Delaware Coastal Cleanup

Trash on our beaches and in our waterways isn’t just unsightly – it’s also potentially dangerous to marine life and in some cases harmful to water quality. The annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup offers volunteers an opportunity to help make a difference for Delaware’s shoreline and waterways while joining an international effort to clean up the world’s waters.

The 2023 Coastal Cleanup Has Been Canceled

A coastal storm forecast to bring impacts including heavy rain and high winds has caused the cancelation of the 36th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup. No rain date was set this year due to circumstances and schedule conflicts that prevented DNREC from staging the cleanup either later this month or in early October.

Registered Coastal Cleanup volunteers are encouraged to participate in the self-directed, month-long cleanup which began Sept. 1 – and which DNREC inaugurated during the pandemic. Volunteers also are asked to submit their findings on the Delaware Coastal Cleanup trash reporting app and to dispose of trash and any collected recyclables appropriately in at-home carts. Volunteers can also use the Ocean Conservancy’s Volunteer Ocean Trash Data Form.

Reported cleanup results are available on the interactive map and data dashboard below.

Volunteers may choose to clean up at their registered site, in their own communities or another location of their choice.

For any questions about the one-day event cancelation or for guidance on the self-directed cleanup in a community, please email, or call DNREC Public Affairs at 302-739-990.

The month-long cleanup campaign supports Governor John Carney’s Keep DE Litter Free initiative.

Cleanup Results

Help Keep Our Communities Clean

A text-based logo that reads "Keep D.E. Litter Free." The letter D in D.E., th epostal abreviation for Delaware, incorporates the shape of a map of Delaware.

The Department is also sponsoring a month-long campaign encouraging Delawareans and visitors to clean up neighborhoods, green spaces and waterways statewide on days, times and locations of their choosing during September 2023.

All Delawareans and visitors are encouraged to make a special effort throughout the month to keep communities and natural areas in the First State clean through personal commitment and support of the Governor’s Keep DE Litter Free initiative.

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 make a difference all year long.

Pick 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, wildlife areas, and reserves, or county and local parks.

Pack a disposable 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

Don’t forget to wear gloves when picking up trash. And wash your hands thoroughly after cleanup activities. And, as we make our way out of the COVID pandemic, please and follow all recent public health advice.

A view of the beach at Cape Henlopen

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