Did you know it is Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week (June 2-10)!
On Saturday, June 2, the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services participated in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 30th annual Clean the Bay Day, which served as the Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week kickoff event in Alexandria, Virginia. The City of Alexandria had 94 volunteers at our Oronoco Bay Park cleanup, and they collected 112 bags of trash weighing in at 715 pounds! The volunteers found four tires, a sail boat oar, and a large garden cart!
Participating in Chesapeake Bay watershed cleanup events is just one of the things that you can do to increase awareness of the importance of the Bay this week and throughout the year.
Here are some additional things you can do to help protect the Chesapeake Bay:
Test your soil using a soil kit from Virginia Cooperative Extension. 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 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 http://www.plantnovanatives.org/ to learn more.
- Use a rain barrel to capture roof runoff during storms and use that water to water the plants in your yard. Please visit the City’s rain barrel page to learn more about rain barrels.
- Build a rain garden to help capture runoff and help filter out pollutants, like sediment and nutrients. Using native plants in your rain garden helps provide food and shelter for butterflies, bees, and birds.
- 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.
- Educate your family, friends, and neighbors about the importance of protecting our local water resources, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay
Please visit www.alexandriava.gov/CleanWaterways to find out more about what the City is doing to help protect the Chesapeake Bay.