People may be familiar with the annual beach cleanups every autumn, but now it’s time for the 14th Annual Inland Bays Clean Up.
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) is seeking volunteers and participants with boats to help out on Saturday, June 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It’s just a great opportunity to get out on the bays, kind of start of the summer season and remove different pieces of litter, usually larger pieces of litter,” said Amy Barra, CIB outreach and education coordinator.
The 2019 event on will focus on the shores along the Rehoboth and Indian River bays. Participants will meet at the Massey’s Landing public boat ramp, located at the very end of Long Neck Road, east of Millsboro.
Volunteers (and boats) should register, if possible, by Friday, June 7, as a light lunch and a reusable water bottle will be provided to participants.
“We definitely need some more people with boats,” Barra said.
Between human littering and Mother Nature’s wintertime storms, the CIB volunteers find debris both large and small: lumber, tires, crab pots, bottles and cans, and more.
“Out on the water, it’s accessing some waterways that aren’t accessible during beach clean-up, trying to get into those marshes that are in fragile ecosystems,” Barra said of the effort. “This isn’t just a one-time thing. It’s something people can participate in on their own. … If you see something, bring it in.”
She also encouraged boaters to think twice before leaving a piece of junk in the water.
“Pack it in, pack it out — it’s going to help up us clean up less and less litter every year during these events,” she said. “Every year, we’re still picking up litter. We love our bays. We want to protect, preserve and restore them. It’s just another way to help our bays.”
People participating in the event should dress for the weather and elements, including heat, cool breezes, and wet or muddy conditions. Work gloves are recommended, and closed-toe shoes are required. Lifejackets are appreciated, or can be provided onsite, since they’ll be required on each boat.
The event is not recommended for children younger than 10. Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
Details and registration are online at https://www.inlandbays.org/events.
By Laura Walter