Plan a Stream or River Clean-Up Event

There are more than 100,000 miles of streams and creeks in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These tributaries send fresh water into the Bay and provide vital habitat to aquatic plants and animals. They also provide people with public access points where they can fish, boat, swim, observe wildlife, and reconnect with the watershed. Building personal connections with the environment can benefit public health and conservation efforts. But what happens when that stream or river is cluttered with litter?

The accumulation of litter is perhaps the most visible threat to waterways. Aquatic litter and debris includes plastic bags, cigarette butts, beverage bottles and other waste that enters the marine environment. Sometimes, this waste is thrown onto a street or into a waterway on purpose; other times, it enters the environment accidentally. In urban and suburban areas, waste that is on a street or sidewalk can be pushed into storm drains, rivers and streams when it rains. Aquatic litter can detract from an area’s beauty, smother grass beds and bottom-dwelling organisms, add chemical contaminants to the water, or be ingested by animals. Learn how to locate your local waterways and organize a Clean-Up Day!

Student Jenny Beznoska samples macroinvertebrates from Lititz Run

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