HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – In this Community Chat, WAVY Digital Desk Host Sarah Goode speaks with Lisa Renee Jennings and Senior Scientist Chris Moore from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation about Clean the Bay Day. Watch the conversation in the video player on this page.

On Saturday, June 3 participate in Clean the Bay Day from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Since 1989, the annual tradition has removed about 7.18 million pounds of debris from the shoreline.

Hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the event removes harmful litter and debris from the Bay.

Moore said, “This is a way to really positively affect our coastal communities and our waterways.”

There are 66 partners throughout Virginia that work to clean the bay, including state parks and localities. They work not only at beaches and shorelines, but also at inland parks. Jennings says, “One thing we like to stress this time of year is in an inland park, that trash is going to end up in the bay somehow, whether that’s down a storm drain or floating down the way.”

She encourages people to think twice about using chemicals on their lawns, and other pollutants that can wash into storm drains, and ultimately go into the bay.

Each item picked up is important and makes a difference. Overtime, the trash would pile up, ruining the bay, hurting oyster reefs, and more. Just in a few hours, with the team effort, you are able to see a difference.

“I think one of the great things about Clean the Bay Day is you get to a site in the morning and you see the trash, debris, and things like that are there. And, it’s clean when you leave it,” said Moore, “You really have made a positive impact on your community.”

This year, Moore says microplastics is a big focus. This happens when bottles, bags, and other items break down. He says the microplastics are like little sponges, carrying pollutants throughout the bay and microorganisms eat them, affecting the food chain.

Moore and Jennings say they are surprised each year with what they find. Over the years, there’s been everything from drones, bicycles, deck furniture, and old fishing gear.

The effort should also continue more than just the day. If people are able, help pick up in other seasons, where their also may be less foliage and it might be easier to spot debris.

Registration is closed, but there are walk-up locations available at the link here.

Efforts will continue all week. Create your own Clean the Bay DIY projects from June 4 through June 10. Track your clean up and let the Chesapeake Bay Foundation know.

Click here for more information on cleaning the Chesapeake Bay.