“Back to the Bay” Day Offers Family Fun June 10; Help Protect Chesapeake Bay

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The Chesapeake Bay’s underwater grasses, vital as food and habitat, are making a comeback, and you can see them up close at “Back to the Bay” Day on Saturday, June 10.

This free, family friendly event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mason Neck State Park , 7301 High Point Road, Lorton.

back to the bay logoThis state-sponsored festival, which includes participation from county agencies, aims to educate people about the bay, the largest estuary in the nation. It will feature:

  • Paddleboard
  • Music by Northern Virginia’s hottest cover band, The Burn Band from Mason Neck
  • More than 20 booths with hands-on educational activities focused on the Bay
  • Food and drink
  • An oyster shucking demonstration by state and national shucking champion Deborah Pratt
  • Underwater grasses up close
  • Remarks by Fairfax County Supervisor Dan Storck and other local and state officials.

 

“Back to the Bay” is the signature event of Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, which was established last year by legislatures in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is designed to encourage events, activities and educational programs to raise awareness about the Bay.

 

Four Ways You Can Help Protect the Bay

There are four easy ways you can do your part to protect the Bay:

  1. Participate in Clean the Bay Day, June 3 : We’re partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to pick up trash and debris from 9 a.m. to noon at Huntley Meadows Park . This will immediately improve water quality at the park, and prevent harmful trash from flowing downstream into the bay. To register, visit Clean the Bay Day .
  2. Use Fertilizers Sparingly: Limit the amount of fertilizers you use on your lawn and garden. Fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus, pollutants that can run into the Bay depriving it of oxygen needed for fish, crabs and other aquatic life to survive. Fertilizing your grass in the spring also can be harmful to your lawn in the long run .
  3. Install a Rain Barrel: Not only will these barrels help you save money, but also they also help save the Bay. You can reduce your utility bill by using water collected in your rain barrel instead of from the tap. By collecting water, these barrels also help to prevent rain from washing pollutants into the Bay. Build your own barrel at workshops in June 10 or July 29 .
  4. Scoop the Poop: Pet waste contains bacteria and nutrients that can wash into storm drains and the Bay. It sounds trivial, but one study found that up to third of bacterial pollution in watersheds come from dog waste. It’s the law scoop the poop in Fairfax County , and it’s good for the Bay.

 

What We’re Doing to Bring the Bay Back to Health

Under federal regulations, Virginia, along with five other states and D.C., must limit the amount of pollutants, like nitrogen, phosphorous and sediments, that reach the Bay.

Virginia has made tremendous progress in reducing nutrient and sediment pollution and is set to meet its 2017 midpoint goals. We will need more action from public agencies, businesses and residents of the watershed in order to continue the progress to meet the state’s clean water goals by 2025.

Fairfax County is doing its part. Since the late 1990s, we have put in place a law to protect the Bay , and among our many efforts, we undertake many stream restoration and stormwater improvement projects every year that help this critical waterway.

We recently won an award from the Chesapeake Stormwater Network for our program with the schools to monitor trash in our creeks and streams.

 

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