Nine dedicated volunteers with the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays spent 26 hours beginning March 8 removing 2.75 tons of assorted debris and trash from the James Farm Ecological Preserve.

The preserve is owned by Sussex County and managed by the center.

Waste Industries of Millsboro and its Full Circle program provided the construction dumpster used during the cleanup, and Sen. Gerald Hocker sponsored the preserve for the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s “Community Clean-Up” initiative.

What was collected stemmed from two sources: debris that had washed up into the marshes from the bays during storms — largely wood and fencing — and junk left at the site by visitors.

The James Farm Ecological Preserve serves the residents of and visitors to coastal Delaware and is open all year from dawn to dusk. There is no admission cost. In addition to hosting more than 10,000 visits by the general public and being home to the James Farm Middle School Education Program, the preserve is also the staging area for many of the center’s science and restoration activities.

Visitors are reminded that the facility is carry-in/carry-out and asks that all visitors respect the wildlife and other patrons by keeping dogs leashed and picking up after them.

Weekly volunteer opportunities including trail maintenance, invasive species control and facility repair take place at 9 a.m. Wednesdays at the preserve, 30048 Cedar Neck Road, Ocean View.

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