To observe Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week (June 6-14), Virginians are encouraged to participate in events, activities, and educational programs that increase awareness of the importance of the Chesapeake Bay in their communities.
The annual Clean the Bay Day event is cancelled this year, due to COVID-19; the City anticipates scheduling watershed cleanup events as soon as it becomes safe to do so. Still, there are many things you can do to observe Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week to increase awareness of the importance of the Bay this week while following physical distancing guidance. Below is a list of things of some things you can do to help protect the Chesapeake Bay:
- Know how much fertilizer to use and don’t over fertilize. Or better yet, don’t fertilize at all if it isn’t necessary! Never fertilize or use pesticides if it is going to rain within 24 hours. Fertilizers and pesticides can end up in streams and harm aquatic life.
- Plant a native tree. Trees use nutrients and can prevent those nutrients from entering our streams. Their roots also hold the soil in place, which helps prevent erosion.
- Landscape your yard using plants that are native to Alexandria. These plants are adapted to local conditions and, if planted in the right place, need less water and other care. Native plants also support butterflies, birds, bees, and other pollinators. Need ideas of what native plants are right for your yard? Visit plantnovanatives.org to learn more.
- Use native plants in your rain garden. This helps provide food and shelter for butterflies, bees, and birds. Please visit the City’s stormwater management BMP page for more information, including recorded webinars, about selecting the right BMP for your yard.
- Pick up after your dog. Pet waste left on the ground gets washed into storm drains or streams by rain. Remember to place the bagged waste in a trash can.
- Keep our city litter free. Any litter you drop in the street, on the sidewalk, or in a park will likely end up in a local stream and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Besides looking bad, it harms the environment and wildlife.
- Report spills in our waterways. If you have any concerns about illicit or illegal discharges originating from improper disposal of items, spills, land disturbing activities, or other potential stormwater pollution concerns, or if you suspect a problem or notice something suspicious (water that is an unusual color, is cloudy, and/or has a strong smell) use Alex311 to report it to the City.
- Check out the Youth Field Guide and Journal. This resource is available on the City’s “What You Can Do to Protect Water Quality” web page at alexandriava.gov/93347.
- Educate your family, friends, and neighbors about the importance of protecting our local water resources, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay.
Visit alexandriava.gov/CleanWaterways to find out more about what the City is doing to help protect the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River, and our local streams.