2018 DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Cleanup drew 1,100-plus volunteers who collected 2.7 tons of trash

DOVER – The DNREC-sponsored 31st annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup held Sept. 22 drew 1,115 volunteers, who collected 2.7 tons of trash and recyclables from 42 sites along more than 68 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. For the first time in its history, the cleanup was moved to a rain date, due to Hurricane Florence.

“Each year, Delaware’s Coastal Cleanup helps make a difference for marine life and water quality – and it’s the hundreds of dedicated volunteers, many of whom come back year after year, who make the Cleanup an annual environmental success story,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This year, we would like to extend a special thanks to the volunteers who rearranged their calendars to join us a week later than usual.”

This year, more than 21,547 pieces of food/beverage-related trash were picked up, including 3,509 food wrappers, 2,361 plastic beverage bottles, 1,203 beverage cans, 712 glass bottles and 2,882 paper, plastic and foam cups, plates and take-out containers. In a year when the numbers of most trash items were lower, the count of three plastic items increased: 2,738 straws, up from 1,898; 1,116 plastic lids, up from 993; and 7,026 plastic bottle caps, up from 4,636. Other notable items included 1,946 plastic bags, 32 tires, 235 shotgun shells, 8,885 cigarette butts and cigar tips, and 723 balloons.

Some of the more unusual items found during this year’s cleanup were: a dishwasher, a message in a bottle from 2007, a knife in a sheath, mattress springs, scissors, contact lens case, power cord, charcoal grill, pirate hat, utility knife, car muffler, beach chair, bushel baskets, street sign, key card, glow stick, ink cartridge, pacifier, pith helmet, car console, golf club handle, metal canopy frame, and a wide variety of clothing and shoes including sneakers, flip flops, and jeweled sandals, as well as numerous balls and toys, including a troll doll, an Incredibles action figure, a Nintendo game controller, and a Rubik’s Cube.

Delaware’s next Coastal Cleanup is set for Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Registration will be posted on DNREC’s website next July, with groups of 10 or more encouraged to pre-register beginning May 1 by calling 302-739-9902 or emailing Delaware Coastal Cleanup Coordinator Joanna Wilson at Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov.

DNREC organizes Delaware’s Coastal Cleanup with co-sponsors including Edgewell Personal Care/Playtex Manufacturing Inc., which donates gloves; and Waste Management, which hauls trash and recyclables collected by volunteers. Delaware’s event is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. The types and quantities of trash collected are recorded on data cards and forwarded 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, please visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, at 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 336

Adjustable Tax Rate for HSCA Goes Into Effect This January

The Delaware Division of Revenue would like to remind businesses subject to the Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act (HSCA) that a new tax rate will being going into effect on January 1, 2019. The new adjustable rate for 2019 will be 1.5244%, and will apply to the taxable gross receipts from the sale of petroleum or petroleum products. The Division of Revenue will be updating this rate in their online system before the effective date of January 1, 2019.

The tax rate through December 31, 2018 is 0.9%, but recent legislation has adjusted the rate so that it will be based on a lookback period starting January 1, 2019. The new adjustable rates cannot be lower than 0.675% or greater than 1.675%, and are calculated by multiplying 0.9% (the original rate) by a fraction – the numerator of which is $15,000,000 and the denominator of which is the total collections in the fund during the lookback period (July 1 to June 30 of the prior year).

The HSCA was passed by the Delaware General Assembly in July of 1990 to ensure funding for the cleanup of facilities with a release or imminent threat of release of hazardous substances. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has identified over 700 sites in Delaware as potential hazardous substances release sites.

If you have questions about the new adjustable tax rate, please contact the Delaware Division of Revenue at (302) 577-8205.

Online registration now open to volunteers for 31st annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup

DOVER – Online volunteer registration is now open for the 31st annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 15. Sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the cleanup spans the First State’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes river and ocean shorelines as well as wetland and watershed areas. This year, more than 45 sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties are targeted for cleanup by volunteers.

Individual volunteers and groups are strongly encouraged to preregister on DNREC’s website at de.gov/coastalcleanup to ensure enough supplies are readied for each site. Preregistration will close Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Groups of 10 volunteers or more also are asked to contact Delaware Coastal Cleanup Coordinator Joanna Wilson, at 302-739-9902 or joanna.wilson@delaware.gov, or the appropriate zone captain listed on the website for advance site placement.

At last year’s Coastal Cleanup, 1,567 dedicated volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected 3.8 tons of trash from 47 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. About one-quarter of that trash – mostly aluminum cans and plastic bottles – was recycled. Cleanup volunteers’ more unusual finds included a wallet, wrist watch, cell phone, parmesan cheese shaker, a large heavy rug, a statue of the Virgin Mary, golf tee, ant trap, Big Wheel tire, garden hose, vacuum cleaner, trailer registration tag, toy bulldozer, green army men, half a driver’s license and credit card, handle bars, snow hat, mermaid doll, Mardi Gras beads, confetti, glowsticks, oil cans, multiple gas tanks and televisions, and, at one site, 205 liquor bottles.

Delaware’s Cleanup is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines, rivers, streams, and lakes by volunteers. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world help each year to rid the environment of marine debris and collect detailed information on the types and quantities of refuse they find. Information is recorded on data cards and sent to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles data for all cleanups to help identify debris sources and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing marine debris. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please contact Joanna Wilson, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, at 302-739-9902, or joanna.wilson@delaware.gov.

Volunteers still sought for DNREC-sponsored 27th annual Christina River Cleanup Saturday, April 14

NEW CASTLE COUNTY – DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin encourages volunteers to sign up for the Department-sponsored 27th annual Christina River Watershed Cleanup along the river and several tributaries next Saturday, April 14 from 8-11 a.m. at 14 sites throughout northern New Castle County.

“Clearing debris from the Christina River Watershed not only improves the landscape for residents and visitors to enjoy, it improves the health and quality of the river and its tributaries, the primary sources of public water supply for New Castle County residents and businesses. The work these volunteers do is important, and we thank them for it,” said Secretary Garvin.

The annual cleanup will be held rain or shine. For the second year, the City of Newark site will hold its Spring Community Clean Up in conjunction with the Christina River Cleanup.

Since the cleanup began in 1992, more than 360 tons of tires, appliances, household items, and plastic and styrofoam have been cleared from the Christina River, White Clay Creek, Naamans Creek and other tributaries. More than 13,000 volunteers have filled trash bags along Churchmans Marsh, White Clay Creek State Park, the City of Wilmington and various other locations.

DNREC has been a sponsor and an integral part of the Christina River Watershed Cleanup since its inception. Specifically, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife provides planning support in addition to staff and boats to transport volunteers and to offload trash collected from remote locations. The cleanup of the river within the city of Wilmington benefits DNREC’s ongoing marsh restoration work at the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge. Three State parks – Brandywine Creek, Fox Point, and White Clay Creek – and several New Castle County parks, also serve as primary Cleanup locations.

For a complete list of cleanup sites and to register for volunteering, please visit www.ChristinaRiverCleanup.org or call 302-307-2757. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for one of the 14 sites as soon as possible so adequate supplies can be provided to each site captain. For safety and efficiency, volunteers are encouraged to wear long sleeves and pants, boots or water-resistant shoes, hats, heavy-duty gloves, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Waders or hip boots are helpful for the City of Wilmington, Newport Boat Ramp, and Churchman’s Marsh-Christiana sites. Due to insurance requirements, volunteers under the age of 16 must have adult supervision. All participants must wear a life jacket while on board any boat.

As a thank you, volunteers will receive a Christina River Watershed Cleanup reusable tote bag, perfect for shopping trips, featuring a blue variation of Ramiro Lopez-Villalobos’ design for this year’s cleanup logo. The first 500 volunteers will also receive water bottles donated by KCI Technologies. The Delaware Department of Transportation will be providing various giveaways for younger volunteers. Water and a variety of refreshments will be provided at all locations.

More than 50 organizations and businesses sponsor the cleanup each year. In addition to DNREC, primary sponsors include: Christina Conservancy; Artesian Water Company; New Castle County; Partnership for the Delaware Estuary; Dow Chemical Company; ICNA Relief / Islamic Society of Delaware; and SUEZ Water in Delaware. DNREC has welcomed several new sponsors to the Cleanup ranks this year: Delmarva Power; DuPont Company; and IncNow, a Delaware incorporation company. Along with KCI and DelDOT, the Cleanup also is pleased to bring aboard sponsors Bloom Energy; BrightFields, Inc.; and Duffield Associates, Inc.

For more information on DNREC’s programs, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Vol. 48, No. 76

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902