Hampton Roads residents and tourists alike will soon flock to local beaches, parks and attractions for Memorial Day weekend. While out and about, they just might spy some colorful sidewalk decals encouraging everyone to do their part to love the (Chesapeake) Bay and protect our coast.
In conjunction with an extended Clean the Bay Day, May 31-June 5, askHRgreen.org litter and stormwater pollution prevention advocates have placed more than 50 sidewalk decals across the region in an effort to remind folks to keep litter, lawn chemicals and yard debris out of local storm drains. Everyone in Hampton Roads is connected to water. Even though you may not live on the water, you’re never very far from it. From a tourist who properly places cigarette butts in an ash receptacle to the suburban renter who skips the fertilizer to the waterfront homeowner who chooses a living shoreline, our daily choices have the ability to help or harm local waterways. This creative sidewalk messaging campaign encourages everyone to love the bay and protect the coast in their own little ways. Clean the Bay Day only happens once a year, but our everyday actions can have a big impact on the health of local waterways.
Featuring a stately heron and snappy crab against a purple backdrop, our sidewalk decals relay that only rain should be sent down the storm drain. Litter, yard waste, and lawn chemicals can easily pollute waterways, harming the environment and wildlife who call Hampton Roads home. Studies have shown that litter decreases property values, impacts neighborhood satisfaction, and encourages more littering. Like other organized clean-up events over the past year, Clean the Bay participants will have the flexibility to do a litter cleanup at any time and as much as they want during the six-day period. But there’s no need to limit when—or how often—you clean up. There are so many ways to get involved with cleanups throughout the year. Grab a bag and take a walk. Get together with coworkers once a month to clean up an area near your office. Or host a cleanup with a youth group or family members. Cleaning up litter is one simple way to show your love for the Bay.
Want to see a decal in person? Check the regional map to find a location near you! We encourage you to snap a selfie with one of the decals and post to social media using #LoveTheBay. Tell your friends and family something you do every day to love our local waterways and encourage others in Hampton Roads to take action, too.
Tips for keeping local waterways clean and healthy:
- Only send rain down the storm drain.
- If you see litter, pick it up.
- Be conscientious when fertilizing your lawn and keep excess chemicals from running off and polluting local waterways.
- Always scoop the poop when walking your dog and when they “go” in your yard.
- Never blow leaves or grass clippings into the street or storm drain.
- Be a responsible boater by pumping out, not dumping out.
- Organize your own #TeamUp2Cleanup event at www.askhrgreen.org/programs/team-up-2-clean-up