Nominations Open for 2020 Young Environmentalist Awards

Caroline Nacchia was was honored in 2019

Nominate a Student Making a Difference for the Environment Today

Isabella Nacchia was honored in 2019
Isabella Nacchia was honored in 2019

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is looking for Delaware students who are working to make a difference for the environment, and encouraging teachers, classmates, club or group leaders, family members and others to nominate these students for the 2020 Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards. Nominations must be based on actions or projects which have taken place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

The Young Environmentalist program honors Delaware students whose actions have helped protect, restore or enhance of Delaware’s natural resources through one or more of the following: demonstrating environmental stewardship, initiating an innovative project, increasing public awareness or demonstrating environmental ethics.

Nominations will be accepted through Friday, July 10, 2020. A winner will be chosen from each of the following categories: elementary (grades 1-4), middle school (grades 5-8), and high school (grades 9-12). Each category winner will receive a certificate, gift card and prize pack in recognition of his or her contribution to the community.

This is the 27th year for DNREC’s Young Environmentalist awards program. Past honorees have included students who planned community cleanups and tree plantings, founded or led school environmental clubs or projects and volunteered at parks and nature centers, as well as beekeepers, nature photographers, recycling advocates and young lobbyists.

In past years, winners have been honored in a special ceremony on Governor’s Day at the Delaware State Fair, which is tentatively planned for Thursday, July 30 this year. All plans are subject to change based on health and safety considerations and any changes will be announced.

Nominations may be submitted online at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/young-environmentalists/, or emailed to joanna.wilson@delaware.gov.

For more information, including nomination forms, please visit https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/young-environmentalists/, or call DNREC Public Affairs at 302-739-9902.

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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Polly Drummond yard waste site closed for the day Sunday for capacity and traffic

DOVER, Del. – The Polly Drummond Hill drop-off yard waste site near Newark, which opened for the season on Saturday, April 18, was closed to further drop-offs about noon on Sunday because of yard waste material capacity and traffic issues.

Traffic and capacity caused DNREC to close the Polly Drummond Hill yard waste drop-off site temporarily Sunday, April 19

On Sunday morning, the site had already reached about 80 percent capacity from material that was dropped off by residents on Saturday. Then dozens of cars trying to access the site at once created a long line out of the entrance and onto Polly Drummond Hill Road, blocking traffic and requiring DNREC Natural Resources Police and Delaware State Police to respond.

DNREC will work this week to have its contractor shred and remove all the material that was dropped, and create a traffic plan with the goal of reopening the site on Saturday, April 25. The site operates Saturdays and Sundays.

A list of commercial yard waste drop-off sites that residents can use as an alternative is at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/waste-hazardous/yard-waste/drop-off-sites/

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 DNREC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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DNREC provides virtual environmental and educational content

DOVER, Del. – As events and programs are canceled or postponed during Governor Carney’s emergency declaration for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control encourages Delawareans to take advantage of its robust collection of online resources. They can watch live virtual park programs multiple times a week, take a virtual boating course, explore parks and historical areas by video and more.

A few online resources and services include:

  • Daily Delaware State Parks Virtual Content: Dive into Delaware State Parks from the comfort of home with videos and interactive blog posts shared with the public every day at 11 a.m. Park interpreters provide virtual programs through a new series of videos posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on Delaware State Parks’ Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts. History lessons, scavenger hunts, virtual hikes and other activities are featured on the Delaware State Parks Adventure Blog every Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, each state park now has a designated day of the week to post special content on their individual Facebook pages. All virtual content will remain online for the public to view at any time.
  • DNREC YouTube Channel: Explore the world of DNREC through video. From barn owls to snowy owls, Mirror Lake to Massey’s Landing, recycling tips and environmental education. DNREC has lots of engaging content to share with kids and adults alike. One recent video is an overview of the Fort Miles area of Cape Henlopen State Park, a good way to see and learn the history of Delaware’s critical World War II military installation with tours currently not taking place.
  • Outdoor Delaware: Enjoy the digital Outdoor Delaware. In the spring edition, read about the red knot’s migration from South America to the Delaware Bay, cleaner alternatives to gas-powered cars, and how to create backyard habitats without breaking the bank.
  • Turkey Hunting Safety Classes: Delaware’s annual wild turkey hunting season will run April 11 to May 9, with a special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory disabled hunters on April 4. Before hunting turkeys in Delaware for the first time, hunters must pass a turkey hunting course approved by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. An online class is now available until May 17 on YouTube. After watching the full course, candidates should take a 20-question exam, available on DNREC’s Fish and Wildlife webpage.
  • Boating Safety Education: Although in-person classes have been canceled, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife offers four online options to complete the Delaware Boating Safety Education, required for boat operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1978. Choose an option – there’s even a free course – and get ready to enjoy the First State’s waterways today.

DNREC also provides online options for doing business with the department during the coronavirus period, including obtaining licenses and permits, attending virtual public hearings and contacts for various regulatory programs.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Smyrna man arrested on drug charges

DOVER, Del. – A Smyrna man was arrested Feb. 25 on drug charges following a traffic stop and vehicle search in Dover conducted by the Delaware Natural Resources Police – Environmental Crimes Unit, in which officers seized as evidence 322 grams of marijuana, 66 Xanax pills, $1,225 in cash, a digital scale, and drug packaging materials.

Andrew Burns, 23, was charged with one count of each of the following:

  • Andrew Burns
    Andrew Burns

    Manufacture/deliver/possession with intent to deliver controlled substance Tier 2 quantity

  • Manufacture/deliver/possession with intent to deliver controlled substance
  • Possession of controlled substance Tier 2 quantity
  • Possession of controlled substance Tier 1 quantity
  • Conspiracy second degree – agreement to engage in felony criminal conduct
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia not related to personal use quantity marijuana
  • Failure to have insurance identification in possession
  • Operation of an unregistered motor vehicle
  • Display of license plate
  • Unsafe passing on the left
  • Duty to sign and carry driver’s license

Burns was arraigned via video phone in Justice of the Peace Court 2 and released on his own recognizance, pending a court date.

Delawareans are encouraged to report environmental violations to DNREC’s Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit by calling the 24-hour environmental complaints line at 800-662-8802.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov


DNREC Environmental Crimes Unit arrests two Wilmington men on multiple drug and weapon-related charges

DOVER – DNREC’s Delaware Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit arrested two Wilmington men Dec. 31 and charged them with numerous drug- and weapon-related crimes after a traffic stop on Route 1 southbound led to discovery of crack cocaine in their possession. One of the men arrested had multiple warrants outstanding with the Wilmington Police Department, including first-degree robbery, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, and resisting arrest.

Joseph B. Coverdale

Jamar Smith

After pulling over the vehicle and making contact with the driver, Jamar Smith, 30, and passenger Joseph B. Coverdale, a DNREC ECU officer detected an odor of marijuana. An ECU search of the vehicle and the two occupants yielded 27.39 grams of crack cocaine and 1 gram of marijuana.

In connection with the traffic stop, Smith was charged by DNREC ECU with one count each of the following: manufacture/delivery of, or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in a tier 3 quantity; conspiracy second degree – agreement to engage in felony criminal conduct; possession of drug paraphernalia not related to personal use quantity of marijuana; possession of marijuana, and failure to signal continuously when moving right, left, or turning.

In connection with the traffic stop, Coverdale was charged with one count of each of the following: manufacture/delivery of, or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in a tier 3 quantity; tampering with physical evidence; conspiracy second degree – agreement to engage in felony criminal conduct; possession of drug paraphernalia not related to personal use quantity of marijuana; and possession of marijuana. Coverdale had multiple warrants outstanding with the Wilmington Police Department for the following charges: robbery first degree; possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony; carrying a concealed deadly weapon – firearm; conspiracy first degree; burglary second degree; and resisting arrest.

Following the traffic stop and initial charges, the Delaware State Police Governor’s Task Force and Delaware Probation and Parole conducted a search of a residence on Deville Circle in Wilmington that yielded 11 bags of heroin and a loaded 9-mm handgun.

In connection with the Deville Circle residential search, Smith was also charged by Delaware State Police with one count each of the following: possession, purchase, own or control of a deadly weapon, semi-automatic weapon, or automatic weapon by a person prohibited, who also possesses a controlled substance; possession, purchase, own or control of a firearm/destructive weapon if previously convicted of two violent felonies on separate occasions; possession, purchase, own or control of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited due to a prior violent crime or felony conviction; and possession or consumption of a controlled or counterfeit substance except human growth hormone without a prescription; and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child by committing a Title 16 offense with a child in the dwelling.

Both men were video-arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover. Smith was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown on $26,226 secured bond. Coverdale was committed to the same facility on $78,400 cash bond.

Delawareans are encouraged to report environmental violations to DNREC’s Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit by calling the 24-hour environmental complaints line at 800-662-8802.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

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