Delaware boaters asked to help map recreational boating activity in Mid-Atlantic Ocean via survey

DOVER (May 17, 2013) – Delaware recreational boaters have been asked to play a prominent role in helping to map future recreational Atlantic Ocean use by participating in the  2013 Mid-Atlantic Boater Survey. The survey is being conducted via the mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) to gain valuable and viable information about recreational boating activities throughout the region.

 Over 5,000 invitations went out to boaters in Delaware earlier this week asking them to take part in the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Boater Survey, with invitations also mailed to boaters from Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia. Information collected through the survey will be translated into maps and incorporated into MARCO’s online mapping tool to support ocean planning efforts in the region, including Delaware’s Atlantic waters.

Recreational boaters contacted for the survey were randomly selected from state and federal boating databases. Those who agree to participate will be emailed a short survey each month (June through November) asking them to describe their most recent boating trip from the previous month, including information about the location, duration and time aboard, activities such as angling and sailing, and money spent. 

The survey will yield valuable data in planning for how Atlantic Ocean resources are utilized and coordinated in the years ahead, and help minimize and avert potential user conflicts on the ocean, said Sarah Cooksey, administrator, DNREC’s Delaware Coastal programs and one of the state’s MARCO delegates. DCP encourages Delaware boaters contacted this week to participate in the survey, as data gathered will help with marine planning for the Delaware Bay and for Delaware’s Atlantic waters within the three-mile offshore limit, according to Ms. Cooksey. 

ABOUT MARCO:
With traditional coastal and ocean uses expanding, and new uses emerging, pressure grows to ensure sustainable growth of both current and future uses and resources. As such, it is important that ocean managers have the best available information about when and where uses take place in order to minimize conflicts. To address these challenges, and to ensure that future generations enjoy healthy and productive ocean ecosystems, the governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Virginia committed to a comprehensive, regional approach, creating the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean. The five MARCO states will work to maintain and improve the health of the Atlantic ocean and coastal resources, and ensure that they continue to contribute to the high quality of life and economic vitality of our region’s communities well into the future. 

For more information about 2013 Mid-Atlantic Boater Survey, please contact Lorraine Jordan, Urban Coast Institute, Monmouth University at 732-263-5662 or ljordan@monmouth.edu or visit the survey website.  

CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902, or Kate Fleming, Delaware Coastal Programs, 302-739-9283 

Vol. 43, No. 207

-30-


Gov. Markell, cabinet secretaries join Delmarva Wellnet to celebrate success of food-scrap recycling program REPLENISH

REHOBOTH BEACH (May 20, 2013) – This morning in Rehoboth Beach, Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara and Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee joined Delmarva Wellnet Foundation-EDEN Delmarva members to celebrate the success of the foundation’s food recycling project REPLENISH. Also in attendance were representatives from the composters, waste haulers, farms and Sussex county restaurants participating in REPLENISH.

First implemented in the Rehoboth Beach area in 2011, REPLENISH collects food scraps from local restaurants. These organic materials, including fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood, eggs, cheese, coffee grounds and filters, assorted cooked foods, plate scraping and compostable utensils and paper products, are transformed into nutrient-rich compost by Blue Hen Organics. This compost is then made available to area farmers that sell produce to the same restaurants.

“This innovative project is a model for cooperation and partnership between state government, private businesses, agricultural producers and community-based non-profit organizations to produce measurable benefits for the people of Delaware,” said Governor Markell. “We applaud EDEN Delmarva’s efforts to make this program happen, and look forward to their continuing successes.”

“Recycling initiatives like REPLENISH save money for restaurants and farmers, while supporting local businesses and local jobs,” said Secretary O’Mara. “By putting a previously untapped resource – organic restaurant scraps – to a healthy, productive use, we can create new economic value from resources that too often are thrown away and avoid filling up our landfills.” 

In 2012, REPLENISH collected 245 tons of organic materials from 30 restaurants in the Lewes-Rehoboth Beach, saving the restaurants an estimated $1,000 each annually on their trash bills. Blue Hen Organics composted these materials to make nearly 100 tons of nutrient-rich compost. By composting instead of landfilling, the program kept more than 500 tons of CO2 and nearly 25 tons of methane out of our air. To date, REPLENISH has diverted more than 500 tons of organic materials from landfills and helped produce 200 tons of compost. 

“REPLENISH works to educate restaurant owners, managers and staff on the benefits of reducing their environmental footprint and improving their economic efficiency,” said Dr. Kim Furtado, one of the founders of Delmarva Wellnet and REPLENISH. “The community at large enjoys four key benefits: cost savings, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, reduced need for chemical fertilizers resulting in less agricultural run-off to our waterways and watersheds, and increased market share for local famers creating fresher food for the community.”

“REPLENISH forms a direct link between our farms and our businesses, taking local produce grown on local lands to local restaurant kitchens to local diners’ plates and back again,” said Secretary Kee. “It’s a self-sustaining cycle in which everyone reaps the benefits, and it supports the agricultural community’s commitment to implementing best management practices and helping to reduce pollutants entering our waterways. I look forward to seeing this program expand to other parts of the state and spreading these benefits.”

At the celebration, REPLENISH Executive Director D.C. Kuhns announced plans to expand into northern Delaware, partnering with Peninsula Compost Company to work with more and larger food generators, truck farmers and poultry growers. “The goal for the next phase of the REPLENISH project is to continue to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and the resulting greenhouse gasses produced, and to improve and increase resource reclamation rates,” Kuhns said. “By including poultry litter in the resource recovery for compost, we can reduce nutrient run-off into our watersheds and also gradually improve water quality.”

Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin also applauded REPLENISH. “The REPLENISH program is a great example of a win-win proposition for businesses, the economy, and the planet,” Levin said. “Our beach resorts already boast some of the finest dining on the East Coast, and this expansion will only increase access to the fresh local produce that is so key to their reputation.”

REPLENISH received grant funding from the DNREC-administered Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiative, regional energy producer/supplier Constellation/Exelon, the Longwood Foundation and the Welfare Foundation. 

Key partners include Blue Hen Disposal, Blue Hen Organics, Peninsula Compost Group, Waste Management and the Rehoboth Beach- Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, as well as local restaurants and farmers. 

About Delmarva Wellnet Foundation
Incorporated as a community non-profit organization in 2003, the Delmarva Wellnet Foundation launched its Energize Delaware Now (EDEN) Delmarva project in 2010 to serve the Delmarva Peninsula by creating business opportunities for the reclamation and recovery of renewable resources, with a focus on agriculture. EDEN’s projects and programs include REPLENISH, which began operations in 2011. For more about Delmarva Wellnet or its projects including REPLENISH, please visit www.edendelmarva.org.   

About Blue Hen Organics
Blue Hen Organics began operations in 2010 with the goal of diverting organic waste from landfills to produce nutrient-rich compost to be used as a natural, organic soil additive in place of synthetic fertilizers. Its 46-acre facility near Dagsboro accepts biodegradable materials including yard waste, land clearing debris, poultry manure, food waste, and hatchery waste to turn into compost, topsoil, and specialty compost-based soil blends. Blue Hen Organics compost is sold to farmers, landscapers, and is available at 23 retail locations across the Delmarva Peninsula. 

About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
RGGI is the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with 10 Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states participating – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Through RGGI, CO2 emissions in the power sector are capped at 188 million short tons per year through 2014. This cap will be reduced by 2.5 percent each year for four years from 2015 through 2018, with a total reduction of 10 percent. A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one short ton of CO2, as issued by a respective participating state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions to demonstrate compliance at the end of each three-year control period. Power companies pay for these allowances and the resulting funds are used in the form of programs and grants to support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, visit www.rggi.org

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

Vol. 43, No. 208

-30-


DNREC and DelDOT announce project to build trail connector to protect pedestrian and bicyclists in White Clay Creek State Park

NEWARK (May 20, 2013) – Construction will
begin this week on a connector that will join two existing trail facilities
within the White Clay Creek State Park along Hopkins Road, as part of Governor
Jack Markell’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative.

The purpose of the project is to create safer conditions for
hikers, bicycle riders, runners and walkers who use the trail system in White
Clay Creek State Park.  Improvements
will include creating a separated and protected shoulder within the roadway for
pedestrians and bicyclists.

The project is 0.2 miles in length, located between Creek Road and
the northernmost end of the Pomeroy Trail where it joins Hopkins Road. The
project area crosses the bridge over White Clay Creek.

“By closing the remaining gaps within the 75 miles of trails
around Newark and White Clay Creek State Park, we will further enhance one of
the best outdoor experiences in the region for cyclists, runners, and hikers,”
said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara.

“Our goal has always been to create and sustain multiple modes of
transportation in Delaware,” said DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt. “The opening
of the connector in White Clay Creek State Park will provide more options for
pedestrians and bicyclists in the region.”

DelDOT is overseeing all of the project development and
construction, and administering the construction of the project through a
private contractor.

Trail users come up from Newark via the Pomeroy Trail into White
Clay Creek State Park.  The Pomeroy and Creek Road form a 3.4 mile loop
within the 3,044 acre park.

Construction is underway to pave portions of road shoulders and install
flexible delineators, as well as a low railing on the bridge walls. In
addition, pedestrian crosswalks will define crossings, and signage will note
that pedestrians and bicyclists will be crossing Hopkins Road.

The project is expected to take several weeks to complete.

For information about projects in the Governor’s Trails and Pathways
Initiative visit www.trails.delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 43, No. 210


Delaware students compete in 2013 Junior Solar Sprint; Students designed, built and raced model cars powered by solar energy

DOVER (May 17, 2013) – With the roar of full-sized NASCAR racers in the background, more than 80 middle and junior high school students from 10 schools participated in Delaware’s 19th Annual Junior Solar Sprint Competition on Wednesday, May 15 near the Monster Monument at Dover International Speedway. DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate organized the event to educate students about renewable energy and the environment through a creative and exciting competition.Junior Solar Sprint winning design team from Caravel Academy near Bear

Students designed and built model cars powered by solar photovoltaic cells and competed for trophies and the honor of having the fastest and best-designed cars in the state.

This year, the checkered flag went to Beacon Middle School in Lewes for the fastest car, while Caravel Academy in Bear took first place for best design. 

Participating schools also included: Holy Cross School, Dover; Milford Middle School and Milford Academy, Milford; Providence Creek Academy and Smyrna Middle School, Smyrna; Sanford School, Hockessin; Skyline Middle School and Springer Middle School, Wilmington; plus Smyrna Boys & Girls Club.

“Photovoltaic technology makes use of the abundant energy from the sun,” said Crystal Nagyiski, Solar Sprint event coordinator, DNREC Division of Energy and Climate. “We use photovoltaic technology as solar cells to power our watches and calculators, but solar power can do much more – by providing electricity for transportation and to heat and cool our homes and businesses. A solar electric panel provides a reliable, abundant and environmentally-smart source of energy.”  

Solar technologies diversify the energy supply, reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuels, improve air quality, and offset greenhouse gas emissions. A growing solar industry also stimulates our economy by creating jobs in solar products manufacturing and installation. 

The event included many of the same highlights and challenges of racing full-sized racecars, including a rain delay. Racers also competed in time trials and test runs prior to the start of the competition, and pit crews came equipped with spare parts for possible repairs. 

At the end of the day, the winning schools were:

Race Results: Fastest car

1st place: Beacon Middle School, Lewes – Car #18

2nd place: Skyline Middle School, Wilmington – Car #5

3rd place: Springer Middle School, Wilmington – Car #1

4th place: Skyline Middle School, Wilmington – Car #6 

Best Design:

1st place: Caravel Academy, Bear – Car #17

2nd place: Holy Cross School, Dover – Car #15

3rd place: Springer Middle School, Wilmington – Car #2

4th place: Springer Middle School, Wilmington – Car #1

5th place: Milford Middle School, Milford – Car #11

For more information on solar and other alternative sources of energy and the programs of the Delaware Division of Energy and Climate, visit www.energy.dnrec.delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 43, No. 205

-30-


Recycling Public Advisory Council to meet Thursday, May 23 in Dover

DOVER (May 20, 2013) – The Recycling Public Advisory Council (RPAC) will meet from 10 a.m. – noon Thursday, May 23, 2013 at the DelDot Felton/Farmington room, 800 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901.      

Topics on the RPAC agenda include:

  • Call to order, Introductions 
  • Public comments (20-minute cap, priority given to written comments)  
  • Approval of minutes from April 19, 2013 meeting  
  • Bottle fee collection update 
  • Universal Recycling Grant update 
  • Recycling market update 
  • Old/new business  
  • Additional public comments 
  • Next meeting: June 27, 2013, DelDOT Felton/Farmington Room, Dover DE 19901  
  • Adjourn

The Recycling Public Advisory Council was enacted into state law by Senate Bill 234 in May 2010 and charged with advising the Governor’s Office, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority on all aspects of recycling, including development of grant criteria and selection of applications; a methodology for measuring recycling rates; and possible outreach activities designed to achieve higher recycling rates.

For more information on the Recycling Public Advisory Council, please visit http://www.awm.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/RPAC.aspx.

For more information or for directions to the meeting location, please contact Bill Miller, Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Branch at 302-739-9403.

Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 43, No. 196

-30-