Tree Planting Projects Receive Grant Funding

Governor Carney puts toil into his Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative during a tree planting event at Fork Branch Nature Preserve in Kent County. DNREC Photo.

 

Tree For Every Delawarean Initiative Announces Conservation Partnership’s Latest Award Recipients

Five projects will receive a combined $60,000 in grant funding for tree plantings as part of Delaware’s Tree For Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI), the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and initiative partners announced today.

TEDI works with Delaware conservation partners including DNREC and the Department of Agriculture’s Delaware Forest Service to enhance and support tree planting projects throughout the state, with the goal of planting 1 million trees by 2030. To date, over 72,000 trees have been planted with funds allocated through TEDI. Combined with funding from other sources, a total of 120,000 trees have been planted since January 2020. The latest projects will add almost 8,000 trees to this total and are to be completed this fall and next spring.

The funded tree planting projects were selected from among 13 applications cumulatively seeking more than $250,000 in requests received during the latest funding round for TEDI.

Project recipients, their TEDI grant awards, and project locations include:

  • Delaware State Parks ($10,000) for tree plantings at Brandywine Creek and Delaware Seashore state parks
  • Delaware Botanic Gardens in Dagsboro ($17,500)
  • The Nature Conservancy ($10,000 ) for planting at the Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve near Millsboro
  • Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve ($5,000) for planting at Blackbird Landing in Townsend
  • Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington ($17,500)

TEDI is a partnership between the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy and the Delaware Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. TEDI provides technical assistance, resources to communities and financial support through grant awards.

Additional funding opportunities, as well as a list of nurseries that carry native trees, tips on tree care and a tree tracker can be found by visiting de.gov/tedi. Members of the public are encouraged to add newly-planted trees into the tracker in helping to support TEDI in reaching its million-tree goal.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Delaware Natural Resources Police Collect Toys as Holiday Gifts for Delaware Children

Santa with Delaware Natural Resources Police K-9 Rosco delivering Toys for Tots. DNREC photo.

 

DNREC Agencies Team Up for Toys for Tots Program

To kick off the holiday season, Delaware Natural Resources Police operating within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control once again are teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program to provide toys as gifts for children in local communities.

The Toys for Tots program collects new, unwrapped toys suitable for boys and girls of all ages and distributes the toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in communities nationwide. Once more helping spearhead the holiday effort in Delaware are three enforcement agencies from within DNREC: Fish and Wildlife Delaware Natural Resources Police, Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit, and Natural Resources Police Park Rangers.

Toys will be accepted through Wednesday, Dec. 14 in Kent and Sussex counties and through Wednesday, Dec. 7 in New Castle County. Toys can be taken to the following drop-off locations which host Toys for Tots donation boxes:

  • All Delaware State Park offices statewide, including the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, and the First State National Historical Park in New Castle County, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Delaware Natural Resources Police office in Sussex County at 23530 Campbell Circle, Georgetown, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information – or for the dates and locations of upcoming events where toys also can be donated – contact officers listed below from the three Delaware Natural Resources Police units:

For more information, visit toysfortots.org. To donate toys locally or make local monetary donations online, visit Toys for Tots websites for New Castle, Kent or Sussex counties.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment.  For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


Delaware State Parks Annual Passes, Surf Fishing Permits to go on Sale Nov. 29

 Starting Tuesday, Nov. 29, DNREC’s Delaware State Parks annual passes and surf fishing permits may be purchased at any state park office Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Passes and permits may also be purchased online.
 

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today that 2023 Delaware State Parks annual passes and surf fishing permits will go on sale starting at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Annual passes and surf fishing permits may be purchased at any state park office Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Passes and permits may also be purchased online at www.destateparks.com/Know/PassesTagsFees, with an estimated timeframe for delivery of three to four weeks. State park offices also will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, to accommodate holiday shoppers who want to include an annual parks pass or surf fishing permit in their gift-giving. Annual passes and surf fishing permits will not be sold at DNREC’s Dover campus.

The surf fishing permit sales cap implemented in 2019 has been removed as part of recently-announced surf fishing program changes to be piloted by DNREC for 2023, eliminating any need for rushing to purchase permits. With no cap to contend with, surf fishing permits for 2023 can be purchased at any time after sales start on Nov. 29.

Annual Park Passes

Annual passes are a convenient way to access Delaware’s state parks throughout the entire fee season from March 1 to Nov. 30. The annual pass costs $35 for Delaware residents and $70 for non-residents. Those ages 62 and older receive a discounted rate of $18 for residents and $35 for non-residents. A $65 lifetime pass is available for Delawareans 65 and older, the Delaware Military Pass is available for $17.50, and an Assistance Program Pass is available for $10.

Reduced rates are also offered to Delawareans who receive public assistance, or who are active-duty military or veterans. Active duty military personnel with an out-of-state license plate can purchase an annual pass at the in-state rate.

Delaware firefighters and emergency medical technicians can obtain an annual pass or surf fishing permit for free. Those who qualify must first obtain an application from their fire company or the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association. The completed form must be taken to a state park office to receive the pass or permit.

Surf Fishing Permits

The surf fishing permits available to anglers remain the same for the year ahead as DNREC pilots changes to the surf fishing permitting program. Sales are for an annual permit and a two-year permit, both of which enable year-round drive-on access, including peak weekends and holidays. Also available again for 2023 is the off-peak surf fishing permit that offers year-round drive-on access while excluding peak weekends and holidays from May 20 through the Labor Day weekend.

Surf fishing permit rates remains unchanged for 2023. The surf fishing permit fee for Delaware residents is $90 and $180 for out-of-state residents. Delaware residents age 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $80. The off-peak permit fee for Delaware residents is $70, while the fee for out-of-state residents is $140. For off-peak permits, Delaware residents 62 and older will get a discounted rate of $60.

First-time permit holders must also obtain a Delaware surf fishing license plate on which they are required to affix their surf fishing permit decal. In addition to entry onto Delaware State Parks’ drive-on beaches, the permit decal also doubles as an annual park pass.

New Surf Fishing Permit Reservation system

The cap on the number of surf fishing permits sold each year by DNREC is to be replaced with a technology-based reservation system for managing capacity on the 36 days that comprise peak weekends and holidays, when the state’s surf fishing beaches are in highest demand. Reservations are not available nor required for off-peak permits.

For more information about the 2023 pilot changes to the surf fishing program, including answers to frequently asked questions, go to destateparks.com/SurfTagSales .

About DNREC

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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DNREC to Host Public Meeting Dec. 5 on Proposed Restaurant for Cape Henlopen State Park

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host a public meeting to solicit feedback on the potential of a new restaurant at Cape Henlopen State Park Monday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cape Henlopen High School auditorium. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation will share a presentation about the proposal and gather public input on the proposed restaurant which would be located at the north side of the park’s main beach parking lot.

The proposed restaurant came from a publicly bid request for proposal (RFP) to manage the park’s main beach area concession, which includes amenity rentals such as chairs and umbrellas, with the potential for expanded visitor services. The RFP was spurred by visitor surveys, which showed park users wanted a higher level of food service and improvements to visitor amenities. The Cape Henlopen State Park concession contract was issued for a term of one year, with exclusive rights to negotiate with DNREC for an extension of up to 24 years.

La Vida Hospitality LLC was awarded the contract by DNREC in April to manage the existing main beach food concession. As part of that agreement, there was a provision for researching the feasibility of adding a restaurant and new restrooms, with time set aside allowing both parties to conduct due diligence before any final decisions are made regarding the proposed restaurant.

Additionally, as part of that research, Division of Parks and Recreation staff continue to gather data regarding natural and cultural resources in the area, and seek public input regarding the levels of service provided at the site – such as accessibility, restrooms and improved food service. The upcoming public meeting continues that outreach effort.

The division also held an open house at Cape Henlopen State Park in June to share information and gather public feedback about capital projects and proposed planning efforts, including the proposed restaurant, to improve the park’s amenities and conserve Cape Henlopen’s natural and cultural resources. DNREC extended a public comment period following that meeting and shared the feedback received with the Parks and Recreation Council during its Nov. 3 quarterly meeting, at which public comment on the potential project also was accepted.

Anyone unable to attend the Dec. 5 public meeting but wanting to give feedback on the proposed restaurant may do so by visiting destateparks.com/contact and selecting “Cape Henlopen Restaurant Proposal” from the Delaware State Parks location drop-down menu.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov.

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DNREC Premiering New Nature Film ‘Wetlands of Wonder: The Hidden World of Vernal Pools’

‘Wetlands of Wonder: The Hidden World of Vernal Pools,’ a 54-minute nature documentary produced by DNREC in partnership with 302 Stories and filmmaker Michael Oates, will air starting today on DNREC’s YouTube Channel

 

Free Admission Through DNREC’s YouTube Channel

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has partnered with the production company 302 Stories and writer-director Michael Oates to produce and premiere the nature documentary “Wetlands of Wonder: The Hidden World of Vernal Pools.” The 54-minute film features a panoramic voyage into Delmarva Bays called vernal pools, unique wetland ecosystems found in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The film began airing today on DNREC’s YouTube Channel.

Vernal pools – also known as Coastal Plain seasonal ponds – are small, isolated wetlands that usually emerge in shallow depressions in the ground around forests, seasonally-flooded woodlands or floodplains. Though seasonally inundated, these ecosystems seldom hold water year-round, yet provide important habitat for amphibians and invertebrates, particularly for breeding purposes. Vernal pools, like other wetlands, also provide critical benefits to water quality and function for sustaining fauna and flora across the Delmarva Peninsula.

“Vernal pools are typically small in size, but provide enormous ecological value to a wide variety of species,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This film captures the uniqueness of this little-known wetland type, by putting audiences in contact with rare species found in and around forests, woodlands, floodplains and even underwater.”

The film features a journey through the seasons in vernal pools spanning a year in the life of the species that call these habitats home. Filmmaker Oates and partners including DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment program and DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife staff provide up-close views as well as rare underwater footage of the daily behavior of species that inhabit vernal pools. Included in this hidden world are some of Delaware’s rare and endangered species, such as the Eastern tiger salamander and the barking tree frog, and from the plant world yellow-eyed grass and bog button.

Also featured in the film are monitoring efforts by DNREC scientists and biologists to track environmental changes that impact the function of animal and plant species in these natural areas. “Wetlands of Wonder” also boasts interviews with a range of environmental staff and students from across Delmarva who work to improve research that can lead to a better understanding of this rare natural resource.

Additional production partners for the film include the Delaware Forest Service, University of Delaware, Delaware Nature Society, Eastern Mennonite University and Virginia Vernal Pools, LLC. Funding to produce the documentary was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through DNREC.

More information about “Wetlands of Wonder: The Hidden World of Vernal Pools” can be found at 302stories.com. The full-length documentary is available from today on DNREC’s YouTube Channel.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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