DNREC Seeks Volunteers for Delaware Coastal Cleanup Sept. 11

Volunteers for the 34th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup will have two options this year to help keep the state’s beaches and waterways free of trash through a widespread effort that also touches Delaware’s natural areas and neighborhoods. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is hosting the traditional one-day coordinated event at 39 sites statewide on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon. In addition, a month-long campaign starting Sept. 1 will encourage Delawareans and visitors to clean up neighborhoods, green spaces and waterways throughout the state on days, times and at locations of their choice.

Delawareans and visitors alike are encouraged make a special effort to keep communities and natural areas in the First State clean through personal commitment and in support of Governor John Carney’s Keep DE Litter Free initiative. “In order to keep our state beautiful, we must keep our coastlines and outdoor spaces clear of litter. That’s why we started our Keep DE Litter Free initiative,” Governor Carney said. “Thanks to DNREC and our other state and local partners who work to protect our unique natural heritage every year with this Coastal Cleanup. I encourage all Delawareans to participate.”

“We look forward to giving volunteers a choice of options this year to participate in the Delaware Coastal Cleanup,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Whether volunteers sign up for the traditional Saturday morning cleanup at specific beaches and coastal areas or choose their own time, date and place to clean up close to home, the Delaware Coastal Cleanup’s message remains the same: We can all make a difference keeping our beaches, waterways and wetlands clean and free of trash.”

For the Sept. 11 coordinated cleanup, volunteers must preregister by Tuesday, Aug. 31 for their choice of sites at the mobile-friendly Coastal Cleanup registration. Limitations on the number of volunteers are in effect at all sites and no walkups will be accepted on the day of the cleanup. Site captains with supplies will be onsite to sign in volunteers and provide trash bags and directions. Although gloves, paper data cards and pencils will be available on request, volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring their own gloves and to use the online Coastal Cleanup reporting tool when it goes live Sept. 1 to share their findings.

Participants can find ideas about how to get involved in the 2021 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Facebook and Twitter. Volunteers in both the coordinated event on Sept. 11 and the month-long campaign can post photos on facebook.com/DelawareDNREC for a chance to win a 2022 Delaware State Parks pass and a prize bag. Volunteers can post photos as often as they like throughout the month, with each photo counting as a one entry. All volunteers should also report their findings and are invited to share photos on the Coastal Cleanup portal. Results will be updated during the month in real time on an interactive map.

Cleaning up locally makes a big difference statewide and keeps trash from entering waterways and making its way to beaches and beyond. DNREC suggests several ways to help make a difference all year long:

Be proactive by picking 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, like Delaware State Parks, DNREC wildlife areas, Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve locations, and county or local parks.
Pack a 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 de.gov/recycling.

DNREC reminds everyone to wear gloves when picking up trash, wash hands thoroughly after cleanup activities, and follow all recent public area protocols, including the most current COVID-19 guidance.

For more information, visit de.gov/coastalcleanup. Volunteers also can email questions about the cleanup to DNREC_Coastal_Cleanup@delaware.gov.