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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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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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


DNREC postpones Delaware Coastal Cleanup to Sept. 22 due to weather concerns

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlDOVER – Due to uncertain weather conditions related to Hurricane Florence, the 31st Annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup will be postponed to the rain date of Saturday, Sept. 22, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced today. The cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at all sites as previously planned for Sept. 15, unless volunteers have been otherwise notified.

“With the possibility of adverse weather conditions still in the forecast, we are taking the precaution of postponing the Coastal Cleanup for the safety of our volunteers,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “We hope our volunteers will be able to join us on Sept. 22, and that we will have a better opportunity to accomplish our goal of cleaning up our beaches, waterways, and watershed areas statewide.”

Sponsored by DNREC, the cleanup spans 49 sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties, including river and ocean shorelines as well as wetland and watershed areas.

For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please visit https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/coastal-cleanup/, or contact Joanna Wilson, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, at 302-739-9902, or joanna.wilson@delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 48, No. 248