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Click here to sign up for the 2012 Delaware Coastal Cleanup

2014 Delaware Coastal Cleanup draws
1,805 volunteers, gathers 3.5 tons of trash

Held Sept. 20, 2014, the 28th Delaware Coastal Cleanup drew 1,805 dedicated volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families, who collected 3.5 tons of trash from 46 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. About one-third of that trash - plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans - was recycled. 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.

Some of the more unusual items found at the 2014 event were chopsticks, a laundry basket, runner’s race number tag, electric saber saw, windshield wiper, basketball, baseball, bowling ball, tennis balls, paint brush, tweezers, tiki torches, Barbie doll, glow stick, swim fin, auto fender, plastic trellis, shingle, flashlight, toilet seat, Christmas lights, telephone box, crab traps, TV, car fender, coat, engine, pinup girl postcard, an unopened 12-pack of razors, hubcap, and the proverbial message in a bottle.

Some items were notable in their numbers. Statewide, volunteers picked up 18,877 cigarette and cigar butts, a reduction of 3,902 from last year’s total of 22,779. The number of fishing-related items also dropped from 1,385 last year to 989 this year. Other items included 64 old tires, 1,214 balloons, 2,777 plastic bags, and nearly 28,000 pieces of food/beverage-related trash, an increase compared to more than 26,000 in 2013.

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 CleanupMark your calendars
for the 2015 Cleanup

The 29th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. In case of severe weather, rain date will be Saturday, Sept. 26. Preregistration will open on this page in July 2015, and is strongly encouraged to ensure enough supplies are packs for each site.

To learn more about the cleanup, click this video link:

For general information about the 2015 Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please contact coordinator Joanna Wilson at 302-739-9902, or email joanna.wilson@state.de.us.

For participants under the age of 18, download the required parental consent form here.

Recycling Trash
For 2015, 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 www.oceanconservancy.org.)

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 2015 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 19!

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