Clean Water Projects

Increased development across the watershed has made stormwater runoff the fastest growing source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. Every time it rains, stormwater carries sediment, nutrients and pollutants like bacteria, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals into waterways throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Stormwater runoff can also lead to flooding in urban and suburban areas.  Did you know that for every 1000 square feet of roofline, one inch of rain produces 632+ gallons of water! Just one inch of rain falling on an acre of hard surface can produce 27,000 gallons of stormwater runoff! According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the presence of roads, rooftops and other impervious surfaces in urban areas means a typical city block generates more than five times more runoff than a forested area of the same size!  Learn how to protect, improve and maintain creeks, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay through the use of rain gardens, rain barrels, green roofs & living walls, and other stormwater management techniques.

Tip: Don’t miss out on the Clean Water Project Resources page! Find incredible state & local project-specific resources for all six Bay watershed states and D.C.


Volunteers plant a newly-constructed rain garden

Rain Gardens & Rain Barrels

Installing rain gardens and rain barrels can help prevent local flooding and water pollution while conserving water and supporting valuable plant & wildlife habitat.

Projects »

  • Install Rain Barrels
  • Create a Rain Garden
  • Student examining stream - Courtesy of USFWS


    Did you know that everyone in the Bay watershed lives within a half mile of a stream, creek or river that flows into the Bay? Learn how to improve and protect waterways near you.

    Projects »

  • Monitor Water Quality & Wildlife
  • Plan a Stream or River Clean-Up Event
  • Plant a Forest Buffer
  • Students visiting a wetland - Courtesy of USFWS

    School Wetlands

    Wetlands provide critical wildlife habitat and absorb stormwater runoff, plus a schoolyard wetland can also be a fascinating outdoor laboratory! Learn how to create, restore or enhance a wetland project on school grounds.

    Projects »

  • Plan a School Wetlands Project