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Coastal Cleanup Nets Approximately 31,000 Pounds of Trash

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Trash Believed to be a Result of Hurricane and Tropical Storm

SALISBURY, Md. - Volunteers picked up approximately 31,000 pounds of trash from beaches and rivers throughout Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey during the 25th annual Coastal Cleanup in September. The amount collected represented an increase from the estimated 19,000 pounds of trash collected last year, and event organizers believe that could be because extra debris washed ashore during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

Unusual items collected included a BMX bicycle, woman’s wig, flag pole, car bumper, keyboard, shotgun shells, rain gutter and kitchen counter top. Typical items found included cigar and cigarette butts, beverage containers, plastic bags and balloons with attached strings or ribbons. Balloons, strings and ribbons pose a serious threat to wildlife. Animals and aquatic life can mistake balloons for food and become entangled in the strings and ribbons. This year Delaware introduced recycling as part of the cleanup with volunteers separating trash from recyclables.

The event, cosponsored by Delmarva Power and area environmental, governmental and business organizations, attracted over 2,700 volunteers at 50 sites. Delmarva Power was the primary corporate sponsor for the 21st consecutive year, providing commemorative T-shirts for participants.

“Judging by the number of volunteers who participated, I think it is evident that Coastal Cleanup continues to be an annual environmental tradition in this area,” said Matt Likovich, Delmarva Power spokesman. “We appreciate the volunteers’ time and energy in cleaning up our beaches and rivers.”

Coastal Cleanup is part of International Coastal Cleanup, sponsored by Ocean Conservancy, an organization that works to protect the world’s oceans.

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 122,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware .