DNREC, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays To Host Water Family Fest Saturday, May 14

Delaware’s Sassafras Landing living shoreline, a joint project of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, was recognized as one of the 2021 Best Restored Shores by the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA). /DNREC photo

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) are again partnering to host Water Family Fest and Annual Native Plant Sale. The family-friendly event will be held at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 14. The free event highlights the work by DNREC and the CIB in the Inland Bays to improve Delaware’s environment and preserve the area’s natural resources, including wetlands, water quality and living shorelines.

Water Family Fest visitors will enjoy exhibits from more than 20 nature-based and non-profit organizations while taking advantage of the opportunity to explore a variety of environmental topics including native plants, shellfish, buffers, beaches, wetlands, tax ditches, rain gardens and more. Visitors also can explore hiking trails, take a guided hike, and even try paddle boarding and kayaking.

Short talks on topics such as horseshoe crabs, aquaculture, green infrastructure, and native plants are scheduled every half hour at Water Family Fest from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event also features family activities such as seining, bird identification and horseshoe crab tagging. An event program can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

Also, as part of Delaware Flood Awareness Week, DNREC’s Floodplain Management Program will unveil a working model of a floodplain at Water Family Fest that helps young people understand flooding and its impacts. The Enviroscape tabletop model at Water Family Fest offers a hands-on creative way to demonstrate flooding and floodplain management concepts. The model also shows how flooding on the floodplain can be caused by unplanned development – and the importance of wetlands in helping mitigate flooding impacts.

Sponsors of the event include Inland Bays Garden Center, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, WSFS Bank, Coldwell Banker Realty, Real McCoy Group, Sussex County Association of Realtors, Coastal Plant Care, Jolly Trolley, G&E Hardware, Bethany Club Tennis and Delmarva Public Media.

More information about the Water Family Fest can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

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, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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


US Wind and Ørsted Conducting Offshore Wind Research

Companies Updating Data for Maryland-Approved Projects

Visitors to Delaware Seashore State Park will see an increase in activity in the coming months as US Wind and Ørsted, two offshore wind energy development companies, conduct research and collect data to determine the best path forward for their wind projects.

Both companies plan to update and refresh information collected in the Indian River Bay in 2016 and 2017, and to conduct geotechnical work in the Atlantic and at some land-based locations.

In 2017, the Maryland Public Service Commission awarded US Wind Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) for the construction of a roughly 248 megawatt (MW) offshore wind project. A second 808.5 MW project received approval in December 2021.

Ørsted has also received approval from Maryland’s PSC for two projects: Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 MW project, and Skipjack 2, an 846 MW wind project. All four projects are proposed to be built in wind energy areas off the Delaware and Maryland coasts.

“Any project of this scope requires an extensive regulatory process, as well as considerable public input. Gathering the information is the first step,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

In 2019, Ørsted researched the possibility of using Fenwick Island State Park as a location for an interconnection facility. It was later determined that the location was not environmentally feasible.

“We’ve heard the feedback of Delawareans who told us they want to be updated on offshore wind activities, including research. We want to ensure the public is aware of these activities and what the research entails,” Garvin said.

The research will include geotechnical investigations in the Atlantic and Indian River Bay, land-based geotechnical sampling at Delaware Seashore State Park and other work including data collection on wetlands, rare species and cultural resources.

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, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


Gov. Carney Celebrates 150th Arbor Day in Rehoboth Beach

Promotes his “Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative” to Plant One Million Trees

 

Photos at Delaware Forest Service  Flickr Album

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (May 6, 2022) – Governor John C. Carney, Jr. celebrated the 150th Anniversary of Arbor Day at Rehoboth Elementary School by spotlighting his “Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative” in a ceremony attended by members of the General Assembly, state and local officials, schoolchildren, and their families. Governor Carney recognized two of Delaware’s 14 Tree City USA communities – the City of Rehoboth Beach for 31 years and Dover Air Force Base for 30 years – and also honored student winners in the annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest. The event culminated with the planting of 10 native trees on the school campus.

Gov. Carney and Gustavsen
Governor carney took photos with New Castle County kindergarten poster winner Issac Gustavsen and his family.

Featured speakers included Rehoboth Elementary Principal Dr. Doris Person, Rehoboth Beach Mayor Stan Mills, Education Secretary Dr. Mark Holodick, Agriculture Secretary Michael T. Scuse, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, and Delaware State Forester Michael Valenti. Honored guests included Speaker of the House Peter Schwartzkopf (D-14), Senator Ernesto B. Lopez (R-6), Senator David L. Wilson (R-18), Rep. Stephen Smyk (R-20), and Rehoboth city officials.

“Last year, we introduced Delaware’s Climate Action Plan  to confront the threat of climate change on our coastlines and across our state,” said Governor John Carney. “Reducing emissions is essential to improving the state’s environmental health and the Tree for Every Delaware Initiative will help us in this effort.”

Rehoboth Poster Winners
Governor Carney joined Rehoboth Elementary School principal Dr. Doris Person, teacher Jacqueline Kisiel, and school poster winners after the event.

“What I love about Arbor Day is that we are teaching our children the importance of trees and the environment not just in theory but with hands-on action. Planting a tree is a simple act that we can do together as a community on a day like today and something many students and their families can do at home or in their community,” Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said.

“Arbor Day is a perfect day to highlight TEDI – the Governor’s Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative – with its goal of planting one million trees, approximately one for every Delawarean,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “We encourage Delawareans of all ages to join us in planting trees to reach this goal and help create a healthier planet.”

Delaware State Forester Michael Valenti recognized Mayor Stan Mills and the City of Rehoboth Beach for 31 years as a Tree City USA. Dover Air Force Base accepted recognition from Gov. Carney for its 30 years as a Tree City USA. View the complete list of Delaware’s 14 Tree City USA communities.

“This year’s poster contest theme is “Trees are Terrific – for Today and Tomorrow!” highlighting how trees we plant today ensure a better life for us now and for countless generations to come,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “The Department of Agriculture, the Delaware Forest Service, and its Urban and Community Program work year-round with citizens all over Delaware to harness the power of trees to transform communities. We have a staff of professional foresters who offer technical assistance to help homeowners select the best tree species, plant the right tree in the right place, and learn how to nurture and care for their trees.”

Fifth-grader Lilly Bartlett of Allen Frear Elementary School in Camden was the state winner of the Arbor Day Poster Contest. A record number of entries participated this year: almost 9,500 students from more than 75 schools submitted posters.  View the complete gallery at http://de.gov/arbordaypostercontest.

State Winner Lilly Bartlett
Lilly Bartlett of Allen Frear Elementary in Camden was the State Winner of the Arbor Day Poster Contest, shown here with her parents Stephanie and John Bartlett.

 

Girl Scout Troop #172
Governor Carney, Rehoboth Mayor Stan Mills, and cabinet officials recognized Girl Scout Troop #172 for helping wrap seedlings for this year’s Arbor Day Poster Contest participants.

 

 

Gov. Carney ARBOR DAY
Governor Carney highlight the TEDI program and stressed the need to plant more trees in the First State.

 

Garvin
DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin highlighted the Governor’s “Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative” and the effort to plant one million trees in the First State.

 

Rehoboth and Dover Air Force Base Tree City USAs
Rehoboth Beach celebrated 31 years as a Tree City USA while Dover Air Force Base reached the 30 year mark this year.

 


DNREC, DEMA Sponsor Delaware Flood Awareness Week

Flooding such as occurred in Delaware during Hurricane Sandy is becoming a bigger threat to country’s lowest-lying state.

 

Interactive Quiz, Flood Insurance Webinar and Social Media
Campaign Highlight Daily Flood-Related Themes from May 9 to 13

Governor John Carney has proclaimed May 9 through 13 Delaware Flood Awareness Week to inform residents about flood risk, likelihood of flooding from extreme weather events brought on by climate change, the importance of having a flood insurance policy, and flood remediation for property damage or loss. “Every Delawarean should make sure that they are prepared for unexpected flood events,” said Governor Carney. “Flood Awareness Week allows for federal, state and local emergency agencies to increase public awareness of flood risks. Explore the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s resources to make sure that you’re prepared.”

Throughout next week DNREC and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) will highlight numerous resources for flood awareness in Delaware, to include an interactive quiz, webinar and floodplain mapping tool.

“Delaware is the lowest-lying state and has the lowest average land elevation in the country – we are already susceptible to flooding and becoming more at risk from sea level rise,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “With climate change spawning more extreme weather events, including hurricanes and tornadoes, flooding is an issue that we must confront with greater urgency. It’s imperative to get word out on flooding and flood risk management.”

“Delaware is experiencing significant flooding with increasing frequency in areas that have not previously experienced flood events. We encourage residents to be proactive to understand how flooding could affect them and take the appropriate precautions to protect their property and families,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Nathaniel McQueen Jr.

Much of the impetus behind Delaware Flood Awareness Week is helping the public become better informed about flood insurance, which provides policy holders with financial security and ensures quick recovery of personal property from flood damage. Delawareans can learn how much they know with a new interactive online flood quiz, available on Monday, May 9 from @DelawareDNREC social media pages. The quiz and much more information about flood awareness also can be found at de.gov/floodrisk.

Much of the focus for Flood Awareness Week is on the tools and resources available to help Delawareans understand flood risk and be proactive addressing it on a personal property level. DNREC and DEMA staff will be on hand virtually and via social media during the week to explain flood insurance issues, to help residents access a flood insurance policy, and to advise on mitigation assistance resources in Delaware.

On Tuesday, May 10, DNREC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will host a flood insurance virtual open house, with two hour-long discussions, in the morning from 10 to 11 a.m. and an evening session from 6 to 7 p.m. The open house offers expert commentary from the state and federal level, and the private sector on flood insurance and Risk Rating 2.0, the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) new risk rating and pricing methodology. At the end of each open house, the panel will address general questions from attendees via Zoom chat. More information, including Zoom registration, can be found at de.gov/floodrisk.

DNREC’s Floodplain Management program will drive more flood insurance and flood awareness outreach later this month, with a DART bus traveling Sussex County routes outfitted with a graphic depiction of a flooded Delaware community under the heading “FLOODS. Are You Prepared?”

The Wednesday, May 11 theme “Flood Safety” is highlighted by more social media and outreach from DEMA, carrying messages such as “Flooding Can Be Dangerous” and, particularly in Delaware, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” when encountering flooded roadways – a typical passenger vehicle can be swept away toward a tragic outcome by as little as 12 inches of onrushing water.

The flood awareness theme for Thursday, May 12 is “Know Your Flood Risk,” with a goal of encouraging Delawareans to research flood risk for their property. DNREC supports this effort by providing the Delaware Flood Planning Tool app, which can be found at de.gov/floodplanning. DNREC’s social media awareness message for the day is “Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Know your flood risk. Use the Delaware Flood Planning Tool to view other flood risk information for your property.”

For the Friday, May 13, and the flood awareness theme of “Remediation and Mitigation,” DEMA will turn to social media for explaining how actions taken now can reduce Delaware’s vulnerability to future disasters – how, on average, $1 spent on hazard mitigation provides Delawareans $4 in future benefits. The theme extends to helping Delawareans understand the benefits of mitigating at the local level, including how they can apply for mitigation grants through their local communities.

The finale for flood awareness week outreach efforts is a bonus for the next generation of Delaware property owners. DNREC’s Floodplain Management Program will unveil a working model of a floodplain Saturday, May 14 at the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship’s “Water Family Fest” at the James Farm Ecological Reserve that helps young people understand flooding and its impacts. The Enviroscape tabletop is a hands-on way to demonstrate flooding and floodplain management concepts – along with showing how flooding on the floodplain can be caused by unplanned development, and the role wetlands play in helping mitigate flooding impacts.

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, Twitter or LinkedIn.

About DEMA
The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), a division within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS), is the lead state agency for coordination of comprehensive emergency preparedness, training, response, recovery and mitigation services in order to save lives, protect Delaware’s economic base and reduce the impact of emergencies. For more information, visit the website and connect with DEMA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: DNREC: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; DEMA: Paige Fitzgerald, paige.fitzgerald@delaware.gov

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Delaware Changes Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishing Regulations

A summer flounder. Graphic illustration: Duane Raver for DNREC

 

Delaware recreational fishing regulations for summer flounder, scup and black sea bass were changed effective May 1, 2022 to ensure the state’s compliance with regional fisheries management plans (FMP) for these species, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today.

A black sea bass. Graphic illustration: Duane Raver for DNREC
A black sea bass. Graphic illustration: Duane Raver for DNREC

The recreational fishing regulations were instituted to sustainably manage each species consistent with FMP recreational harvest limits and to provide recreational fishing opportunities. The changes are:

  • Minimum summer flounder size limit was reduced from 16.5 inches to 16 inches, with a continued four-fish daily limit and all-year season.
  • Scup size limit was increased from 8 to 9 inches, with a continued 50-fish daily limit and all-year season.
  • Black sea bass size limit was increased from 12.5 to 13 inches while the season was shortened by 20 days (runs May 15 through Dec. 11), with a continued 15-fish daily limit.

For more information on the regulations, contact the DNREC Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914 or see the 2022 Delaware Fishing Guide.

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 Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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