DNREC Secretary David Small encourages volunteers to join the Christina River Watershed Cleanup along the river and several of its tributaries on Saturday, April 18 from 8 a.m. until noon at 12 sites throughout northern New Castle County. Brookhaven Park, an expanded site this year, will hold its cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon.
“Helping to beautify our waterways is the perfect way to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning – and in this case, to celebrate Earth Day, which is coming right up on April 22,” said Secretary Small. “Clearing debris from the Christina River watershed not only improves the landscape for residents and visitors to enjoy, it improves the health and quality of the river and its tributaries, the primary sources of public water supply for New Castle County.”
The annual cleanup, now in its 24th year, will be held rain or shine. Since the cleanup began in 1992, more than 350 tons of tires, appliances, household items, and plastic and styrofoam have been cleared from the Christina River, White Clay Creek and other tributaries. More than 13,000 volunteers have filled trash bags along Churchmans Marsh, White Clay Creek State Park, the City of Wilmington and various other locations.
DNREC has been a sponsor and an integral part of the Christina River Watershed Cleanup since its inception. Specifically, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife provides planning support in addition to staff, boats, and specialized equipment to transport volunteers and discard trash from remote locations. The cleanup of the river within the city of Wilmington benefits DNREC’s ongoing marsh restoration work at the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge.
For a list of cleanup sites with directions and to register, visit www.ChristinaRiverCleanup.org or call 302-838-1897. Volunteers are encouraged to register for one of the 12 sites before Friday, April 10 so adequate supplies can be provided to each site captain. Due to insurance requirements, volunteers under the age of 16 must have adult supervision.
For safety and efficiency, participants are encouraged to wear brightly-colored clothing, long sleeves and pants, boots or water-resistant shoes, hats, heavy-duty gloves and sunscreen. Waders or hip boots are helpful for the City of Wilmington, Churchman’s Marsh-Christiana and Newport sites. Additional jon-boat-type work boats are still needed for Wilmington’s Riverfront and the Churchman’s Marsh-Newport area. All participants must wear a life jacket while on board any boat.
Volunteers will receive a 2015 Christina River Watershed Cleanup t-shirt designed by Elizabeth Schwartz, a junior at the Cab Calloway School of the Arts, the winner of the 10th annual Christina River Watershed Cleanup T-shirt Design Contest.
More than 40 organizations and businesses sponsor the cleanup each year. In addition to DNREC, primary sponsors include: Christina Conservancy, Noramco Inc., Artesian Water Company, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Horizon Services Inc., BASF - The Chemical Company, GE Aviation, Dow Chemical, Veolia Water, Delmarva Power, Kenny Family Foundation, United Water Delaware and the State Office of Volunteerism/Volunteer Delaware/AmeriCorps.
For more information on DNREC’s programs, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov.