Online volunteer registration is now open for the 25th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 25. Sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), 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, more than 40 sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties are targeted.
Volunteers are being strongly encouraged to pre-register on the DNREC Web site to ensure enough supplies are provided and that everyone receives a custom-designed 2010 Coastal Cleanup T-shirt in appreciation of their efforts. For more information on the Cleanup, or to pre-register, go to www.dnrec.delaware.gov/CoastalCleanup.
At last year’s Coastal Cleanup, a record 2,000 volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected about 9.6 tons of trash from 41 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. Some of the more unusual finds included an iron blast furnace, weedwhacker, child safety seats, baseball glove, hockey stick, toilet tank float, shopping carts, two grills, an air conditioner and a jar of cherry peppers.
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.
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.
The Ocean Conservancy supplies trash bags, data cards and pencils. Delaware’s cleanup is co-sponsored by Delmarva Power, which provides the collectable T-shirts for the participants. Another sponsor is the Playtex Division of Energizer Personal Care, which provides gloves.
DNREC is responsible for organizing the event, recruiting volunteers, distributing supplies, ensuring trash removal and tabulating data. Many municipalities help with trash pick-up.
For more information about the Ocean Conservancy and the International Coastal Cleanup, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.
For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, call Joanna Wilson, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, (302) 739-9902.