The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is seeking volunteers to help with the 35th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon.
The cleanup will take place at 41 sites statewide on that Saturday.
Volunteers may now register to participate at de.gov/coastalcleanup.
The cleanup is a popular event for families and groups who want to help Delaware’s environment, and even earn some volunteer hours to meet school or group requirements.
“The Coastal Cleanup is a great reminder that volunteers of all ages can make a difference, whether they sign up for the Sept. 17 statewide cleanup event or choose their own time, date and place to pick up trash,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.
For the Sept. 17 coordinated cleanup, volunteers should sign up by Wednesday, Aug. 31 for their choice of sites. Site captains with supplies will be on site to sign in volunteers and provide trash bags and directions.
Although gloves, paper data cards and pencils will be available upon request, volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves and to use the online Coastal Cleanup reporting tool, when it goes live Sept. 1, to share their findings.
Walkups are not encouraged due to volunteer site capacity limitations.
Volunteers in the Sept. 17 event can post photos on facebook.com/DelawareDNREC for a chance to win a 2023 Delaware State Parks pass and a prize bag by posting photos.
Coastal cleanup results
All volunteers also should also report their findings and are invited to share photos through the Coastal Cleanup page.
Last year, nearly 600 volunteers filled about 400 bags, cleaning up 5,500 pounds of trash from waterways, wetlands and other natural areas.
The top five trash items collected were:
- 7,671 cigarette butts;
- 2,921 plastic and glass beverage bottles and cans;
- 1,785 food containers;
- 846 plastic bags;
- and 381 balloons.
Cleaning up locally makes a big difference statewide and keeps trash from entering waterways and making its way to beaches and beyond.
DNREC suggests several ways to help 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, including federal, state, county or local parks.
- Pack a 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 de.gov/recycling.
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