John Rogers of Suffolk, Va., fishes for croaker from the Nansemond River at Sleepy Hole Park in Suffolk on May 9, 2017. (Image by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week is a time to appreciate the cultures, history and natural beauty of the nation’s largest estuary. The designation, originally championed by the Chesapeake Bay Commission in 2016, encourages residents to commemorate the week with events, activities and educational programs to acknowledge the significance of the Bay.

This year’s theme highlights the many creeks, rivers and streams that thread through the Chesapeake Bay region. These tributaries send fresh water into the Bay, offer vital habitat to aquatic plants and animals and provide people with public access points where they can fish, boat and swim.

"The Chesapeake is one of the major natural and cultural wonders of the world. Its vastness, diversity, beauty and magic fill us with wonder and fuel our sense of adventure and we fight for access for all,” said Joel Dunn, president and CEO of Chesapeake Conservancy. “A new generation of conservation stewardship is happening right now, and as people learn more about the Chesapeake and feel a connection to it, they'll be more likely to protect it.”

Typically, Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week is marked by a wide variety of events spanning the Bay’s 64,000 square-mile watershed. This year’s celebration will look a bit different, as watershed residents continue to socially distance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite not being able to gather together, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy and celebrate the Chesapeake region.

“Now more than ever, nature is providing all of us with a much-needed respite,” said Dana Aunkst, director of the Chesapeake Bay Program. “Those who reside in the Chesapeake watershed are fortunate to have a wide variety of conserved lands and scenic waters at their disposal, thanks in large part to the efforts of our partnership to protect lands and increase public access to the Bay and its tributaries. Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week gives us the opportunity to learn more about our local waterways, appreciate the services they provide and remember that we all have a role in their protection.”

Follow #OneChesapeake on social media during June 6-14 as we celebrate the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. For virtual events throughout the week, including Senator Bernie Fowler’s annual Patuxent River Wade-In, visit the Chesapeake Bay Program’s calendar.

Celebrate your local river during Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week:

  • June 6: Potomac River
  • June 7: James River
  • June 8: Western Shore rivers
  • June 9: Rappahannock River
  • June 10: Eastern Shore rivers
  • June 11: York River
  • June 12: Patuxent River
  • June 13: Susquehanna River
  • June 14: Watershed-wide

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