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News and Resources

A Call for Coast Day Volunteers - September 5, 2010

September is your chance to give back, to do good, to benefit your community, to help protect our coasts – to keep the places we work, live, and play beautiful. No matter where you are on Delmarva, you are not far from a clean-up event and a coastal celebration, so join in! With Coastal Cleanups scheduled at more than 50 locations on Delmarva, you won’t have to travel far.

We’ve all heard the call to action: think globally, act locally. By participating in a Coastal Cleanup event, you’ll be connected – globally – to thousands of volunteers who are participating in events worldwide as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s 25th Annual International Coastal Cleanup. Visit www.signuptocleanup.org to find an event in your area.

Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia beach towns, State Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and local non-profits help to organize events that take place oceanside, bayside, and inland, along rivers and creeks.

Many mid-Atlantic events are sponsored by Delmarva Power. Participating volunteers will receive Coastal Cleanup t-shirts to commemorate the event. During last year's Regional Coastal Cleanup effort, 2,600 volunteers collected approximately 35,000 pounds of trash from shorelines in Delaware and Maryland's lower Eastern Shore, including the Coastal Bays watershed.

Marine debris is a big problem. The usual soda cans and bottles and cigarette butts are among the most common items retrieved; however there are always a few oddities like the flagpole that was recovered during last year’s event. Tires, construction debris, shopping carts, and car parts are also found with some regularity. Site coordinators ensure that trucks are on hand to remove larger items. Whenever possible, debris collected is recycled. Volunteers are encouraged to bring water, hat, gloves, insect repellent and sunscreen. Trash bags are provided, as are data cards to record the quantity and type of trash items collected.

Most of the events on Delmarva will be held September 11, 18, or 25th. A few events are scheduled for early October. Volunteers hike beaches, trudge through marshes, and even access trash by motor boats and kayaks.

Kim Fehrer is coordinating cleanup efforts at Assateague. She explained, "one year we actually found a Volkswagen engine block and in subsequent years volunteers found a VW wheel and other parts.  We hope to eventually retrieve the entire car!"

The fall season also offers opportunities to celebrate our coasts, with Coast Day events scheduled in Maryland, September 18th, and in Delaware, October 3rd. Both events highlight organizations and activities that help protect our fragile coasts. Free to the public, Coast Day offers music, food, fun and educational activities for all ages – and an opportunity for you to learn more about what you can do to protect our coastal bays and beaches.



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