DNREC Seeks Volunteers for Delaware Coastal Cleanup Sept. 17

Volunteers picking up trash on the beach in a past Delaware Coastal Cleanup. (2017)

 

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is hosting the 35th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at 41 sites statewide to help keep the state’s beaches and waterways free of trash. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for the one-day coordinated event when online volunteer registration opens on Monday, Aug. 1.

In addition, Delawareans and visitors are invited to join the month-long campaign starting Sept. 1 to clean up neighborhoods, green spaces and waterways throughout the state on days, times and at locations of their choice. The coordinated event and month-long campaign support Governor John Carney’s Keep DE Litter Free initiative.

“In 2019, we launched the Keep DE Litter Free initiative with the goal of building stronger communities and working together to keep our state beautiful by keeping our coastlines and outdoor spaces clear of litter,” Governor Carney said. “I thank our other state and local partners who plan and support the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, and I encourage all Delawareans to participate on cleanup day – and all year round.”

“DNREC encourages all Delawareans and visitors to make time to help keep our beaches, waterways and wetlands clean and free of trash throughout the year,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The Coastal Cleanup is a great reminder that volunteers of all ages can make a difference, whether they sign up for the Sept. 17 statewide cleanup event or choose their own time, date and place to pick up trash.”

Volunteers picking up trash on the beach at Fox Point in New Castle County in a past Delaware Coastal Cleanup. (2019)
Volunteers picking up trash on the beach at Fox Point in New Castle County in a past Delaware Coastal Cleanup. (2019)

For the Sept. 17 coordinated cleanup, volunteers should sign up by Wednesday, Aug. 31 for their choice of sites through the Coastal Cleanup page at de.gov/coastalcleanup. Site captains with supplies will be on site to sign in volunteers and provide trash bags and directions. Although gloves, paper data cards and pencils will be available upon request, volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves and to use the online Coastal Cleanup reporting tool, when it goes live Sept. 1, to share their findings. Walkups are not encouraged due to volunteer site capacity limitations.

Find ideas about how to get involved in the 2022 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Facebook and Twitter. Volunteers in both the coordinated event on Sept. 17 and the month-long campaign can post photos on facebook.com/DelawareDNREC for a chance to win a 2023 Delaware State Parks pass and a prize bag. Volunteers can post photos as often as they like throughout the month, with each photo counting as a one entry. All volunteers should also report their findings and are invited to share photos through the Coastal Cleanup page. Results will be updated during all month long and will appear on an interactive map.

Last year, nearly 600 volunteers filled about 400 bags, cleaning up 5,500 pounds of trash from waterways, wetlands and other natural areas. The top five trash items collected were: 7,671 cigarette butts; 2,921 plastic and glass beverage bottles and cans; 1,785 food containers; 846 plastic bags; and 381 balloons.

Cleaning up locally makes a big difference statewide and keeps trash from entering waterways and making its way to beaches and beyond. DNREC suggests several ways to help make a difference all year long:

  • Be proactive by picking up trash near your home to keep your neighborhood clean.
  • Follow a carry-in/carry out plan and take all trash with you when visiting outdoor spaces, like Delaware State Parks, DNREC wildlife areas, Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve locations, and county or local parks.
  • Pack a bag and rubber gloves when you take a walk, go for a hike, go hunting or fishing, etc., to collect and carry out trash you find along the way.
  • Recycle applicable items through in-home recycling or designated drop-off locations. Learn more at de.gov/recycling.

DNREC reminds everyone to wear gloves when picking up trash, wash hands thoroughly after cleanup activities, and follow all recent public area protocols, including the most current COVID-19 guidance.

More information and volunteer registration can be found at de.gov/coastalcleanup. Volunteers also can email questions to DNREC_Coastal_Cleanup@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. 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.


DNREC Honors Young Environmentalists, Youth Fishing Tournament Winners at Delaware State Fair

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Governor John Carney with the 2022 DNREC Young Environmentalists: middle school honoree Anna Spence, high school honoree James Haley and elementary school honoree Tao Le Marchand; and Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. DNREC photo.

 

At the Delaware State Fair in Harrington today, Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin honored three Delaware students as DNREC’s Young Environmentalists of the Year for their work to protect, restore or enhance our state’s natural resources, and the three winners of the 2022 Youth Fishing Tournament.

“DNREC’s Young Environmentalist awards are an annual reminder of how today’s young people are stepping up to take leadership roles in caring for our natural resources and advocating for the health of our environment. Today, we recognize three of these young Delawareans who are already making a difference today to help ensure a better tomorrow,” said Secretary Garvin. “We also recognize the three young anglers who caught the most fish in this year’s Youth Fishing Tournament, a conservation-minded event to introduce children to the joy of catching – and releasing – fish.”

Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards:

  • Elementary School:
    Tao Le Marchand, age 10, of Newark, who goes by Ty, is passionate about endangered species. He created his own foundation, Foxtrot, raised $400 for the Wolf Sanctuary of PA and advocated for wolves to be returned to the federal endangered species list by lobbying the White House. Ty also is active in North Star Elementary School’s Earth Club and plans to study zoology toward a career in wildlife conservation.
  • Middle School:
    Anna Spence, age 13, of Harrington, noticed Styrofoam cups strewn around the cafeteria and playground at Lake Forest Central Elementary. She created a presentation that she shared with her principal and superintendent, successfully advocating for change: replace Styrofoam with paper cups, which decompose much faster than Styrofoam.
  • High School:
    James Haley, age 15, of Bethany Beach, planned and executed his Eagle Scout environmental community service project with the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, leading a team to perform GPS mapping of submerged aquatic vegetation in tributaries of the Inland Bays. For four days this spring, James and the team mapped local tributaries and accrued 146 team hours of environmental community service. This mapping data will help restore and expand beds of seagrass in the Inland Bays, providing habitat for crustaceans and fish. James also earned the Scouts BSA 50th Anniversary Environmental Protection Agency Award and merit badges in the areas of animal studies, outdoor activities, earth science, and public health.

Now in its 29th year, DNREC’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards program recognizes Delaware students whose actions have helped protect, restore or enhance our natural resources by initiating an innovative project, practicing environmental stewardship, increasing public awareness or demonstrating environmental ethics. More information about the program can be found at de.gov/YoungEnvironmentalists.

2022 Youth Fishing Tournament Winners:

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Governor John Carney with the 2022 Youth Fishing Tournament winners: Sussex County winner Brody Spencer, Kent County winner Dominic Webb, New Castle County and statewide winner Onna Crowley; Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long; and DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Saveikis. DNREC photo.
DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Governor John Carney with the 2022 Youth Fishing Tournament winners: Sussex County winner Brody Spencer, Kent County winner Dominic Webb, New Castle County and statewide winner Onna Crowley; Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long; and DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Saveikis. DNREC photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2022 Youth Fishing Tournament winners honored were:

  • Statewide and New Castle County winner Onna Crowley, age 13, of Clayton, took top honors by catching 18.8 pounds of fish in Lums Pond, including the biggest fish of the day statewide, a 12.1-pound carp.
  • Sussex County winner Brody Spencer, age 10, of Dagsboro, came in second place statewide, catching 7.19 pounds of fish at Ingrams Pond.
  • Kent County winner Dominic Webb, age 10, of Clayton took third place statewide, catching 5.25 pounds of fish at the Akridge Scout Reservation pond.

Established by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and sponsored by the Delaware Natural Resources Police, the tournament introduces youth to the sport of fishing and teaches the catch-and-release approach to conservation. The 36th annual Youth Fishing Tournament was held June 4 at three locations, one in each county: Ingrams Pond in Sussex County, Akridge Scout Reservation in Kent County, and Lums Pond in New Castle County. More information about the annual tournament is available at de.gov/yft.

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

###


Governor Carney Signs Multiple Pieces of Legislation Related to Maternal and Infant Health

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor Carney signed multiple pieces of legislation on Monday related to maternal and infant health aimed at decreasing infant and maternal mortality and expanding services to communities across the state. The series of legislation will improve health outcomes for families and infants throughout Delaware.

“This package of legislation is important for our community,” said Governor Carney. “Every child deserves a first chance to succeed and every mother and family should feel supported throughout and after a pregnancy. These bills will help address infant and maternal mortality in our community and expand services to families across the state. Thank you to Representative Minor-Brown, Senator Pinkney and other members of the General Assembly for their leadership on these pieces of legislation. Thank you to the health care providers and the advocates for the work they do every day.”

The United States has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality among high-income countries and wide disparities by race that have been documented since rates separated by race were first published in 1935.

“As a nurse and a Black woman, I am extremely aware of the maternal and infant health issues affecting Delaware families, particularly Black mothers and babies. I personally experienced preventable complications during both of my pregnancies, as an 18-year-old and as a 30-year-old registered nurse,” said Representative Melissa Minor-Brown, who was the lead House sponsor of all six bills. “Black women made up one of every four women giving birth in Delaware between 2011 and 2018, but they made up half of the mothers who died in childbirth. These are more than statistics; they are mothers and children who leave behind loved ones. These new laws are designed to help all Delaware mothers and infants, to improve their outcomes and increase their chances for a successful and healthy pregnancy, birthing process and postpartum. Taken together, these laws will make a huge impact on Delaware families across the state by breaking down barriers to vital healthcare treatment and removing other obstacles that mothers and families have faced.”

“I am incredibly proud of this package of legislation, both as a Black woman and as a social worker. All too often, I see patients without adequate insurance who can’t afford to keep up with their recommended care plans once they are discharged,” said Senator Marie Pinkney. “I have seen patients who have been discriminated against based on their race, their gender identity and their substance use. I have seen the difference in outcomes between birthing mothers who had access to a doula and those who did not. As lawmakers, we must do everything in our power to make it easier for new mothers to focus on birthing healthy children and then to advocate for their prenatal and postpartum needs. These bills will remove barriers and reduce disparities for all future generations of Delaware mothers.”

House Bill 340 revamps the Child Death Review Commission to include more focus on maternal concerns. The commission will be renamed the Maternal and Child Death Review Commission to reflect its existing dual focus. The definition of “maternal death” will also be updated and the Commission would reflect diverse membership that would include a midwife and one maternal and one child advocate from statewide non-profit organizations. In an effort to be transparent, the group will be required to publicly post its draft report and accept written public comment.

“The Child Death Review Commission is a critical function of our state’s judiciary,” said Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend. “By expanding its scope to focus on maternal issues, we may better understand some of the social determinants of health that affect pregnancy and the following months of postpartum recovery.”

House Bill 344(S) requires the Delaware Perinatal Quality Collaborative to establish a subcommittee to develop bias and cultural competency training for healthcare employees. The subcommittee will develop training guidelines designed for use in all healthcare fields and shall release the initial guidelines by July 1, 2023. The subcommittee will review data every year thereafter and revise the guidelines as necessary.

“Delaware has world class health care providers, but they are also human. The only way to build a health care system that works for everyone is to ensure that our providers are provided the opportunity to grow, to fill knowledge gaps, and to address biases that they may not even be aware they hold,” said Senator Sarah McBride. “I’m proud to have supported the entire Momnibus package, but I’m particularly thrilled to have joined with Rep. Minor-Brown on HB 344 to empower more providers with the information and resources they need to alleviate patient fears and offer the best possible care to every patient no matter their background.”

House Bill 342 expands existing restrictions on the use of restraints on women who are giving birth or in labor to include pregnant women and those in the 13-week post-partum period.

House Bill 345 ensures pregnant women or women who have given birth within the past six weeks who are subject to the custody of the Department of Corrections at Level IV or V have access to midwifery and doula services by requiring the department to make reasonable accommodations for provision of available midwifery or doula services.

House Bill 343 requires the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance to present a plan to the General Assembly by November 1 for coverage of doula services by Medicaid providers. The services will be provided by a trained doula designed to provide physical, emotional, and educational support to pregnant and birthing persons before, during, and after childbirth. This will include support and assistance during labor and childbirth, prenatal and postpartum support and education, breastfeeding assistance, and parenting education.

House Bill 234 requires the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months from the end of pregnancy through the state plan amendment option created by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

###


Governor Carney Formally Extends Public Health Emergency

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday formally extended the Public Health Emergency order another 30 days to allow the State of Delaware and medical providers to continue COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs, and issued the following statement: 

 

“It’s important that we continue to stay one step ahead of COVID-19,” said Governor Carney. “Keep doing the things we know that work. Stay home if you’re sick and get tested. Consider masking up in public indoor settings or if you are at a higher risk for illness. Get vaccinated and boosted when you’re eligible.”

 

Under Delaware law, Public Health Emergency declarations must be renewed every 30 days. 

 

Visit Governor Carney’s website to view the Public Health Emergency extension. 

 

###


Division of Small Business Awards EDGE Grants to 10 Delaware Companies

MILFORD, Del. (July 21, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Small Business recognized 10 small businesses Thursday as winners of the fifth round of Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion (EDGE) grants. Awardees in the latest round of the competition include a company that created a resorbable vascular stent, a Puerto Rican inspired bakery, an outdoor baseball facility and a cycling studio.

Gov. John Carney and Division of Small Business Acting Director Regina Mitchell announced the companies at an event at My Sister’s Fault in Milford, one of the small businesses awarded an EDGE grant in this round.

“Through the EDGE grant program, small businesses are provided much-needed capital assistance that they may not have access to otherwise,” said Governor Carney. “The small businesses awarded a grant in this latest round represent the best Delaware has to offer, and we are excited to see how the grant funds help their businesses grow.”

Businesses who are less than five years old and employ no more than 10 employees are eligible to apply for an EDGE grant. The grants are awarded through a competitive selection process. STEM-based companies can receive up to $100,000 for eligible expenses while Entrepreneur Class (non-STEM) businesses can receive up to $50,000.

EDGE is a matching grant program. The Division of Small Business matches a winning business’s investment on a 3-to-1 basis. The business can spend EDGE grant funds on expenses that help improve the company’s long-term chances of success, such as a marketing campaign to help acquire more customers or purchasing a needed piece of equipment that can increase production capacity.

“With more than 25,000 small businesses in Delaware that employ more than half of our state’s workers and account for at least $11 billion in wages, small businesses are vital to our state’s economy,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “The EDGE grant program provides these creative, driven entrepreneurs with the capital they need to start or grow their business and reach their full potential.”

Since EDGE launched in 2019, $3.75 million has been awarded to 60 promising Delaware small businesses in industries ranging from wearable medical devices to farming to restaurants.

This is the fifth round of funding for the program since it launched in 2019. In this latest round, which opened in March, more than 100 businesses applied for funding. Fourteen finalists gave public presentations before a panel of expert judges on June 1 and 2 in Dover.

“The EDGE grant competition is driven by the creativity and innovation of our entrepreneurs. The competition allows our division to support small business owners in Delaware who are making significant scientific advancements, creating unique products, and helping strengthen their local communities,” said Division of Small Business Acting Director Regina Mitchell. “The winners in this latest round include a diverse pool of small businesses, including women, minority, and veteran business owners. Our division is proud to support these worthy small businesses and help them succeed in their efforts.”

My Sister’s Fault received $50,000 in EDGE grant funds in this round. The business will use the grant funding to purchase additional refrigeration and freezer equipment. With the expanded refrigerator space, My Sister’s Fault will be able to complete more custom cake orders, hire more staff, and extend their operating hours for special events.

“We are honored and excited to be selected as a winner of EDGE grant funding in this round,” said My Sister’s Fault co-owner Angie Robles. “Since we opened in 2017, our business has grown significantly, and our current equipment cannot keep up with the demand of our customers. The EDGE funding will allow us to purchase new larger equipment so we can continue to grow our business.”

EDGE Grant Recipients

STEM class

Carbon Reform (Newark)
Carbon Reform has developed a proprietary modular carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology called the Carbon Capsule. The device retrofits into a commercial building’s ventilation system and is able to improve indoor air quality for occupants, create energy savings for building owners, and directly capture and repurpose tons of CO2 annually into a valuable limestone byproduct. Carbon Reform will use their EDGE Grant funding to secure the purchase of capital equipment to get them to the next stage of development, including manufacturing their first 10 Carbon Capsule commercial units.

Cosmos Pharmaceuticals (Middletown)
Cosmos Pharmaceuticals developed a solution to combat prescription medication abuse and improve individualized patient care by introducing a simple personalized medication lock called FortisKap. FortisKap, a universal pill bottle cap, secures a patient’s prescription with their unique biometric signature and tracks robust medication usage throughout the course of treatment. The company will use its EDGE grant for equipment needed to commercialize their product and for office space at the STAR campus at University of Delaware.

HARTLON (Wilmington)
HARTLON developed a bioresorbable vascular stent that is designed to eliminate pain, non-healing sores, and risk of limb amputation caused by poor blood flow below-the-knee. After a medical doctor unblocks an artery, the patented HARTLON stent is designed to be inserted into the opening to provide temporary support until the artery heals and then the stent dissolves leaving the artery in a longer lasting natural open condition. The company will use its EDGE grant for laboratory space, manufacturing services, and demonstration of performance with a preclinical study.

G-Flash LLC (Newark)
G-Flash LLC is working to bring Green Flash Chromatography (GFC®) to commercialization for the pharmaceutical industry. Flash chromatography is a method of chemical separation used to purify chemical mixtures into individual constituents. The company will use its EDGE grant funding to quickly commercialize their latest technology, as well as integrate new unit hardware and software.

Moonprint Solutions (Dover)
Moonprint Solutions is an engineering company with services that include product development, consulting, and prototype manufacturing. The EDGE grant will be used for a Computer Numeric Controlled material plotter/cutter to support prototyping and production of soft goods products. 

Entrepreneur class

Creekview Psychological Assessment (Newark)
Creekview Assessment Center is a small private group practice of clinical, school, and neuropsychologists. The business provides specialized psychological testing including, autism, psychoeducational, and disability evaluations. The business will use its EDGE grant funding to further invest in cutting edge technology for psychological test administration, marketing, and training other providers across the state of Delaware.

Enhanced Edge (Dover)
Enhanced Edge LLC is a mental health counseling derivative specializing in full spectrum mental illness treatment through Alpha-Stim, QEEG brain mapping, biofeedback, and neurofeedback. The EDGE grant will be used to make various equipment, infrastructure, and marketing advancements. The most significant advancement is a “Dry” QEEG brain scanning cap which will allow the company to triple the number of clients they can treat in a day.

My Sister’s Fault (Milford)
My Sister’s Fault is a Puerto Rican inspired bakery owned and operated by sisters Angie and Rous Robles. The bakery opened its doors in 2017 and currently has 10 employees. During the pandemic, the owners switched their operations to online orders and take-out only. Since then, the bakery’s sales have increased significantly. My Sister’s Fault will use their EDGE Grant funding to purchase new refrigeration and freezer equipment which will allow them the opportunity to complete more custom cake orders, hire more staff, and extend their operating hours for special events.

Salt Fitness (Rehoboth)
Salt Fitness is a boutique fitness cycling studio that provides a personalized experience focused on lifting one another up, developing community and relationships, tearing life walls down, full body health, high energy music, sweat drenched workouts, and having fun in a loving and supportive environment. The EDGE grant will be used to open a second studio in Milford, for advertising and instructor retention, and to finish improvements at the West Rehoboth Beach location.  

STATS Tournaments (Bear)
STATS Sports Complex LLC is an outdoor baseball facility that uses sports to encourage youth success beyond the field. What started as a tournament management endeavor has grown into a full-service facility that serves over 300 teams, hosts about 600 games, and 12 baseball tournaments annually. The business will use EDGE funding to build two grass convertible fields which will allow STATS to accommodate an additional 240 little league, high school, college, and travel baseball teams, as well as six more tournaments annually.