VB Resort Cigarette Litter Prevention Program

2017 Update: Surfrider Foundation, Virginia Beach Chapter has received a third year of grant funding from Keep America Beautiful to continue this successful program at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront!

In 2015 & 2016, Clean Virginia Waterways (CVW) was awarded a grant from Keep America Beautiful to conduct a pilot Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) at the Virginia Beach Resort Area. CVW partnered with the Virginia Beach Hotel Association (VBHA) and the City’s Resort Management Office to work on a program that would place cigarette butt receptacles on the boardwalk and at participating hotels along the boardwalk. Hotels would also be supplied with pocket ashtrays to distribute to guests and educational signage informing guests about the program.

1st street
Volunteers remove cigarette butts from the beach.

Cigarette butts are the most common type of litter picked up during the Virginia Waterways Cleanup (part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup). CVW organizes this annual statewide cleanup event of streams, rivers, bays, and coastal waters throughout Virginia. In 2014, more than 47,600 cigarette butts were reported by volunteers. In fact, one in three littered items (33%) picked up by volunteers were cigarette butts! On November 1, 2015, the Virginia Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation did a cigarette butt targeted cleanup of 10 blocks of the boardwalk and Atlantic Avenue. They documented almost 6,000 cigarette butts in this brief distance.

20th street
Cigarette Butt Receptacles on the Boardwalk

The pilot CLPP was ultimately considered a success and continues to grow.

  • 15 receptacles are located on the boardwalk between 15th and 24th Streets. Approximately 45,000 butts were collected in May-October 2016.
  • 31 Virginia Beach hotels and 5 restaurants at the Oceanfront and Chesapeake Bay are participating.
  • More than 10,000 pocket ashtrays have been distributed to beach visitors.


Participating hotels and restaurants include:

Schooner Inn
Springhill SuitesIMG_7453
Days Inn at the Beach
The Jumping Shrimp
The Breakers
Super 8
Travelodge Suites
The Capes
Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront
Holiday Inn Oceanside
Econolodge Oceanfront
Ocean Sands Resort
Comfort Suites Beachfront
Ocean House Restaurant
Travelodge Virginia Beach
Best Western Plus Virginia Beach
Econo Lodge On The Ocean
Holiday Inn Express
Hampton Inn North
Belvedere Resort Hotel
The Atrium
Boardwalk Resort and Villas
Ocean Key
The Oceanfront Inn
The Wyndham
Virginia Beach Resort and Conference Center

Partners include Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University, Virginia Beach Hotel Association, Glasdon, Inc., Virginia Green, Virginia Beach Resort Management Office, G.R.E.E.N. Committee.