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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: tyger_lyllie / Flickr

Reduce Emissions

Carpool to work or school to reduce vehicle emissions that can pollute our air and water.

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: 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: ewitch / Flickr

Reduce Polluted Runoff

Bring your car to a car wash instead of washing it at home. Car washes often clean and recycle wash water.

Photo Credit: David Goehring/Flickr

Dispose of Medicine Properly

To keep medicine out of our waterways, don't pour expired or leftover drugs down the sink or flush them down the toilet. Instead, return unused medicine to a consumer drug return location or foul your medication with coffee grounds or cat litter and put it in the trash.

Photo Credit: Rob Nunn/Flickr

Conserve Water

Scrape or wipe off your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher to skip the pre-wash cycle and save water.

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: thomasbrandt/Flickr

Use Fertilizer Properly

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

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.

National Aquarium Fort McHenry Field Day

10/25/2014 Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Baltimore,Maryland) - Give a day for the Bay! Join the Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) for a debris cleanup and other activities at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Data collected from this event will contribute to the larger International Coastal Cleanup

Sail on the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester

10/25/2014 Nathan of Dorchester (Cambridge,Maryland) - Experience a 2-hour sail on the scenic Choptank River on the last skipjack built for oyster dredging. Watch the crew dredge for oysters with a hand dredge, and see what comes onboard. Help us celebrate our 20th Anniversary!

Sail on the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester

10/26/2014 Nathan of Dorchester (Cambridge,Maryland) - Experience a one hour sail on the scenic Choptank River on the last skipjack built for oyster dredging. Conditions permitting, watch the crew dredge for oysters with a hand dredge, and see what comes onboard. Help us celebrate our 20th Anniversary!

Beyond the Edge of the Sea

11/01/2014 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Explore the diversity of life deep in the ocean's wilderness in "Beyond the Edge of the Sea." The exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum highlights work by scientific illustrator Karen Jacobsen, who accompanied Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover on many expeditions t

Hide Tanning Workshop

11/01/2014 Historic St. Mary's City (St. Mary's City,Maryland) - Deer hunting season has begun; learn what you can do with the hide. Historic St. Mary's City is hosting a Hide Tanning Workshop on Saturday, November 1; from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Discover how to tan deer skin in the same manner as the Native People of M

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

Hitting the Trail in Fall - The changing leaves and the cooler weather of the Fall provide the perfect environment for outdoor activities. Enjoy these Gateways during this beautiful time of year and choose from hundreds of trails to hike, walk, climb and bike.

Martinak State Park

Martinak State Park sits along the Choptank River, the largest of the Eastern Shore tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. The park supports a wide variety of plant and animal life, and is a haven for bird watchers, who may choose to walk the park's abundant hiking trails or paddle the waterways via canoe.

Parkers Creek Watershed Nature Preserve

Parkers Creek Watershed Nature Preserve protects one of the last remaining pristine watersheds on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. You may walk more than 15 miles of trails, exploring hardwood forests, farmland, wetlands, salt marsh, Chesapeake shoreline and the Creek itself.

Patapsco Valley State Park

One of Maryland's first state parks, Patapsco Valley includes five developed recreational areas, providing hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback and mountain bike trails. For the best hiking, visit the Hilton Area, Avalon-Glen Artney-Orange Grove, or McKeldin Area.

Spruce Knob/Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area

The Spruce Knob/Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area sits at the headwaters of the Potomac River, where water first starts to flow from West Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay. Encompassing 100,000 acres, the scenic National Recreation Area contains the highest peak in West Virginia, some of the best rock climbing on the east coast, outstanding views and a chance to enjoy a premier site in the Bay watershed. From the rugged peaks, you can view grassy openings and pastures or look down on forested ridges and envision the long route to the Chesapeake.

Terrapin Park

Terrapin Park sits on 276 acres of Bay front land north of the Kent Island Terminus of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. You may walk the nature trails through meadow, wetlands, tidal ponds and woodlands to the sandy beach at the Chesapeake Bay shoreline. With more than 4,000 feet of shoreline and 73 acres of wetlands, Terrapin Park is a destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

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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