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Delaware Coastal Cleanup set for Sept. 12

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Volunteers are encouraged to mark their 2020 calendars now for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control-sponsored 33rd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, tentatively planned for 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 12, with sign-up for large volunteer groups beginning in July and overall volunteer registration opening in August.

The cleanup spans the state’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes river and ocean shorelines as well as wetland and watershed areas.

For the 2020 event, precautions will be taken to ensure the health and safety of cleanup participants, who are spread out across 40 to 50 locations throughout the state, working outside and generally in groups no bigger than 10 to 15. To ensure the health and safety of participants, planning for this year’s event covers a range of contingencies, including possible cancellation, with decisions to be based on the most current coronavirus conditions.

Volunteer registration will be posted Aug. 1 at de.gov/coastalcleanupn. Groups of 10 or more are strongly encouraged to register by emailing dnrec_coastal_cleanup@delaware.gov.

DNREC organizes Delaware’s Coastal Cleanup as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup.

The 2019 Delaware Coastal Cleanup, held Sept. 14, drew 1,931 volunteers, who collected 3.6 tons of trash and recyclables from 46 sites along more than 125 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island.

Numbers increased for many common items. Food/beverage-related trash items nearly doubled to 42,462 pieces, including 4,268 food wrappers, 4,043 plastic beverage bottles, 2,444 beverage cans, 1,453 glass bottles and 2,851 paper, plastic and foam cups, plates and takeout containers.

Common plastic items showed changes: 2,172 plastic bags, increased from 1,946; 2,397 straws and stirrers, decreased from 2,738; 1,434 plastic lids, up from 1,116; and 6,319 plastic bottle caps, down from 7,026.

As part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the types and quantities of trash collected in Delaware are recorded on data cards and forwarded by DNREC to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles the information to help identify debris sources and focus efforts on elimination or reduction.

For more, visit oceanconservancy.org.