Bright and early Saturday morning more than 70 people took to the water, beaches, and shoreline in Colonial Beach for the Sixth Annual “Save the Bay” day cleanup.
The annual event is hosted by the Colonial Yacht Center and starts with registration on the docks of the yacht center on the point in Colonial Beach. Volunteers who register are given gloves, bags, a t-shirt and lunch at the end of the day.
With temperatures in the mid-70s and sunny after one of the wettest Mays in recent memory people scattered to begin picking up just about anything you can imagine. From a bag full of electrical outlets to flip flops, boat cushions and a number of disposable lighters to every day litter they filled bag after bag all over town.
The event brought out every one from the littlest of Girl Scouts from the local Daisy troop to Senior Citizens to help clean up along the Potomac which is a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.
A take off from the Clean the Bay event held all over the Chesapeake Water Shed has helped remove a ton or more of debris in its sixth year of existence. In the 29 years of Clean the Bay day, over 146,000 volunteers have removed 6.4 million pounds of litter and debris from 6,900 miles of shoreline.
As President Donald Trump’s proposed budget from fiscal year 2018 has taken away all funding from the Chesapeake’s clean up efforts things like Save the Bay and Clean the Bay have become even more important. Trump called the clean up a “regional effort” that should not have funding from the federal government.
Luckily many members of Congress, including the representative for this area, Rob Wittman, disagree with the lack of funding. Wittman has written an open letter to Trump declaring the need to continue to work to clean up the bay.
The Environmental Protection Agency program to work on pollution in the bay and its tributaries was a 73 million dollar project that brought, Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and DC together to help with the issue.
A final budget has not been voted on and it is hoped that Congress will reinstate the funding for the Bay project.
Sponsors of this years event included: Colonial Yacht Center, Al’s Custom Signs, Bay Haven Landscapes, Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce, Colonial Beach Foundation, Colonial Yacht Club, Cooper Financial Group, 1st Stop Meat Market and Deli, Hall’s Supermarket, Rankins’ True Value, RMS designs, Rogers screen printing, Sage Restaurant and Bakery, The Beach Shop, TattleTale Cafe and Coffee Shop, Colonial Beach Museum, Town of Colonial Beach and the Virginia Department of Transportation.