An Interview with Governor Carney during Delaware Coastal Cleanup Day

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Gov Carney: keep Delaware litter free, we won’t have to have cleanups like this to the extent that we do now, if folks just not don’t litter in the first place, you know, keep their trash out.

AUGUSTINE BEACH (DE) BY GEORGE SHEA, PHOTOJOURNALIST: Governor John Carney joined Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) secretary Shawn Garvin at Augustine Beach for Delaware Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday September 11, 2021.

The two were also joined by members of the community and Delaware Technical and Community College (DELTECH) students who volunteered for Saturday’s cleanup at Augustine Beach.

Carney, who has taken a stand on Delaware’s environment as Delaware’s Governor explains one of his biggest priorities as governor is to make Delaware attractive for residents and visitors.

“So one of my biggest priorities as governor is to make our state attractive for our residents and for visitors. And part of that is our campaign against letter and dumping, Coastal Cleanup has been going on for years. But it’s also an opportunity to do a lot of cleanup of the litter that we see along the coastline.,” said Carney.

Photo by George Shea, For Delaware Newsline | Governor John Carney joined Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) secretary Shawn Garvin at Augustine Beach for Delaware Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday September 11, 2021.

We can all agree that Delaware’s coastline is one of the biggest attractions in the state. Nested in a corner on the map with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and beautiful bays on the other, Delaware is a state that attracts people from all around the world simply because of our beaches and tax free shopping.

While traveling from New Castle County to Sussex County has proven to be more difficult this past year, a 2018 Visitor Profile State Records indicate that 12 to 13 million visit the State annually and a  State Beach Report indicates over 5 million (5,096,908) visit Beaches.

Photo by George Shea, For Delaware Newsline | Governor John Carney joined Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) secretary Shawn Garvin at Augustine Beach for Delaware Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday September 11, 2021.

The count comes from Travel Industry Association of America, who also say that 53% of the visitors stay two or more nights, 39% spend money dining out, and 32% spend money on shopping. These figures could account for the high volume of traffic you see on Route one in Lewes and near the Rehoboth Outlets. While tourism is great for the First State, it makes it more critical for keeping Delaware and our Coastal areas liter free.

“If the beaches aren’t cleaned up, if they’re not the pristine as we want them to be, then we won’t get those visitors and they won’t be as enjoyable for the residents of our state.,” Carney said.

Today’s a good day to basically show your support for the beauty of our state to protect our coastal areas. And to make it more attractive for people, for our visitors. And for the people that don’t wear.

Just amazing to see the volunteers here from DELTECH and the program and all the volunteers that DNREC puts together on an annual basis, we have the “Anti-Litter Campaign”, Keep the litter free, keep Delaware litter free, we won’t have to have cleanups like this to the extent that we do now, if folks just not don’t litter in the first place, you know, keep their trash out, and in the trashcans in the appropriate places.

So today’s a good day to basically show your support for the beauty of our state to protect our coastal areas. And to make it more attractive for people, for our visitors. And for the people that don’t wear.

Plastic, Plastic, Plastic, plastic everywhere in Delaware and you’re more likely to find plastic along Delaware’s coast than anywhere else.

A lot of plastic, plastic bottles, beer bottles, plastic bags are the remnants of plastic bags, everything plastic, there’s not a lot of kind of wood products or other things that are dumped out here. It’s seems like at the end of time, all the plastic will be, you know, still be here present someplace. So that’s the biggest part, you know, plastic bottles, a lot of lot of cigarette stubs as well. Little small plastic tops for four bottles and that type of thing.

But where is all this trash coming from? “I think there’s a fair amount of it that comes from visitors here to Augustine Beach,” Carney explains. “A fair amount of it washes up on the shore from north of here…and so a combination of the two, I would guess.”

Speaking of plastics, Delaware Newsline ran a story on Newark Charter School back in April 2020 for Earth Day. Tami Lunsford’s class has been very involved in cleaning up Deemers Beach in New Castle all year long during the pandemic.

At the time, I wanted to learn more about these students and the awesome work they have been doing so I caught up with Tami Lunsford, a Marine and Science teacher from Newark Charter High School. Lunsford was with her students on the beach Saturday April 18, 2020, collecting trash, recyclables, and plastic pellets.

Coming to Deemers Beach for more than a month, these students have been collecting trash – trash that’s being left every day by it’s visitors. Plastic bottles, glass bottles, plastic lawn chairs, kites, glass, and fishing string are just a few of the things being collected from this small beach.

To be exact, 200 Pounds of trash, 100 pounds of recyclables, and 900 plastic pellets. That’s what these awesome Newark Charter High School students have been collecting at Deemers Beach in New Castle, and it was all collected on Saturday and this is just one day. These kids come out here several times during the school year to do the same thing over and over.

Photo by George Shea For Delaware Newsline | Newark Charter H.S. Students have collected over 200 pounds of trash at Deemers Beach – trash being left by it’s visitors.

The students range from 7th to 12th grade and trash isn’t the only thing they’re collecting. They’re also collecting plastic pellets which are also known as Nurdles. The students are Handpicking them one by one, and placing them into vials that are then counted and submitted to an organization called Nurdle Patrol, who then tries to determine how many Nurdles are in the environment.

I couldn’t help but ask Carney what he thought about the many young kids who are involved in keeping our environment clean and the work they are doing to help us better understand our environment.

“Yeah, it’s amazing. And even today with students from DELTECH, who were here and volunteered, we have students across the state, different high schools, of course Newark charter, just tremendous, you know, our young people, they’re the ones that are going to inherit the environment in the world that we, you know, turn over to them. And so it’s great that they have that.”

When asked what message he wanted to send those who come to our coastal areas and pollute, Carney said, “That’s our slogan, keep Delaware litter free. Don’t do it in the first place, and I’ll have a beautiful state for residents and for visitors.”

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Delaware Newsline

Delaware Newsline is a digital Delaware News Organization that provides local and national breaking news content to its Delaware and U.S. audience, by utilizing multiple platforms including web, social media, and video.

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