DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation extends deadline for Fenwick Island State Park Improvements Survey

FENWICK – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has extended the Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey deadline to Jan. 15, 2020. The extension is to allow further input regarding improvements to the park that are under consideration.

The estimated $18 million in proposed improvements look at ways to improve traffic flow, upgrade infrastructure, and add new recreational amenities. Ørsted, an offshore wind developer, has proposed funding these projects as part of a public-private partnership.

The funding for the amenities under consideration could be done sooner if the State allows the Maryland Skipjack Wind Farm project proposed in Federal waters to connect to the electrical grid under Fenwick Island State Park. DNREC is extending the period to take comments on the park improvements. Comments on the wind farm should be directed to United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Office of Public Affairs at BOEMPublicAffairs@boem.gov, 202-208-6474 or 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.

The Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey and its comment section are specific to the park and its amenities. For questions or to complete the survey, visit www.destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements.

For more information about the Skipjack Wind Farm, visit https://skipjackwindfarm.com. For additional information on the Federal approval process through BOEM, visit www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/maryland-activities.

Contact: Shauna McVey, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 302-739-9220.


DNREC preparing for upcoming dredging of Massey’s Ditch

LONG NECK – DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section is preparing for the upcoming dredging of a vital channel for Delaware boaters, Massey’s Ditch, which is the main waterway connecting Rehoboth Bay to Indian River Bay. The northern portion of the waterway known as Baker’s Channel will also be dredged as part of the project. Baker’s Channel is the alternate route for boaters to take to get from Rehoboth Bay to Indian River Bay when Massey’s Ditch becomes impassible due to shoaling.

In preparation for the project, DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship channel-marking crew is removing all aids to navigation (buoys) from Baker’s Channel. Over the last several years, numerous buoys from Baker’s Channel have been lost during the winter, due to icing and extreme weather conditions, and it has become very expensive to continue to replace them. The channel-marking crew will return in the spring prior to the boating season to restore these navigational aids.

The Massey’s Ditch dredging project will begin early next month, and be completed by the end of February. When the project is complete, Massey’s Ditch will be dredged to a width of 100 feet and a depth of 7.5 feet. About 100,000 cubic yards of material – almost completely comprised of sand – will be dredged, and pumped to the north side of Indian River Inlet to help replenish the beach at Delaware Seashore State Park in order to protect against erosion and storm damage.

For more information, please call the Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-739-9921.

Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


Source Water Protection Subcommittee to meet Dec. 12 in Dover

DOVER – The Source Water Assessment Plan (SWAP) Subcommittee of the Source Water Assessment and Protection Program will meet from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Training Room of Tidewater Utilities,1100 South Little Creek Road, Dover, DE 19901.

The SWAP Subcommittee’s meeting agenda can be found on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/64203.

For more information about the Source Water Assessment and Protection Program, please visit http://delawaresourcewater.org, or contact Source Water Program Hydrologist Douglas Rambo at 302-739-9945.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC reopens wooded areas of Alapocas Run State Park without further sighting of black bear seen earlier in park

WILMINGTON – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has re-opened Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington, which was closed Dec. 5 due to the sighting of a black bear in the park that has been reportedly moving around northern New Castle County this week.DNREC Logo

After the park’s temporary closure, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, with the assistance of Delaware State Police’s aviation unit, conducted aerial searches of the Alapocas Run State Park and surrounding areas using infrared radar technology but did not detect the bear. Fish & Wildlife and State Parks Natural Resources Police officers also placed trail cameras overnight and conducted extensive patrols by foot throughout the park without further sightings.

DNREC Natural Resources Police advise that visitors to Alapocas Run State Park should still keep an eye out for the bear and if it is seen, should call Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police’ 24-hour dispatch line at 800-523-3336.

Should you see a black bear, the Division of Fish & Wildlife advises taking the following precautions:

  • If a bear is seen:
    • Do not approach, attempt to touch, feed, or shoot at the bear. Back away slowly – give it space. Go inside and wait for the bear to leave. Once inside, please contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at 800-523-3336 to report the sighting.
    • Keep in mind, most bears fear people and will retreat when they see you.
  • Eliminate potential food sources that could attract the bear by cleaning or removing anything outdoors that may smell like food. This includes:
    • Locking garbage in a secure trash container, or keeping it inside until the day of pick-up.
    • Rinsing trash containers with ammonia to eliminate food odors.
    • Temporarily discontinuing the use of backyard compost piles.
    • Storing cooking grills inside or keeping them clean of food residue.
    • Temporarily removing birdfeeders ─ there are many wild food sources for birds during this time of year.
  • If you have animals, particularly dogs or cats:
    • Keep their food indoors. If animals are fed outdoors, only feed the animal what it will eat in one sitting to ensure that there is no food remaining.
    • Corral livestock close to buildings and use outdoor lighting at night.
    • If you have electric fencing, make sure it’s turned on to protect chicken coops, livestock nursery pens, etc.
    • Promptly dispose of dead farm animals.

Black bear populations within neighboring states of Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have expanded over the past several decades. As a result, it is not unusual for a bear find its way into Delaware.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

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DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Nov. 25 – Dec. 1

Reminder for the week: Rules on using bait while hunting in Delaware

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Nov. 25 – Dec. 1 made 1,172 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 31 citations. Officers responded to 47 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • On Nov. 25, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended a Toys for Tots donation event with DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, State Parks Natural Resources Police, and Environmental Crimes Natural Resources Police at the Brandywine Zoo as reported in a DNREC press release.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Hunting migratory waterfowl over illegal bait (1), possession of unlawfully taken waterfowl (1), hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (3), possess/transport unlawfully taken game – antlerless deer (6), trespass to hunt (1), and hunting on a refuge (2).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).

Public Safety: Possession, purchase, ownership, or control of a firearm, deadly weapon, or ammunition by a person prohibited (5), possession of marijuana – civil (1)*, possession of marijuana – aggravating factor other than for personal use (1), possession of a controlled substance – tier 5 methamphetamines (1), manufacture, deliver, or possession of LSD (1), possession of human growth hormones without prescription (1), and possession of drug paraphernalia (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4)* and wildlife area map violation – parked in an area designated no stopping, standing, or parking (1).

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters, and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. The Public are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters that it is illegal to use bait to hunt game, except for hunting deer on privately-owned lands. Bait is defined in Delaware law as any nontoxic food material, compound, or mixture of ingredients which wildlife is able to consume.

For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Printed copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide are available at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or by calling the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. The printed guide also is available from license agents throughout the state.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913