Contact: Rachel Coats, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
2012 Coastal Cleanup drew more than 1,400 volunteers,
who collected almost eight tons of trash and recyclables
DOVER (Oct. 17, 2012) – This year’s DNREC-sponsored 26th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup drew 1,400 volunteers, who collected 7.8 tons of trash from more than 40 sites along more than 80 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. Nearly 4.1 tons of that trash – aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles – was recycled this year.
DNREC organizes the annual cleanup with co-sponsors including Delmarva Power, which donates t-shirts, and Playtex’s Energizer Personal Care, which donates volunteers’ gloves. Waste Management again joined the effort this year, hauling the trash and recyclables collected by volunteers.
“In addition to marring the natural beauty of our beaches and waterways, trash can be dangerous to marine life and unhealthy for water quality,” said Delaware Coastal Cleanup Coordinator Rachel Coats. “While picking up the trash this year, volunteers again put an emphasis on items that can be recycled. Recyclable glass, plastic and aluminum beverage containers were put into a separate bag for recycling.”
Some of the unusual items found at this year’s cleanup were a plaster cast of a foot, sofa pillow, hermit crab house, bucket of tar, a Hula Hoop, boogie board, toy cannon, birdfeeder, boat cover, door, radio-controlled model airplane, car headlight, perfume bottle, toilet, skateboard, patio chair, room key, tennis racket, and lottery tickets inside a bottle.
Some items were notable in their numbers. Statewide, volunteers picked up 14,478 cigarette and cigar butts, 42 old tires, more than 1,875 plastic bags, 1,612 fishing-related items and more than 8,000 pieces of food/beverage-related trash.
“If we could get one message out this year it’s that throwing a cigarette or cigar butt on the ground is littering,” Coats added. “We found less smoking-related items this year but the numbers are still too high.”
The Delaware Coastal Cleanup is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the Ocean Conservancy’s flagship program dealing with marine debris and data collection. 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 the source of the debris and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing it.
Delaware’s next Coastal Cleanup is set for Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register to ensure sites receive enough supplies. Interested volunteers can check out DNREC’s website at www.delaware.dnrec.gov next summer for registration information.
For more information on The Ocean Conservancy or the International Coastal Cleanup, visit the Conservancy’s website at www.oceanconservancy.org.
Vol. 42, No. 407