Online volunteer registration is now open for the 28th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 20.
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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 in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties are targeted for volunteers to scour and make cleaner.
Volunteers are strongly encouraged to preregister on the DNREC website to ensure enough supplies are packed for each site. To preregister, go to www.dnrec.delaware.gov/CoastalCleanup. Preregistration will close Monday, Sept. 8, at close of business.
At last year’s Coastal Cleanup, 1,900 dedicated volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected four tons of trash from nearly 50 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. Almost half of that trash - mostly aluminum cans and plastic bottles - was recycled.
The more unusual finds included a hockey puck, toothbrush, headphones, door, box springs, showerhead, barstool, guitar pick, sock, gloves, electric razor, license plate, fake cigarette, mailbox, lawn chairs, carpet, roadway sign and a couch cushion.
Delaware’s cleanup is 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 they find.
This information is recorded on data cards and forwarded to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles data 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.
For more information about the Ocean Conservancy and the International Coastal Cleanup, go to www.oceanconservancy.org. For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, call Joanna Wilson, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, at 302-739-9902.