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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 Drive the Bay-Friendly Way

Most of us can’t stop driving altogether. But there are lots of ways we can send less pollution into our air and water – and save a few extra gallons at the same time.


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: Steven Depolo/Flickr

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

Install a low-flow showerhead, which can save about one gallon of water per minute.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Prevent Fuel Spills

Prevent fuel spills by using a funnel and not "topping off" when you fill your boat's fuel tank.

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: 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: 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: Roger Shaw/Flickr

Reduce Emissions

Cut back on the vehicle emissions caused by commuting. Encourage working from home or biking, taking public transit, carpooling or walking to work.

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.

Photo Credit: Shinichi Higashi/Flickr

Save Energy

Most of the energy required for washing clothes is spent heating water. To save energy, set your washing machine to cold water or the woolens setting.

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.

Spring Native Plant Sale (continued)

04/25/2015 Virginia Living Museum (Newport News,Virginia) - Choose from an incredible array of beautiful and unusual native plants for a variety of garden sites and styles, from wet ponds to dry rock gardens. Many of these are excellent for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife to your yard. The

National Aquarium Fort McHenry Field Day

04/25/2015 Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Baltimore,Maryland) - Give a day for the Bay! Join the Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) for a field day at the Fort McHenry wetland! We will plant trees to celebrate Arbor Day, remove debris from the wetlands, maintain the butterfly and rain garden, and much more. Data collec

Solomons Maritime Festival

05/02/2015 Calvert Marine Museum (Solomons,Maryland) - Celebrate Southern Maryland heritage at the 10th annual Solomons Maritime Festival. Antique boats and motors, master maritime carvers, home crafts and cooking demonstrations, traditional music and storytelling, children's games and crafts, and boat rides

Antique Boat and Marine Engine Show

05/02/2015 Calvert Marine Museum (Solomons,Maryland) - The Antique Boat and Marine Engine Show is a popular component of the Solomons Maritime Festival. Admission to the show and museum is free. Marine engines and vintage boats from enthusiasts around the country will be on display in front of the mus

Turkey Point Fitness

05/02/2015 Elk Neck State Park (North East,Maryland) - Experience the Turkey Point Lighthouse Trail like you never have before! Enjoy a moderately paced hike out to the lighthouse and then stretch out your stress with beginner-friendly yoga. Please wear exercise appropriate clothing and bring water and a yoga

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 - In the spirit of keeping America beautiful, visit one of these Gateways to learn about the conservation and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay. These Gateways, in addition to offering a diversity of engaging activities, exemplify the spirit of stewardship by working to preserve the Bay's history, habitats, and wildlife.

Hoffler Creek Wildife Preserve

The Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve, located in Portsmouth, Virginia, provides food and cover for an unusually diverse population of wildlife, including deer, fox, river otters, crabs, oysters, and hundreds of birds. Interpretive trails winding through the preserve introduce visitors to the ecological, economic, and social value of the wildlife living at the mouth of the historic James River and Chesapeake Bay.

Adkins Arboretum

Adkins Arboretum allows visitors to explore the environment of an upstream Bay tributary on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The Arboretum is dedicated to the protection of the Delmarva Peninsula's natural heritage, the conservation of the region's indigenous flora and the preservation of open space and habitat for wildlife.

Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge was specifically created to protect essential bald eagle nesting, feeding, and roosting habitats along the Potomac River. Along with active eagle nesting, the refuge hosts a rookery containing more than 1,200 nests for great blue herons. Visitors can view the refuge along two trails, one through woods and one in Great Marsh.

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp

This 100-acre nature sanctuary, located in Prince Frederick, Maryland, was acquired by The Nature Conservancy in 1957 to protect the primeval beauty of this cypress swamp. The Battle Creek cypress stand, unusual this far north, is presumed to have established itself sometime in the last 10,000 years. Walk along the quarter-mile boardwalk trail to listen to nature's harmony of calling frogs and songbirds, and with quiet patience you may even catch a glimpse of some of the abundant life supported by this wetland.

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge

Dedicated to conservation and restoration, the Eastern Shore of Virginia Natural Wildlife Preserve, part of the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, is a crucial stopover along avian migratory paths. With a diversity of habitats and species to see, visitors witness an excellent example of Bay stewardship.

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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