NEW CASTLE COUNTY – The numbers are in for the 26th Annual Christina River Cleanup: The nearly 1,000 volunteers who recently turned out for the event collected more than 17 tons of trash from the river and its tributaries, including more than 300 discarded tires, an air conditioner, part of a prosthetic leg, a bucket seat from a van and a cash register box. Other items collected during the DNREC-sponsored event included an abundance of plastic and glass bottles, cans, plastic bags and shoes.
Since the cleanup began in 1992, more than 380 tons of tires, appliances, household items, foam and plastic have been cleared from the Christina River, White Clay Creek, Naamans Creek and various other tributaries. With this year’s participation, nearly 16,000 volunteers have filled trash bags along Churchmans Marsh and within White Clay Creek State Park and Brandywine Creek State Park, among other locations. The cleanup of the Christina River within the city of Wilmington also benefits DNREC’s ongoing marsh restoration work at the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge.
As another nod to pollution prevention and promoting conservation, this year’s appreciation gift to volunteers was a reusable market tote featuring a design by Ramiro Lopez-Villalobos, a graduate of Delcastle Technical High School’s Graphic Arts program. Reusable totes replace single-use plastic shopping bags commonly seen littering Delaware’s landscape including waterways.
More than 50 organizations and businesses sponsor the cleanup each year. In addition to DNREC, primary sponsors include: Christina Conservancy, New Castle County, Dow Chemical, Artesian Water Company, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Delaware City Refining Company, Islamic Society of Delaware, GE Aviation and SUEZ Water Company.