Junior Duck Stamp winners to be displayed at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge March 23 to 30

PRIME HOOK – The winning entries of the 2013 Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Competition will be judged at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 11978 Turkle Pond Road, Milton. The entries will be displayed at the center until Saturday, March 30. 

Sponsored by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife in partnership with Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, the Junior Duck Stamp competition provides an opportunity for students throughout Delaware to participate in a national art competition keyed to native waterfowl and wetland values. Students learn hands-on activities in waterfowl, wetland and habitat education and conservation while completing duck stamp art entries.

Artwork is judged in K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12 grade categories. The Best of Show will move on to the National Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition.

 The Junior Duck Stamp entries also will be displayed along with this year’s Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and Delaware Trout Stamp entries at the Delaware Agriculture Museum and Village in Dover for two weeks beginning Thursday, April 11.

For more information on the Junior Duck Stamp program, please contact Dawn Webb, Division of Fish and Wildlife, at 302-422-1329.

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

Vol. 43, No. 99


More volunteers needed on Sat., March 23 for beach grass planting at South Bethany and Delaware Seashore State Park

SUSSEX COUNTY – More volunteers are needed at two sites – South Bethany Beach and Delaware Seashore State Park – for Delaware’s annual beach grass planting set for 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 23.

With online registration now closed, volunteers are urged to call DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Management Section at 302-739-9921 or email Jennifer.Luoma@delaware.gov to sign up. More information on the planting event can be found on DNREC’s website at Beach Grass Planting 2013.

According to Jennifer Luoma, environmental scientist and coordinator of the event, other sites have enough volunteers signed up but more are needed in South Bethany and Delaware Seashore State Park, north of the Indian River Inlet.

“We are planting a large area of dunes in South Bethany and in Delaware Seashore State Parkand could really use more volunteers,” said Luoma. “Dunes in these areas were rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy, and beach grass is needed to help stabilize the dunes and make them more protective during a coastal storm.”

The event, now in its 24th year, helps protect Delaware shorelines by planting Cape American beach grass on sand dunes at beaches along the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Last year approximately 800 environmental enthusiasts, families and students planted more than 150,000 stems of beach grass along four miles of coastline between Delaware Seashore State Park and Kitts Hummock Beach.

Sand dunes are essential for protection against damaging coastal storms. When sand dunes are destroyed, storm waves can rush inland, flood properties and put lives at risk. Stabilized dunes absorb wave energy and act as major sand storage areas, which replenish sand to eroded beaches during a storm.

Beach grass helps to build and stabilize dunes by trapping windblown sand. As the grass traps the sand, it builds the dunes higher and wider, which makes dunes more protective of the structures behind them. Since the program was introduced in 1989, more than 5 million stems of beach grass have been planted by dedicated volunteers.

DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Management Section coordinates the annual beach grass planting event. The section also implements beach replenishment and erosion control projects along Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay communities to enhance, preserve and protect private and public beaches.

Contact: Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 43, No. 101


Significant Air Quality Improvement in Claymont

Evraz Claymont Steel completes construction of $16.75M pollution control system

CLAYMONT (March 11, 2013) – A celebration to recognize the commissioning of a new state-of-the-art air pollution control (APC) system at Evraz Claymont Steel was hosted by the facility today. On hand to participate in the ribbon cutting were Governor Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara and Evraz North America President and CEO Mike Rehwinkel. Commonly referred to as a “baghouse,” the $16.75 million APC system nearly doubles the Evraz Claymont facility’s capacity to collect and filter emissions from the steelmaking process.

“This pollution control system (baghouse) will significantly improve air quality and represents a major commitment by EVRAZ to invest in Delaware and its future here,” said Governor Markell. “With this critical investment, EVRAZ will operate more cleanly and efficiently, and continue as a significant contributor to Delaware’s economy, now in a more environmentally sensitive way.”

The commissioning of the baghouse project marks a major milestone in bringing the facility into full compliance with the Consent Decree between the state and Evraz. The remaining portion of the decree involves a battery of compliance tests that will be performed in accordance with the company’s air permit. Once successful testing is completed, Evraz will notify the state that it has satisfied the consent decree requirements and request that DNREC retire or “sunset” the decree.

“Through these investments, Evraz is demonstrating that Delaware will have both a strong manufacturing sector and a healthy environment,” said DNREC Secretary O’Mara. “The dramatic improvement in air quality in Claymont that will be achieved through this state-of-the-art baghouse would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication and engagement of leaders from Evraz, state and local government, and local community residents.”

The baghouse will capture emissions from the facility’s electric arc furnace, stir station and ladle reheat operations, forcing particulate matter through newly augmented filtration systems that work like vacuum cleaners and have a greater than 99 percent collection rate.

“Since we purchased the Claymont facility in 2008, Evraz has made significant upgrades to our operations,” said Evraz North America President and CEO Rehwinkel. “Those improvements have paid off in the preservation and creation of jobs, and the economic value we add to this community. We want our employees and neighbors to feel proud to be associated with Evraz, and to have confidence in our commitment to continuous improvement and environmental stewardship.”


Prime Hook To Receive Federal Funding for Superstorm Sandy Repair

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Puts Delaware Refuge on List

Governor Jack Markell expressed appreciation Thursday for the inclusion of the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge breaches on a list of projects to be supported by federal funding for Superstorm Sandy repair.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has announced that it will use part of $68.5 million allocated by Congress to “build a low dune that was destroyed by Sandy as the first phase of a large restoration project.” The full description of projects, including the Prime Hook breach repair, can be found at http://www.fws.gov/hurricane/sandy/projects.html. The Service has not yet detailed how much money will be used for restoring Prime Hook.

“For more than a year and especially since Sandy, the state, with tremendous support from Delaware’s congressional delegation, has been urging the Fish & Wildlife Service to close the breaches at Prime Hook, a move necessary to protect the community and protect the marsh,” Gov. Markell said. “With the passage of funding by Congress for restoration projects within federal refuges, and the designation by the Fish & Wildlife Service of Prime Hook as one of the places that we will receive that funding, we are closer to finally addressing the issue.”

The Governor said he would continue to work with Sen. Carper, Sen. Coons and Rep. Carney to secure funds for Prime Hook and for other Sandy-repair projects in Delaware.

“Since Superstorm Sandy hit Delaware’s shores, causing damage to its coastline among other parts of the state, one of my top priorities has been to see these damaged areas restored,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “I am pleased that Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is among the list of areas slated for repair so that this critical habitat can be restored and stabilized.”

“Superstorm Sandy significantly worsened the existing problems caused by the breaches at Prime Hook,” said Congressman Carney. “This funding will be an important step toward reaching a comprehensive, long-term solution that is in the best interest of both residents and the refuge.”


DNREC seeks volunteers for Governor’s Week of Service projects at DuPont Nature Center, wildlife areas, state parks

DOVER (Jan. 8, 2013) – For the 2013 Governor’s Week of Service from Jan. 11 to 21, the DNREC Divisions of Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Recreation are looking for volunteers to help with winter projects at state wildlife areas and state parks.

“Part of our state’s great quality of life revolves around our precious natural resources,” said Governor Jack Markell. “The week of service provides an opportunity to work together preserving and maintaining places that make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family.  It’s part of what makes Delaware a state of neighbors.”

“Every year, thousands of volunteers dedicate time to protect and improve our treasured natural resources,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “These volunteers provide essential services, solve emerging challenges, and supplement the efforts of DNREC staff to enhance our parks and shoreline, our waterways and wildlife areas, our recreational trails and parks, and help clean up our rivers, bays and beaches. During Governor Markell’s annual Week of Service, we recognize these volunteers and encourage more Delawareans to come out and join them.”

 

  • DuPont Nature Center Winter Work Day* will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12 at the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve, 2992 Lighthouse Road, east of Milford. Directions are available by clicking on the calendar of events at www.fw.delaware.gov/volunteers.

A variety of projects will be available during the nature center’s first Winter Work Day, including deck maintenance, Hurricane Sandy parking lot cleanup, beach cleanup, and roadside/marsh trash clean-up. Work gloves andtools will be provided, but volunteers may also bring their own. Volunteers under the age of 18 must provide a parental consent form, which also can be found on the website.

For more information or to sign up for these projects, please contact Lynne Staub at 302-735-3609 or email lynne.staub@delaware.gov. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to pre-register with contact information in case of inclement weather leading to postponement.

The DuPont Nature Center is open winter hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 302-422-1329, or visit www.dupontnaturecenter.org.

 

  • Lums Pond Nature Center Renovation Days will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 12; 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14; 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Jan. 15; and 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Lums Pond State Park near Bear. Volunteers are encouraged to wear work clothes and bring water. All supplies will be provided.

On Jan. 12, volunteers will clear out displays and furniture from the Nature Center, prep and dust walls for painting and begin painting the ceiling. From Jan. 14 to Jan. 16, volunteers will complete the ceiling and paint the walls.

Lums Pond State Park is located at 1068 Howell School Road, Bear. For more information or to sign up, please visit www.https://volunteer.delaware.gov

 

  • Cedar Swamp Winter Cleanup* will be held from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area, with volunteers meeting at the check station parking lot on Collins Beach Road, east of the Smyrna/Townsend area. Directions are available by clicking on the calendar of events at www.fw.delaware.gov/volunteers or View Map.

Multiple projects will be available during this cleanup, including roadside trash cleanups and invasive plant removals. Work gloves and tools will be provided, but volunteers may also bring their own. Volunteers under the age of 18 must provide a parental consent form, which also can be found on the website.

For more information or to sign up for these projects, please contact Lynne Staub at 302-735-3609 or email lynne.staub@delaware.gov. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to pre-register with contact information in case of inclement weather leading to postponement.

 

  • Fresh Pond Trail Maintenance will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Jan. 13, with volunteers meeting at the main parking area for Fresh Pond, located in Delaware Seashore State Park near Ocean View.

 

Volunteers will remove invasive plants and shrubs, natural debris and any litter that impedes Fresh Pond Trail in order to improve trail safety and recreational access. Volunteers are encouraged to dress for the weather, including long pants and closed-toes shoes, and to bring work gloves and water.

Delaware Seashore State Park is located off Delaware Route 1, Ocean View. For more information or to sign up, please visit www.https://volunteer.delaware.gov

 

  • Cape Henlopen State Park Trail Project* will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 19, with volunteers meeting at the Glade Road Access point for Junction and Breakwater Trail, located off the Rehoboth Little League Parking lot near Lewes.

The main project focus is to improve safety and trail enjoyment along the Junction and Breakwater Trail. Project participants will help remove shrubs and undergrowth at intersections that are posing visibility and safety risks along this popular and heavily used bike and pedestrian trail. Volunteers are encouraged to dress for the weather, wear closed-toed shoes, and bring work gloves and water.

Cape Henlopen State Park is located at 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes. For more information or to sign up, please visit www.https://volunteer.delaware.gov.

 

  • Brandywine Creek State Park Weed Warriors Project will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 19, with volunteers meeting in the main parking lot at Brandywine Creek State Park.

Volunteers will be pulling up and cutting invasive wine berry, which will be composted down to provide places for some of the local birds to land and shelter. Volunteers are encouraged to dress for the weather, including long pants and closed-toes shoes, and to bring work gloves and water.

Brandywine Creek State Park is located at 41 Adams Dam Road, Montchanin. For more information or to sign up, please visit www.https://volunteer.delaware.gov

 

  • White Clay Creek State Park Weed Warriors Project will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, with volunteers meeting at the White Clay Creek State Park entrance on Nine Foot Road, off Thompson Station Road across from Deerfield.

 

Volunteers will be pulling up and cutting invasive plants to help native plants continue to grow and provide good food sources for the native animals. The invasive plants will be composted down in small piles to provide places for local birds to land and shelter. Volunteers are encouraged to dress for the weather, including long pants and closed-toes shoes, and to bring work gloves and water.

White Clay Creek State Park is located off Thompson Station Road in Newark. For more information or to sign up, please visit www.https://volunteer.delaware.gov

 

  • Cedar Swamp’s Bye Bye Boxwood* project will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20 at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area with volunteers meeting at the Vogel Tract off Collins Beach Road east of the Smyrna/Townsend area. Directions are available by clicking on the calendar of events at www.fw.delaware.gov/volunteers, or View Map.

Ornamental boxwood shrubs are degrading native wildlife habitat at this Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area site by outcompeting native plants and taking over the understory. Volunteers will be using hand saws, pruners and loppers to remove the shrubs and open the understory. Work gloves and tools will be provided, but volunteers may also bring their own. Volunteers under the age of 18 must provide a parental consent form, which also can be found on the website.

The Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area is located east of Smyrna/Townsend area.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Lynne Staub at 302-735-3609 or email lynne.staub@delaware.gov. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to pre-register with contact information in case of inclement weather leading to postponement.

For information on other volunteer opportunities with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/volunteers.

For more information on other volunteer opportunities with the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, please visit www.https://volunteer.delaware.gov

 

*These projects also are part of DNREC’s Bayshore Initiative, a landscape approach to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat, increase volunteer participation in habitat stewardship projects, enhance low-impact outdoor recreation and ecotourism opportunities, and promote associated environmentally compatible economic development. For more information on the Bayshore Initiative, click Delaware Bayshore .