DNREC kicks off 2010 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on beach at state line

by Dave on August 20, 2010

At the Coastal Cleanup Kickoff, left to right, were Delaware Coastal Cleanup Coordinator Joanna Wilson, Secretary Collin O’Mara of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Matt Likovich of Delmarva Power, Maryland Park Ranger John Somers from Janes Island State Park in Crisfield and Kathy Phillips, Executive Director of the Assateague Coastal Trust. DNREC photo.

On the beach at 146th Street at the Delaware-Maryland state lane, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara joined sponsors and environmental representatives to kick off the drive for volunteers to support this year’s Delaware Coastal Cleanup, a statewide effort to clean up trash from Delaware’s shorelines set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 25.

“We have some of the most pristine beaches in the nation, and our record volunteer turnout for last year’s Coastal Cleanup demonstrates why,” said Secretary O’Mara. “A dedicated and diverse group of volunteers are what makes this event a success. The number of youth groups and students who take part each year is especially encouraging, because we have a new generation learning hands-on about the importance of keeping trash out of our waterways and marshes and off our beaches.”

Last year’s Coastal Cleanup drew a record 2,000 volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families who 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 25th annual International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines and lakes by volunteers. 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.

Appropriately, this year’s Cleanup also falls on National Estuaries Day, an annual celebration of the vibrant coastal areas where rivers meet the sea that is held to promote the importance of estuaries and the need to protect them.

The Ocean Conservancy supplies trash bags, data cards and pencils. Delaware’s cleanup is also co-sponsored with Delmarva Power which provides collectable t-shirts for the participants and Playtex, which provides gloves. DNREC is responsible for organizing the event, recruiting volunteers, distributing supplies, ensuring trash removal and tabulating all the data collected. Many municipalities help with the trash pick-up.

The cleanup spans Delaware’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. The rain date is set for the following Saturday, Oct. 2.

Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register to ensure everyone has the supplies they need and receive a complementary International Coastal Cleanup t-shirt in appreciation of their effort. To register online, please visit DNREC’s website, www.dnrec.delaware.gov and click on the link for the Coastal Cleanup.

For more information, please call Joanna Wilson, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, at 302-739-9902.
For information about the Ocean Conservancy and the International Coastal Cleanup, please visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

{ 1 comment }

Dorie Achzet August 26, 2010 at 10:33 am

This is a fantastic post. We’re always looking for valuable resources to show clients and coworkers, and your piece is definitely worth sharing!

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