This year, the 33rd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup will transition from a one-day, in-person event to a month-long campaign to keep the state’s beaches and waterways free of trash, DNREC officials announced this week.

“Following the lead of other states and guidance from the Ocean Conservancy, Delaware’s Coastal Cleanup Program will not include large organized group cleanups this year,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Although we will not have the traditional gatherings at specific beaches and coastal areas statewide on the usual September Saturday, the Delaware Coastal Cleanup’s message remains the same — we can all make a difference to keep our beaches, waterways and wetlands clean and free of trash.”

In the spirit of the Coastal Cleanup, all Delawareans and visitors are being encouraged make a special effort during the month of September to keep communities and natural areas in the First State clean through personal commitment and support of the governor’s Keep DE Litter Free initiative. Volunteers will be able to report their findings all month long on the Delaware Coastal Cleanup app. Additional details, including how to download the updated app will be posted later this month at de.gov/coastalcleanup.

Cleaning up locally makes a big difference statewide and keeps trash from entering waterways and making its way to beaches, officials said. Last year, nearly 2,000 volunteers with the Delaware Coastal Cleanup collected 3.6 tons of trash and recyclables littering more than 125 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline.

DNREC suggests several ways to make a difference all year long:

  • Pick up trash near your home to keep your neighborhood clean.
  • Follow a carry-in/carry out plan and take all trash with you when visiting outdoor spaces, such as Delaware State Parks, wildlife areas, reserves, county or local parks.
  • Pack a disposable bag and rubber gloves when you take a walk, go for a hike, go hunting or fishing, etc., to collect and carry out trash you find along the way.
  • Recycle applicable items through in-home recycling or designated drop-off locations. Learn more at Delaware Recycles.

DNREC reminded everyone to wear gloves when picking up trash, wash hands thoroughly after cleanup activities, be mindful of social distancing requirements, wear face coverings when near others, follow all public area protocols and be safe.

For more information, visit Delaware Coastal Cleanup or email DNREC_Coastal_Cleanup@delaware.gov.