Clean the Bay Day 2021
Local environmental organizations, business, city and higher education are partnering together. The Friends of the Middle River, Shenandoah Green, Altenergy, Inc., JMU Valley Scholars, Lewis Creek Watershed Advisory Committee and the City of Staunton will provide volunteers to clean up litter from four Staunton locations on Lewis Creek, Gum Springs Branch and Asylum Creek on a June 2, 3 and 5, 2021.
In addition to removing litter, the team will identify and document the types of trash found which will inform researchers about the specific litter problems that communities in Virginia face. Fred Blanton, Chair of Staunton's Lewis Creek Watershed Advisory Committee, and Treasurer of Shenandoah Green, stated, “We already have amazing community clean-up support of our local creeks and streams. But the best local litter reduction strategy can only be developed if we know our greatest litter problems. Counting and itemizing the results of each of our community clean-ups will give us ongoing insights into local litter behaviors, and allow us to tailor and target future clean-ups for the maximum results.”
The Staunton cleanup team will represent our region in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s watershed-wide cleanup called Clean the Bay Day—which is an annual Virginia tradition for the past 33 years. 18 million people and 3,000 species of plants and animals call the Chesapeake Bay Watershed home. In addition to removing litter from areas where it will inappropriately enter our streams, rivers and oceans, this event also introduces participants to some of the greater, unseen problems the Bay watershed and its tributaries face such as degraded habitat, polluted runoff, and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. Every day, each of us can do our part to make the rivers leading to the Chesapeake even more beautiful by preventing and picking up litter in our local communities.