Delaware Coastal Cleanup Starts Today

The Delaware Coastal Cleanup campaign, launched today by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, encourages Delawareans and visitors to pick up trash in their neighborhoods and nearby parks, on beaches and along waterways to help Keep DE Litter Free.

Throughout September, volunteers are asked to clean up debris, like cigarette butts, food wrappers, abandoned sports equipment, tires and more, that often end up in the ocean and waterways. They can document their findings and share photos in a new online volunteer survey, available now at de.gov/coastalcleanupsurvey.

“We’re lucky as Delawareans to live in such a beautiful state and we have an obligation to protect our unique natural resources for future generations,” said Governor John Carney. “Join us this month — and every month — in helping keep Delaware’s coastline free of litter. Thank you to all Delawareans and Delaware organizations that are doing their part to Keep DE Litter Free.”

Beginning today and all month long, find ideas about how to get involved in the 2020 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Facebook and Twitter. Volunteers can post photos on facebook.com/DNREC for a chance to win a 2021 Delaware State Parks pass. Each photo post counts as an entry. Volunteers can post as often as they like throughout the month.

Volunteers can recruit family from their household or friends in their pandemic pod to join in a group cleanup, but large groups are discouraged.

“The hundreds of volunteers who usually participate in the Coastal Cleanup won’t be able to join us for a large in-person event, but they can still take action this month. Join our effort and help us reduce pollution that threatens aquatic life and human health,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “We can all help keep our beaches, waterways and wetlands clean and free of trash by cleaning up our own neighborhoods and nearby parks, beaches and other natural areas.”

Important reminders:

  • Wear gloves when picking up trash.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after cleanup activities.
  • Stay at least six feet from people from other households.
  • Wear face coverings when working in groups that include people outside your household, or when you are unable to social distance.
  • Avoid larger numbers of people by choosing early morning or evening, weekdays and cloudy days for cleanups.
  • Follow all local rules and regulations.

There are many ways to make a difference all year long:

  • Pick up trash near your home — streets, roadways, natural areas and open spaces — to keep your neighborhood clean.
  • Follow a carry-in/carry out plan and take all trash away with you after visiting outdoor public spaces, like Delaware State Parks, fishing and boating piers and ramps, wildlife areas, reserves, county or local parks.
  • Pack a disposable bag and rubber gloves when you take a walk or hike, go hunting or fishing, etc., to collect and carry out trash you find along the way.
  • Recycle what you can through in-home recycling or designated drop-off locations. Learn more at Delaware Recycles.

For more information, visit Delaware Coastal Cleanup or email DNREC_Coastal_Cleanup@delaware.gov.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov, Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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DNREC Coastal Cleanup Encourages Residents and Visitors to Clean Up Trash Close to Home

This year, the 33rd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup will transition from a one-day, in-person event to a month-long campaign to keep the state’s beaches and waterways free of trash, DNREC announced today.

“Following the lead of other states and guidance from the Ocean Conservancy, Delaware’s Coastal Cleanup Program will not include large organized group cleanups this year,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Although we will not have the traditional gatherings at specific beaches and coastal areas statewide on the usual September Saturday, the Delaware Coastal Cleanup’s message remains the same — we can all make a difference to keep our beaches, waterways and wetlands clean and free of trash.”

In the spirit of the Coastal Cleanup, all Delawareans and visitors are encouraged make a special effort during the month of September to keep communities and natural areas in the First State clean through personal commitment and support of the Governor’s Keep DE Litter Free initiative. Volunteers will be able to report their findings all month long on the Delaware Coastal Cleanup app. Additional details, including how to download the updated app will be posted later this month on de.gov/coastalcleanup.

Cleaning up locally makes a big difference statewide and keeps trash from entering waterways and making its way to beaches. Last year, nearly 2,000 volunteers with the Delaware Coastal Cleanup collected 3.6 tons of trash and recyclables littering more than 125 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline.

DNREC suggests several ways to make a difference all year long:

  • Pick up trash near your home to keep your neighborhood clean.
  • Follow a carry-in/carry out plan and take all trash with you when visiting outdoor spaces, like Delaware State Parks, wildlife areas, reserves, county or local parks.
  • Pack a disposable bag and rubber gloves when you take a walk, go for a hike, go hunting or fishing, etc., to collect and carry out trash you find along the way.
  • Recycle applicable items through in-home recycling or designated drop-off locations. Learn more at Delaware Recycles.

DNREC reminds everyone to wear gloves when picking up trash, wash hands thoroughly after cleanup activities, be mindful of social distancing requirements, wear face coverings when near others, follow all public area protocols and be safe.

For more information, visit Delaware Coastal Cleanup or email DNREC_Coastal_Cleanup@delaware.gov.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov, Joanna Wilson, Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov

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DNREC Young Environmentalists of the Year Announced at Delaware State Fair

Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin give Charli Evans, center, a big thumbs-up
as DNREC’s Elementary School Young Environmentalist of the Year at the Delaware State Fair.
DNREC photo.

Today at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington, a group of dedicated Delaware students were honored for their work to protect, restore or enhance our state’s natural resources as Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced this year’s recipients of the DNREC Young Environmentalists of the Year Awards.

“Every Delawarean, no matter their age, can have an impact in protecting and conserving our natural resources, while also raising awareness for environmental stewardship. At ages 7 to 16, these young people have taken a stand as environmental advocates who are already making a difference today for a better tomorrow,” said Secretary Garvin. “We are inspired by the award winners’ dedication to making our state a better place to live through their time and talents, and we look forward to seeing what they will do in the years to come.”

Elementary School:

  •  Charli Rose Evans, age 7, of Laurel, practices self-sustaining farming techniques, growing food for her family and saving the seeds to replant her garden, which also helps feed her chickens, ducks and goats. Charli even makes her own garden fertilizer by composting food waste to mix with manure from her animals.

Middle School:

  •  Lilyan Farris, age 10, of Bridgeville, is dedicated to “reduce, reuse and recycle” to help children in need by collecting and cleaning used books, board games, puzzles, art supplies and bicycles. Lilyan has kept more than 3,000 books out of landfills to stock little free libraries and rescued 25 bicycles last year for an organization that collects and fixes up used bikes.
  •  Catherine Shapiro, age 14, of Wilmington, is a student leader in Springer Middle School’s Energy Club, with activities including conducting a school energy audit, organizing an eco-event, advocating water conservation and carbon footprint reduction, and surveying biodiversity and pollinators.

High School:

  •  Noor Boukari, age 16, of Dover, advocates for sustainability, conducted an award-winning study on bee population decline and received national recognition for her panel discussion and interviews on “Women and Green Futures” at Social Builders US.
  • Maisie Donohue, age 15, of Wilmington, is an environmental activist who is passionate about climate change education and environmentally friendly diets. Maisie served on the YES! Committee to plan a youth summit for 1,000 students in February and is an accomplished public speaker and budding lobbyist, participating in events such the University of Delaware’s Youth Climate Strike last fall.

Now in its 27th year, DNREC’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards program recognizes Delaware students whose actions have helped protect, restore or enhance our natural resources by initiating an innovative project, practicing environmental stewardship, increasing public awareness or demonstrating environmental ethics. For more information, visit dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/young-environmentalists.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Delaware Coastal Cleanup – With Precautions – Set for Sept. 12 to Help Keep DE Litter Free

2019 Cleanup Drew Volunteers Up and Down the Coast Who Collected 3.6 Tons of Trash

Volunteers are encouraged to mark their 2020 calendars now for the DNREC-sponsored 33rd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, tentatively planned for 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 12, with signup for large volunteer groups beginning in July, and overall volunteer registration opening in August. The cleanup spans the First State’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes river and ocean shorelines as well as wetland and watershed areas.

For the 2020 event, precautions will be taken to ensure the health and safety of cleanup participants, who are spread out across 40 to 50 locations throughout the state, working outside and generally in groups no bigger than 10 to 15. To ensure the health and safety of all participants, planning for this year’s event covers a wide range of contingencies, including possible cancellation, with decisions to be based on the most current coronavirus conditions.

Volunteer registration will be posted online at https://de.gov/coastalcleanup Aug. 1. Groups of 10 or more are strongly encouraged to pre-register by emailing DNREC_Coastal_Cleanup@delaware.gov.

DNREC organizes Delaware’s Coastal Cleanup as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup. The Delaware Coastal Cleanup promotes clean beaches, waterways, wetlands and watersheds in support of Keep DE Litter Free, Governor John Carney’s statewide anti-litter initiative.

Last year’s Delaware Coastal Cleanup, which was held Sept. 14, 2019, drew 1,931 volunteers, who collected 3.6 tons of trash and recyclables from 46 sites along more than 125 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island.

Numbers increased for many common items. Food/beverage-related trash items nearly doubled to 42,462 pieces, including:

  • 4,268 food wrappers
  • 4,043 plastic beverage bottles
  • 2,444 beverage cans
  • 1,453 glass bottles
  • 2,851 paper, plastic and foam cups, plates and take-out containers

Common plastic items showed changes: 2,172 plastic bags, increased from 1,946; 2,397 straws and stirrers, decreased from 2,738; 1,434 plastic lids, up from 1,116; and 6,319 plastic bottle caps, down from 7,026.

Other notable items found:

  • 66 tires
  • 119 shotgun shells
  • 13,168 cigarette butts and cigar tips
  • 517 balloons
  • Dozens of sports balls, including golf, football, tennis, lacrosse, whiffle, and basketballs, as well as Frisbees.

Some of the more unusual items found were: a wedding dress, Nerf gun foam bullet, life jacket, sippy cup, mouth guard, bike pedal, flea collar, cooler handle, bushel basket, guitar pick, a “rubbery blob,” brake rotor, car bumper, garden rake, polyvinyl chloride pipe, half an anchor, mattress springs, large commercial fishnet, plastic pumpkin, plush unicorn, two boxes of fireworks, shopping cart wheel, Easter egg, baby shoes, ladder, luxury condos sign, vintage baby doll, lip gloss, duct tape, crab pot, an artificial Christmas tree, an Adopt-A-Highway sign, cellphone, pop-up tent, ear buds, broken canopies, tent spike, toilet seats, sledgehammer, nose clip, kitchen towel, lawn chair, boat propeller, dog bone, two baby strollers, four television sets at one site, a floating dock, a car engine and a tire attached to a partially buried car, and 348 all-the-same-brand beer cans in one location.

As part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the types and quantities of trash collected in Delaware are recorded on data cards and forwarded by DNREC to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles the information to help identify debris sources and focus efforts on elimination or reduction. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Nominations Open for 2020 Young Environmentalist Awards

Caroline Nacchia was was honored in 2019

Nominate a Student Making a Difference for the Environment Today

Isabella Nacchia was honored in 2019
Isabella Nacchia was honored in 2019

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is looking for Delaware students who are working to make a difference for the environment, and encouraging teachers, classmates, club or group leaders, family members and others to nominate these students for the 2020 Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards. Nominations must be based on actions or projects which have taken place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

The Young Environmentalist program honors Delaware students whose actions have helped protect, restore or enhance of Delaware’s natural resources through one or more of the following: demonstrating environmental stewardship, initiating an innovative project, increasing public awareness or demonstrating environmental ethics.

Nominations will be accepted through Friday, July 10, 2020. A winner will be chosen from each of the following categories: elementary (grades 1-4), middle school (grades 5-8), and high school (grades 9-12). Each category winner will receive a certificate, gift card and prize pack in recognition of his or her contribution to the community.

This is the 27th year for DNREC’s Young Environmentalist awards program. Past honorees have included students who planned community cleanups and tree plantings, founded or led school environmental clubs or projects and volunteered at parks and nature centers, as well as beekeepers, nature photographers, recycling advocates and young lobbyists.

In past years, winners have been honored in a special ceremony on Governor’s Day at the Delaware State Fair, which is tentatively planned for Thursday, July 30 this year. All plans are subject to change based on health and safety considerations and any changes will be announced.

Nominations may be submitted online at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/young-environmentalists/, or emailed to joanna.wilson@delaware.gov.

For more information, including nomination forms, please visit https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/young-environmentalists/, or call DNREC Public Affairs at 302-739-9902.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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