of bald eagles has nested at the refuge since 1989.

Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art

The Ward Museum holds one of the most comprehensive collections of wildfowl carving in the world. Growing from the simple practice of creating decoys to attract the Chesapeake Bay's heavy concentrations of migrating ducks and geese, wildfowl carving has evolved into a fine art form. The Ward Museum draws connections between the natural environment, hunting and art and displays some of the finest historical and modern examples of wildfowl carving.

Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area

Located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay between the Wye River and the Wye East River, Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area offers 2,800 acres of habitat for wintering waterfowl populations and other native wildlife. This island's flat topography provides easy access to a variety of trails that offer glimpses of endangered species such as the Delmarva Fox Squirrel.

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.

410 Severn Avenue / Suite 112
Annapolis, Maryland 21403
Tel: (800) YOUR-BAY / Fax: (410) 267-5777
Directions to the Bay Program Office
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
©2012 Chesapeake Bay Program | All Rights Reserved