The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section, along with the Dewey Beach Lions Club, the Center for the Inland Bays and Division of Parks and Recreation, are seeking volunteers and working boats for the Ninth Annual Cleanup of the Inland Bays, which will be held on two Saturdays in June.
This year, the first cleanup will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 8, at Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp at the end of Long Neck Road. Cleanup efforts will focus on the Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay areas.
A second cleanup day is scheduled for Little Assawoman Bay from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 22, with volunteers meeting at Mulberry Landing Public Boat Ramp at the Assawoman Wildlife Area just southwest of Bethany Beach.
Volunteers should dress to get dirty and be prepared for cooler conditions on the water as well as wet walking conditions on land. Rubber boots are also suggested. Those who have access to lifejackets should bring one, as they are required on boats. Otherwise, lifejackets will be provided. This event is not recommended for children under the age of 10.
Last year’s event drew 75 volunteers who collected 2,650 pounds of debris, including soda bottles and cans, tires, derelict crab pots and a lot of plastic. A large construction dumpster was donated and filled by the end of the day.
“With this event, we are continuing our public outreach on behalf of the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section, Delaware State Parks, the Center for the Inland Bays and our enforcement volunteers. We hope that through activities such as the cleanup, people using the Inland Bays will pause long enough to make decisions that benefit these beautiful waterways,” said Sgt. Nicholas Couch of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement.
E.J. Chalabala, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, added that this year, the operators of the first 20 boats registered for the June 8 cleanup day will receive $20 VISA gift cards. “We need as many boats helping out this year as possible, and hope this gift will serve as an incentive,” Chalabala said.
Volunteers are encouraged to sign up in advance, as lunch and T-shirts will be provided. To volunteer or for more information, contact Chalabala at 302-226-8105 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.