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Click here to sign up for the 2012 Delaware Coastal Cleanup

Pre-registration now closed
for 2014 Delaware Coastal Cleanup

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. To help stem this tide, Delaware will hold the 28th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. In case of severe weather, rain date will be Saturday, Sept. 27. 

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, nearly 50 sites statewide are targeted.

Pre-registration is now closed. 2013 Delaware Coastal Cleanup sitemapFor more information or questions about the 2014 Coastal Cleanup, please contact the zone captain in your area:

-       State Parks Statewide Zone Captain – Karen Minner, 302-739-9208
-       State Wildlife Areas Zone Captain – Lynne Pusey, 302-735-3600
-       Sussex Beach Sites Zone Captain – Jennifer Luoma, 302-739-9921
-       Kent County Bay Beach Sites Zone Captain – Ken Smith, 302-739-9283

For general information about the 2014 Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please contact coordinator Joanna Wilson at 302-739-9902, or email

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.  

Volunteers at Port Mahon during the 2009 Delaware Coastal Cleanup




The 2013 Cleanup

At last year’s Delaware Coastal Cleanup, 1,900 dedicated volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected 4 tons of trash from nearly 50 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. Nearly half of that trash - aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles - was recycled.

In addition to large numbers of food wrappers, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, plastic bags, used tires and cigarette butts, their more unusual finds included a hockey puck, toothbrush, headphones, door, box springs, showerhead, bar stool, guitar pick, sock, gloves, electric razor, license plate, fake cigarette, mialbox, lawn chairs, carpet, roadway sign and a couch cushion.

Recycle Trash
This year, the Cleanup’s successful recycling program will continue. Volunteers will be given black trash bags plus a second color for recyclables. The bags will then be placed in separate piles at each sites' designated trash pickup location.

Volunteers are asked to put only clean and intact recyclable glass, plastic and aluminum beverage containers in the recyclable bags. If these containers are badly damaged or contain sand or other materials, they are not recyclable.

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 five-year 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

The Ocean Conservancy supplies trash bags, data cards and brochures on marine debris. Delaware’s cleanup is co-sponsored by Delmarva Power, which provides collectable t-shirts for the participants. Other key sponsors are the Playtex Division of Energizer Personal Care, 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.

Please join the 2014 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 20!

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