The fourth annual Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week will take place June 1-9, 2019. While this week has been officially designated in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, events will take place throughout the entire watershed to raise awareness about this valuable economic and environmental resource—a national treasure that directly connects over 18 million residents.

Events spanning the watershed from Delaware to the District of Columbia can be found on the Attend an Event calendar on the Chesapeake Bay Program website. Organizations may also submit their own events to be added to the calendar. Here are some highlights of what’s happening during Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week:

Bands in the Sand: Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on June 8 in Annapolis, Maryland for a fun-filled evening on the water’s edge with great friends, live music, cool drinks and mouth-watering food.

Bernie Fowler’s Wade-In: Join former Senator Bernie Fowler and other dignitaries on June 9, as they wade into the Patuxent river! Mr. Fowler started the “white sneaker” test as a means of checking water clarity. Before and after wading, enjoy environmental demonstrations, music, and exhibits.

Clean the Bay Day: Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on June 1 at a true Virginian tradition! This annual opportunity affords families, businesses, and civic or church groups the chance to give back to local waterways.

Crab Cake Week: Participating restaurants in Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia will donate 10 percent of proceeds from sales of crab cakes to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay from June 1–9.

Family and Youth Casting Call: Join the District of Columbia Department of Energy and the Environment on June 1 at Anacostia Park to learn how to fish and explore educational displays abou

Lancaster Water Week: Celebrate the unique waterways of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, learn about the challenges it faces and the opportunities that can be created at events running June 1-8, 2019.

Outdoors Day: Join the New York Department of Environmental Conservation in Sherburne on June 8 to celebrate Get Outdoors Day. Try a new activity or introduce your family to old favorites like archery, paddling or fishing.

In 2016, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative commission that advises members of the general assemblies of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia on matters of Bay-wide concern, championed the idea of designating a week in June as Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week. The designation encourages all who reside in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia to commemorate Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week with events, activities and educational programs to acknowledge the significance of the Chesapeake Bay.

This year’s theme, “All Hands”, highlights the fact that it takes all of us – no matter what group we may identify with – to contribute to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay. Various agencies and organizations throughout the watershed will celebrate farmers, local governments, small businesses, non-profit organizations, utility companies, recreation enthusiasts, watermen, volunteers, the military and most importantly – you – throughout the week.

Valued for its commercial and recreational value, the Chesapeake Bay is the nation’s largest estuary, whose 64,000 square mile watershed includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.

Follow #AllHands and #OneChesapeake on social media during June 1-9 for facts, events and fun happening around the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


“Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week gives all of us who live, work and recreate throughout this vast watershed the chance to recognize and show our appreciation for this national treasure. I encourage everyone to attend one of the many events being held this week to learn more about the Bay and how your local waterway plays a role in helping with its restoration and protection.”

  • Dana Aunkst, Director, Chesapeake Bay Program, Environmental Protection Agency

“The Chesapeake Bay Commission created Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, so the public could learn more about their local waters and the Bay. You inspire people by connecting them to the resource. We are excited to see so many opportunities throughout the watershed providing that connection this week.”

  • Ann Swanson, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission

“Pennsylvania is fortunate to have many partners working to reduce pollution and improve the health of local streams and rivers in our part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Farmers, local and county government leaders, outdoor enthusiasts, volunteers, businesses and homeowners are stepping up to do their part to make Pennsylvania rivers and streams cleaner, and improve the Chesapeake Bay downstream. Stormwater runoff pollution has no boundaries. Nor does the solution.”

— Patrick McDonnell, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

“As a city, we’ve not only made a commitment to protecting the Chesapeake Bay by creating a range of smart watershed programs, but we’ve also made a concerted effort to educate the next generation of environmentalists: our children. Indeed, each of our city schools boasts built-in programming that sheds light on the health of the Bay and teaches kids how to mind the watershed for years to come. This spring, the National Wildlife Federation granted permanent Green Flag status — the first school in America to achieve this — to Lanier Middle School for its green efforts, including storm-water improvements led completely by students.”

  • David Meyer, Mayor, City of Fairfax, Virginia

“The local actions that are cleaning up our area rivers and streams—particularly the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers—have made a big difference in the Bay. Investments by local government and wastewater utilities in water quality improvements are clearly working, but it will take continued investment by other sectors—all hands—to continue our forward progress in the Bay.”

  • Jon Stehle, Vice-Chair, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee and Councilmember, City of Fairfax, Virginia

“The Chesapeake Bay region is home to over 18 million residents who recreate and depend on this national treasure. Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week is an annual reminder for every one of us to re-commit to doing our part, every day, for a cleaner Chesapeake Bay.  We can all do something; pick-up trash in our neighborhood, clean up after our dogs, utilize reusable grocery bags, not fertilize our lawns before it rains and much more.  This week is meant to bring continued awareness and education about our local rivers and streams – you can find out more about how you can be part of the solution at”

  • Kate Fritz, Executive Director, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

“We are happy to celebrate Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week because our quality of life depends on it. Our work to grow and maintain our city’s tree canopy reduces polluted runoff, lessens the urban heat island effect, fights the worst effects of climate change and provides jobs to local residents–all integral to the awareness, appreciation and defense of our bay.”

  • Sheila McMenamin, Director of Programs, Baltimore Tree Trust

“People should have public access to the Bay so that they can explore and fall in love with it, creating the next generation of Chesapeake conservationists. We know that when people feel connected to the Bay, they’ll be more likely to help take care of it.” 

  • Joel Dunn, President, Chesapeake Conservancy

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...