State environmental officials are calling on volunteers to help scrub Delaware’s coastline next month.
Secretary David Small and a group of volunteers picked through plastic wrappers, soda cans and fishing line scattered along Kitts Hummock Thursday.
Small says the event is a chance to instill a spirit of conservation in people and help expose them to nature.
“People have come to appreciate the opportunity to really get out, enjoy the outdoors for a morning in a way that maybe they feel they are giving something back,” he said.
A little less than 1,500 volunteers participated last year – which is significantly fewer people than past years. The group collected nearly eight tons of trash, with about two tons of that recyclable.
Small says plastic trash is one of the biggest problems these areas face.
“The more that we learn about plastics, the more we understand that they are very resilient, unfortunately, in our environment and over time they just break down into smaller and smaller and smaller pieces and, frankly, they’re ubiquitous.”
Not only are they an eyesore, but also, they can harm animals – and sometimes kill them.
After collecting the trash, DNREC sorts and catalogues it and sends the data to the Center for Marine Conservation, which tries to locate the original source of the problem.
The Delaware Coastal Cleanup runs from 9 to noon Saturday September 17.
You can sign up to volunteer by clicking this link.