Community urged to help clean the Bay

Published 11:09 pm Friday, May 30, 2014

Organizers of the annual event are calling on volunteers to sign up for Clean the Bay Day in Suffolk next Saturday, June 7.

The focus this year will be Sleepy Hole Park, 4616 Sleepy Hole Road, with the clean-up scheduled between 9 a.m. and noon.

Suffolk Parks and Recreation and Storm Water Division staff selected Sleepy Hole Park after a review, said Crystal Boyd, the city’s litter control coordinator.

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Among the 50 volunteers signed up so far, Boyd said, smaller children will be working on the park’s butterfly garden, Boy Scouts will focus on the dog park and older volunteers will clean up the shoreline.

“Every effort helps,” she said. “To get involved, you need to speak or act. Get involved, and help make things happen.”

Volunteers already registered include two Boy Scout groups and a group of about 20 from the Navy in North Suffolk, Boyd said.

The city is signed on as an affiliate in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation event, in its 26th year.

As well as mustering volunteers and leading the local event on the actual day, the city is also charged with producing post-event statistics and reporting them back to the foundation, according to Boyd.

Each year, the effort in Suffolk attracts anywhere between 50 and 150 volunteers, she said.

Friday is the final day to sign up. Email ctbd@cbf.org, or call 1-800-728-3229.

At all the sites during last year’s event, more than 6,000 volunteers removed approximately 125,000 pounds of litter and debris along 500 miles of shoreline, according to a city news release.

“The bay and its waterways work for us every single day, boosting our economy and quality of life,” Tanner Council, the foundation’s Clean the Bay Day coordinator, stated in the release.

“Protecting and restoring the Bay requires everyone doing their share to reduce pollution. Clean the Bay Day is a great, practical way for individuals to give a few hours back and make a big difference.”