DNREC celebrating Earth Day on April 22 with rain barrel sale, conservation exhibits

65-gallon rain barrel with planterDOVER (April 17, 2013) – In celebration of the 43rd annual Earth Day, DNREC is holding a rain barrel sale and showcasing conservation exhibits from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, April 22 at the agency’s Richardson and Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover.

The rain barrels are being offered to Delaware residents by DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship at a discounted price – $70.37 each. The 65-gallon granite-colored barrels are made from 30 percent recycled materials and include a planter at the top. Delaware residents who purchase a rain barrel and live in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed will receive a voucher for a free tree through the “Trees for the Bays” program. Forty barrels are available and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. To check on availability of rain barrels during the sale event, call DNREC at 302-739-9922. Payment may be made by check or money order, made out to “State of Delaware.” Credit cards cannot be accepted.

In addition, outside in front of the building, DNREC will showcase conservation exhibits on what homeowners can do to:

  • Reduce ozone pollution and improve air quality
  • Conserve water
  • Improve water quality
  • Recycle and compost
  • Install a rain garden
  • Volunteer to work on projects that protect our environment

During the event, DNREC staff will be expanding the demonstration backyard habitat located in front of the building. Native plants and mulch will be added that reduce stormwater runoff, create a habitat for local wildlife and beautify the area. Environmental scientists will be on-hand to answer questions on the backyard habitat and on the rain garden located nearby. Easy-to-use information and diagrams on how to design and build a rain garden will be available.

Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day is the worldwide environmental movement that educates and mobilizes people to take responsibility for a clean and healthy environment. Earth Day is celebrated by more than a half billion people simultaneously around the globe.

For more information on DNREC and programs underway to protect the environment, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov. The “Trees for the Bay” program is funded by the Delaware Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program, in cooperation with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship.

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

Vol. 43, No. 152

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Collaborative coastal grass-planting effort to help Indian River Inlet dune in future storms

LEWES (April 18, 2013) – A coastal grass planting effort capitalizing on Department of Correction’s VOP (violation of probation) laborers and privately-donated resources will help DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship bolster the north side of the Indian River Inlet against lost or displaced sand from future weather events. 

Dept. of Correction VOP laborers plant panic grass on the north side of the Indian River Inlet overseen by DNREC's Division of Watershed Stewardship

A Sussex County farmer, William Wolter, Jr., donated several truckloads of established panic grass through DNREC’s Office of Community Services, and DOC Sussex Community Correction Center VOP laborers overseen by DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section planted it at the Inlet earlier this month. The VOP laborers also loaded the grass from Mr. Wolter’s Owens Station farm and hunting preserve near Greenwood and transported it to the planting site.

Panic grass is prime vegetation for stabilizing dunes and has widespread use for coastal dune erosion control. Panic grass roots can grow six feet deep and its thick fibrous root system forms a barrier against erosion. As each plug of panic grass was planted on the west side of the dune at Indian River, it was supplemented with fertilizer donated by Perdue AgriRecycle LLC that helped establish the grass along the dune.

Perdue offered a ton of its microSTART60 Plus 7-2-2 fertilizer to the Shoreline & Waterway Management Section to get the panic grass growing as a windbreak and stabilizer along the inlet’s often-shifting sands. VOP laborers gave each plant hole a dose of granular fertilizer, then sprinkled additional fertilizer over it once the grass was planted.

The collaborative venture between Mr. Wolter, who grows panic grass for covering duck blinds, Dept. of Correction’s VOP program, and Perdue drew praise from the DNREC program manager who oversaw the planting. “A genuine example of citizens, the State and private industry working together to do something positive for the environment and help stabilize the sand north of the Inlet,” said Maria Sadler, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship environmental program manager for field operations.

Ms. Sadler noted that Dept. of Correction’s VOP program also helps with DNREC’s annual beach-grass planting along Delaware’s coastal beaches, an annual event which has planted more than 5 million stems of American beach grass over the last 24 years since it began in 1990.

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

Vol. 43, No. 155

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DNREC announces preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for portions of Kent County now available from FEMA

DOVER (April 12, 2013) – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has announced that preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for portions of Kent County have been released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The preliminary maps are available online at www.rampp-team.com/de.htm.  

DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Management Section worked with FEMA to produce the new preliminary flood risk maps for Kent County. FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted the modeling and mapping for the tidal portions of the Delaware Bay in Kent County. DNREC in cooperation with URS Corporation conducted the modeling and mapping of the non-tidal portions of Kent County in the Murderkill watershed.

The preliminary maps include proposed changes to the existing Flood Insurance Rate Maps in Kent County along the Delaware Bay shoreline and adjacent tidal floodplains and the non-tidal portions of the Murderkill watershed upstream to Harrington. The proposed changes include additions or modifications of base flood elevations, base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area boundaries, zone designations or regulatory floodways.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available to local property owners. Mortgage lenders require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated special flood hazard area to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally backed mortgage loan in accordance with the Federal Disaster Protection Act of 1973. Over the past several years, DNREC has helped several Delaware communities join the national flood insurance program.

Standard homeowners insurance does not cover damage incurred by flooding, however, all property owners can purchase flood insurance. Homeowners interested in how the proposed changes could impact the cost of their flood insurance premium should contact their insurance agent.

The Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps and the Flood Insurance Study report for Kent County watersheds and communities are available for review online www.rampp-team.com/de.htm and can also be viewed at respective Community Map Repository address listed in the table below.

Community Community Map Repository Address
Kent County, Delaware, and

Incorporated Areas

Preliminary Maps Available for Inspection Online at: www.rampp-team.com/de.htm
   
City of Dover City Hall, Planning Department and Inspection, 15 Loockerman Plaza, Dover, DE 19901.
City of Harrington City Hall, 106 Dorman, Harrington, DE 19952.
Town of Bowers Bowers Town Hall, 3308 Main Street, Frederica, DE 19946.
Town of Camden Town Hall, 1783 Friends Way, Camden, DE 19934.
Town of Felton Town Hall, 24 East Sewell Street, Felton, DE 19943.
Town of Frederica Town Hall, 2 East David Street, Frederica, DE 19946.
Town of Leipsic Town Hall, 207 Main Street, Leipsic, DE 19901.
Town of Little Creek Little Creek Fire Hall, 311 Main Street, Little Creek, DE 19961.
Town of Smyrna Town Hall, 27 South Market Street, Smyrna, DE 19977.
Town of Wyoming Municipal Building, 1 North Railroad Avenue, Wyoming, DE 19934.
Unincorporated Areas of Kent County Kent County Administrative Complex, Department of Planning Services, 555 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901

The effective Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which indicate the current floodplain boundaries and areas of greatest flood risk, can be found at www.msc.fema.gov.

Public comments on the proposed Flood Insurance Rate Maps, identified by Docket No. FEMA-B-1301, can be submitted in writing to Luis Rodriguez, Chief, Engineering Management Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-4064, or by email Luis.Rodriguez3@fema.dhs.gov. The federal register notice can be viewed at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/04/04/2013-07817/proposed-flood-hazard-determination.

For additional information on the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps, contact Greg Williams or Michael Powell, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship at (302) 739-9921. For information on the DNREC’s flood mitigation program, visit DNREC’s website at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/swc/Drainage/Pages/Flooding.aspx

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

Vol. 43, No 143

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Nominations sought for Delaware’s 2013 Wetland Warrior: Award honors exemplary efforts that benefit the state’s wetlands

DOVER (April 9, 2013) – DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program is seeking nominations for the 2013 Delaware Wetland Warrior Award, which recognizes exemplary efforts to protect wetlands and the critical services they provide to all Delawareans.

The Wetland Warrior award, now in its sixth year, is presented annually to a citizen, organization, business or group that has demonstrated outstanding efforts to benefit Delaware wetlands through outreach and education, monitoring and assessment, or restoration and protection. The award will be presented on Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 25, at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington.

Information on submitting a nomination is available on DNREC’s Delaware Wetlands web page. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, June 21. For more information, please contact Wetland Outreach Specialist Maggie Pletta at 302-739-9939, or email Margaret.Pletta@delaware.gov.

“The award recognizes wetland stewards who have made an effort to help ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the natural services provided by wetlands that contribute to our quality of life including clean water, flood and storm protection, and wildlife habitat,” said Pletta. “Wetland Warriors are Delaware’s environmental heroes – who work tirelessly to slow wetland loss, help restore degraded wetlands, preserve habitat, increase awareness of the value of wetlands and bolster support for their protection.”

The 2012 Wetland Warrior recipients were:

  • Clif Bakhsh of Middletown, a member of Delaware Ducks Unlimited’s Appoquinimink Chapter who has been active for more than 25 years in numerous local and national roles, was recognized for his dedication to preserving open space in Delaware and to educating children about the benefits of wetlands.
  • David Carter, a biologist and wetland professional with DNREC for more than 25 years, was recognized for his use of innovative planning and funding tools to improve the management and protection of wetlands in the state, as well as supporting outreach and education initiatives such as Thank You Delaware Bay.

For a complete list of past recipients, visit DNREC’s Wetland Warrior Page.

Delaware has more than 320,000 acres of wetlands, comprising about 25 percent of the state’s area. Wetlands protect lives and property from the impacts of floods and storms, filter pollutants and improve water quality, reduce erosion and provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife. Almost every part of our state is within one mile of a wetland – making wetland protection vital to our health and safety.

DNREC studies indicate that over the past 15 years, more than 3,896 acres of wetlands were lost statewide due to conversion to other land uses. This acreage is significant because in the previous 10-year period, the total statewide wetland loss was 1,996 acres. These recent trends make recognizing the conservationists who have prioritized wetlands even more important. It is through natural resource stewards, such as Wetland Warrior, that Delaware will protect its natural treasures.

Check out the “How You Can Help” webpage to learn more about opportunities to protect wetlands. Here you can find the Wetland Public Participation Guidebook, a comprehensive resource developed to inspire citizens to take actions to protect wetlands. Also featured is the latest information on wetland health, wetland loss studies, regulations, wetland impacts and how they can be prevented, and how the public can get involved with local land use decisions that could affect wetlands. Also on the webpage is a new wetlands video highlighting wetland benefits, Purify, Provide, and Protect.  

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

Vol. 43, No. 137

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DNREC to hold April 23 public hearing on proposed revisions to sediment and stormwater regulations

DOVER (April 1, 2013) – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship will hold its second public hearing on proposed revisions to the Delaware Sediment and Stormwater Regulations at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in the DNREC Auditorium, Richardson and Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover. The revisions are designed to address the April 2005 recommendations of the Task Force on Surface Water Management, as well as changes to regulatory language following the first public hearing held March 1, 2012.  

The proposed regulation revisions may be inspected at the following locations: 

  • DNREC’s Dover office, Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901
     
  • Kirkwood Library, 6000 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington DE 19808
     
  • Kent County Public Library, 497 South Red Haven Lane, Dover, DE 19901
     
  • Georgetown Public Library, 123 West Pine Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

The proposed regulation revisions and the technical document may also be inspected on the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Sediment & Stormwater Management Program website

For additional information or to make an appointment to inspect the proposed regulation revisions or the technical document at DNREC’s Dover office, please contact Elaine Webb, DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Management Program, at 302-739-9921, or Elaine.Webb@delaware.gov. Review of the documents at the public libraries can be made during the libraries’ scheduled operating hours.

Interested parties may present statements and testimony orally or in writing on the proposed regulation changes at the April 23 public hearing or submit comments in writing by May 8, 2013. Comments submitted as part of the first public comment period will remain as part of the record. Those interested in speaking at the public hearing are asked to register in advance. Written comments on the technical document will be accepted until Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

 Written statements and comments on the proposed regulation changes may be addressed to: Elaine Webb, DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Management Program, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or submitted by email to Elaine.Webb@delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 43, No. 121

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