Car wash businesses are banding together to raise funds for Chesapeake Bay protection. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube)

Car wash businesses are banding together to raise funds for Chesapeake Bay protection. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube)

The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most visibly afflicted ecosystems in the United States, the setting for lost habitats, industrial and residential encroachment, and endangered species.

Now car wash businesses that call its shores home are banding together to raise money to preserve it and to emphasize the importance of environmental sustainability in the car wash industry. The Mid-Atlantic Carwash Association is leading an effort to raise money for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, actively recruiting participants for a June 7 even dubbed “Wash to Save the Bay.”

“Washing your car in a professional facility can make a difference in the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” says David DuGoff, president of the Mid-Atlantic Carwash Association and owner of College Park Carwash. DuGoff’s car wash participates in the International Carwash Association’s WaterSavers program.

The “Save the Bay” event works like this: Car wash businesses that participate agree to give a portion of each sale on June 7 to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The portion of the sale is up to each car wash. “We trust that each participating wash will make a sincere effort to make a strong contribution,” the association says on its website.

Additionally, the program is expected to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of using a car wash rather than washing at home. According to the news release:

This innovative program speaks to the important role professional car washing plays in keepings soaps, road salts, and other chemicals out of our waterways.  The water used by car washes is captured, and treated on-site, before discharge to the sewer system.  In addition, many car washes reclaim and reuse wash water in the wash process. The amount of water used to wash a car is less than that consumed in driveway washing, where the discharge goes to the storm water system.

So far, 10 car wash businesses with 19 locations in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., have signed up to participate. And the Mid-Atlantic Carwash Association is making it easy to advertise car washes’ participation with “an array of promotional materials, including banners, signage, flyers, and handbills,” they said. “These materials are available on the MCA Web site and access is provided for free downloads by participating washes.”

For more information about the “Save the Bay” program, contact Pat Troy, Mid-Atlantic Carwash Association executive director, at 410-647-5780, 888-378-9209, or