Twenty-six volunteers showed up on Clean the Bay Day May 31 to comb 3.6 miles of NAS Patuxent River shoreline and pick up bag after bag of trash and debris left behind by others.
The DoD Chesapeake Bay Program aims to protect the Chesapeake for military readiness, for our communities, and for future generations. Last year, volunteers removed about 280 pounds of litter from Pax River beaches.
“We estimate about 425 pounds of trash was collected [this year] and the biggest offenders were Styrofoam and plastic bottles,” said Capt. Molly Boron, program manager for Aerial Targets (PMA-208) and organizer of the annual event. “Our biggest items picked up were two tires, a cooler and a crab pot. Our most unusual item was a workout bench.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mismanaged trash can travel throughout the world’s rivers and oceans and harm physical habitats, transport chemical pollutants, threaten aquatic life and wildlife, and interfere with human uses of river, marine and coastal environments.
All users of Pax River’s beaches and marine facilities are encouraged to be kind, courteous and responsible. Clean up after yourself and carry your trash away with you.
10 Things to Know About the Chesapeake Bay:
- The Bay holds about 18 trillion gallons of water. That amount of water would fill more than 50 billion bathtubs to the brim.
- Only about half of the water in the Bay comes from the ocean. The rest comes from the 64,000 square mile watershed, which extends approximately 524 miles from Cooperstown, New York to Norfolk, Virginia.
- Roughly 51 billion gallons of water enter the Bay each day from the 100,000 streams, creeks, and rivers that feed it.
- A person 6-feet tall could wade through more than 700,000 acres of the Bay without becoming completely submerged. The deepest part of the Bay, called “The Hole” is more than 170 feet deep.
- Every year, new parking lots, driveways, roofs, and other hardened surfaces from development convert land in the Chesapeake Bay region from great green filter to hard grey funnel. Every four years, an area of land the size of Washington, D.C. is lost.
- Most sewer drains don’t go to the sewage plant—polluted runoff from your street runs into local waters and ultimately to the Bay. Your crabcake used to swim through that.
- The Bay produces about 500 million pounds of seafood per year.
- Seventy to 90% of all striped bass, known locally as rockfish, were spawned in the Bay.
- The Bay’s fishing industry used to harvest tens of millions of bushels of oysters. Today, harvests have fallen to less than one percent of historic levels.
- Eighteen-million people live, work, and play in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Each of us directly affect the local rivers and streams in our backyards and the Bay. What will your impact be?
Source: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Visit www.cbf.org