Seaports that depend on bays and harbors have a vested interest in keeping them clean. And there's certainly no shortage of things to clean up. In June, the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) fielded a team of volunteers for the 20th annual Clean the Bay Day, an event that aims to clean up Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The VPA group hit "pay dirt" as they scoured the grounds and shoreline of Norfolk International Terminals: The 65 volunteers and their families helped to haul in 5,400 pounds of trash. Prize finds included a pair of flagpoles and a Weed Eater. Other waterfront users whose employees immersed themselves for a good cause included several ocean shipping lines, the U.S. Navy, the Virginia Beach Fire Department, and two marine engineering firms.
VPA isn't the only port getting involved in waterfront cleanups. Earlier this year, for instance, the Port of San Diego co-sponsored "Operation Clean Sweep," along with the San Diego Port Tenants Association, the U.S. Navy, and San Diego Gas & Electric. Volunteers there filled 10 40-yard trash containers with debris from San Diego Bay. And every year, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Port Authority co-sponsors and provides volunteers for the St. Johns River Clean Up; the river and environs are home to the endangered Western Indian Manatee.