The Issue: Environmental Hazards Threaten Bay's Ecosystem
The ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay faces many threats. Rainfall from hurricanes and overflowing rivers washed harmful waste into the bay. Oyster harvesting has reduced the area’s shellfish numbers to less than 2% of their original population. And the Chesapeake's dead zone spread to a record size during the summer, smothering underwater grasses and depleting the water's life-sustaining oxygen levels. However, in the past two years the oyster population has grown, and cleanup efforts have seen small successes.
The Campaign: Remove Trash and Debris from Local Waters
If this Grassroots campaign raises $500, then Chesapeake Bay Trust can remove 2,000 pounds of trash and hazardous waste from local rivers and streams. Volunteers will clean up the rivers that flow into the bay, protecting the greater ecosystem from waste runoff and harmful sediment. Each additional $500 raised will fund another 2,000 pounds of trash removal.
To celebrate the launch of Groupon Grassroots, Groupon will provide a $1,000 kickoff grant to this campaign.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is dedicated to the welfare of the Chesapeake and its tributaries. Its grant programs, community initiatives, and restoration projects aim to tackle the problems that threaten the natural environment. On any given day, the trust could be sponsoring a cleanup project of local rivers, the planting of trees to revitalize neighborhoods, or the education of schoolchildren about storm drains and the environment. In 2011, more than 40,200 people volunteered to clean up the bay and local rivers, and trust grants helped remove 580 tons of trash from the waterways. By involving volunteer citizens in the cleanup process, the trust simultaneously raises awareness about the necessity to protect the local environment, and produces more significant results with its cleanup efforts. The organization’s mission and record of accountability have been recognized with nine consecutive years of four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, which places it in the top 1% of charities across the country.