The good news is that more people than ever recognize the beauty and recreational value of the Delaware River. The bad news is that, with more people comes more trash in and along the river.
Why should you care about the cleanliness of the Delaware River? BECAUSE YOU ARE DRINKING IT! The Delaware River supplies drinking water to more than 15 million people along the east coast. That is nearly 5% of our nation’s population!
Trash has become such an issue that, after sunny weekends, NJ State Park Service employees spend two full days cleaning up trash left behind. Among other things, trash creates unhealthy environments for humans, fish and wildlife, serves as transport for contaminants and negatively impacts the recreational values of our river.
In an effort, to help clean up the Delaware, on September 15th, New Jersey Clean Communities, New Jersey’s state-wide litter abatement program, is hosting the first annual Delaware River Cleanup between Kingwood Boat Launch and Bulls Island Recreational Area. The cleanup will run from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and is co-sponsored by the NJ State Park Service and the Delaware River Greenway Partnership.
Stephanie Fox, Resource Interpretive Specialist for the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park explains, “While it’s wonderful to see people enjoying the park, unfortunately trash is often left behind. We hope people will donate a few hours of their time to help us clean up the shoreline and waterways. “
Volunteers should bring insect repellent, wear comfortable clothing, long pants, and sturdy, closed-toe shoes and arrive at 8:30 a.m. at their registered locations. They will be provided with trash bags and gloves, unless they bring their own gloves (recommended). Cleanups along the Delaware River will be conducted on land. There is a limited number of volunteers needed to clean up by canoe.
Everyone will receive a t-shirt as a thank you for their support. At noon. a complimentary pizza lunch will be provided at the Bulls Island Recreation Area. Registration is required. For details and sign-up, go to www.delawarerivergp.org.
The cleanup will be held rain or shine, unless there are thunderstorms. If the water is too high, the cleanup will take place on land only.
If you see someone dumping or involved in illegal activities at any State Park, call 1-877-927-6337 (1-877-WARN DEP).