2017 Delaware Coastal Cleanup draws 1,500 volunteers, nets 3.8 tons of trash
Trash on our beaches and in our waterways isn’t just unsightly – it’s also potentially dangerous to marine life and in some cases harmful to water quality.
For the 30th anniversary Delaware Coastal Cleanup, held Sept. 16, 2017, 1,567 volunteers collected 3.8 tons of trash from 47 sites from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. Sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the annual cleanup spans the First State’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes our river and ocean shorelines as well as wetland and watershed areas.
In 2018, the Delaware Coastal Cleanup will begin its fourth decade as an annual environmental success story, with volunteers invited to mark their calendars for Saturday, Sept. 15. Preregistration for individual volunteers or small groups will open on this page in mid-July 2018. Groups of 10 or more are strongly encouraged to contact DNREC’s Office of Public Affairs from May 1 through Aug. 15, 2018 for placement before sites fill up.
Volunteer registration will close two weeks prior to the cleanup date to allow time for packing and distribution of supplies for each site. To learn more about Delaware Coastal Cleanup sites, please click the links below.
For more information on the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please email coordinator Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, or phone 302-739-9902.
• View a list of this year's Coastal Cleanup Sites
• View a map of Coastal Cleanup locations
Beautifying the Bayshore
More than two dozen Coastal Cleanup sites are part of Delaware’s Bayshore, which encompasses the central part of the state’s shoreline east of Route 1, from New Castle and Delaware City in southern New Castle County to the Lewes/Cape Henlopen area of Sussex County. This unique region, with its quiet bay beaches, marshes, forests, wildlife areas and agricultural/residential lands, is the focus of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, a landscape approach to conserving wildlife habitat, enhancing low-impact recreational opportunities and building strong communities through environmentally compatible economic development.
The Ocean Conservancy Connection
Delaware’s Cleanup is also part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines 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.
The types and quantities of trash collected are recorded on data cards and forwarded to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles the information for all of the cleanups held in the country and around the world. This information helps identify the source of the debris and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing it.
A recent marine debris report released by the Ocean Conservancy found that general-source marine debris – trash that comes from both ocean- and land-based activities – increased across the United States by more than five percent each year. (This report can be seen at www.oceanconservancy.org.)
The Ocean Conservancy supplies trash bags, data cards and brochures on marine debris. Delaware’s cleanup is co-sponsored by Edgewell Personal Care/Playtex Manufacturing, which provides gloves, and Waste Management, which hauls trash and recyclables. DNREC is responsible for organizing the event, recruiting volunteers, distributing supplies, ensuring trash removal and tabulating all the data collected.
Mark your calendars for the 2018 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 15!