Delaware State University Project Seeks Input on DNREC Outreach

Two-Year Project Aims to Improve Public Engagement

Delaware State University (DSU) will host virtual town hall meetings next month as part of a two-year research project to determine ways the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) can improve public outreach and community engagement.

DNREC awarded the University a $249,773 grant earlier this year to conduct the research, which will focus on traditionally underrepresented communities. The virtual town halls will be held throughout the winter, beginning in November. The first two town halls will be held Nov. 17 and Dec. 1. Times are yet to be determined, but will be published at de.gov/dnrecmeetings.

For this research, Delaware State defines traditionally underrepresented communities as “either a group of individuals living in geographic proximity to one another or a geographically dispersed set of individuals where either type of group experiences common conditions such as low income, high and/or persistent poverty, racial, ethnic and minority residential segregation, linguistic isolation, distressed neighborhoods and disproportionate environmental stressor burden.”

DSU will research the Department’s external communications, review feedback from stakeholders, and evaluate the needs and limitations of its current and past outreach programs to effectively reach and engage underserved communities and determine where improvements may be made.

“DNREC has a long tradition of transparency and public engagement to ensure the wise management, conservation and enhancement of the state’s natural resources,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “But we can always do better. This partnership with the University and the resulting research will help us take our outreach efforts to the next level.”

Delaware State University President Dr. Tony Allen believes that the university will also benefit from the work. “The project will provide research assistantship and internship opportunities to undergraduate students in the University’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice while enhancing the outreach component of the core values of the university,” Allen said.

The goals of the research are:

  • to improve DNREC’s ability to conduct effective outreach regarding regulatory actions and policy development;
  • to create awareness of DNREC’s processes and initiatives to underserved communities in Delaware;
  • to develop robust methods by which DNREC can provide efficient and informative community-oriented education and outreach.

The principal investigators of the grant are Dr. Raymond Tutu, professor and chairperson, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice; Dr. Anwar Ouassini, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice; and Dr. Laurin Parker, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.

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 Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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Delaware Natural Resources Police Investigate Motor Vehicle Accident with Injuries at Abessinio Stadium

Delaware Natural Resources Police and Wilmington Department of Police are investigating a vehicle accident with serious injuries that occurred Friday afternoon at the Abessinio Stadium, located within Wilmington State Parks.

A 16-year-old Wilmington boy failed to maintain control of his 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee while reversing from a parking space. The Jeep, traveling in reverse, first struck two parked vehicles, a 2012 Hyundai Accent and a 2009 Cadillac Escalade. The Jeep then continued in reverse striking two individuals that were sitting on chairs behind the Escalade trapping a 65-year-old Dover woman under the Jeep.

The female victim had to be extricated from beneath the Jeep by Wilmington Fire Department personnel that arrived on scene. She was then flown to Christiana Hospital by Delaware State Police’s aviation unit. At this time, she is listed in serious but stable condition with multiple, non-life-threatening injuries.

The second victim seated in the parking lot is a 63-year-old Middletown man who was transported to Christiana Hospital by ambulance for leg injuries. He has since been treated and released.

The driver of the Hyundai, a 51-year-old Smyrna man, who was seated in his parked car was transported to Christiana Hospital for injuries to his leg and back. He has since been treated and released. A passenger in the Hyundai, a 68-year-old Smyrna man, was uninjured in the accident.

The driver of the Jeep was uninjured in this accident.

This accident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed at this time. Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Cpl. David Redgraves at david.redgraves@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: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Cpt. John McDerby, john.mcderby@delaware.gov

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DATE Celebrates the Launch of the State’s First Impaired Driving Simulator Program

Secretary Nathaniel McQueen Jr., DATE Director John Yeomans, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Communications
Manager Denée Crumrine, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long

DOVER, DE – The Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement (DATE) was joined by Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Nathaniel McQueen Jr. representatives from the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to celebrate the launch of the State’s first Impaired Driving Simulator Program.

“It is critical that every driver on the road understands the repercussions of driving while under the influence,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “Deaths and injuries due to driving under the influence are preventable. Innovative solutions like this can help to reduce the number of accidents and save lives. I thank all of the state partners for their leadership and the support of Highmark DE in launching the DUI Driving simulator. Partnerships like this help make our state stronger and healthier.”

The simulator program, made possible through a partnership with the Office of Highway Safety and Highmark Delaware, will allow drivers to experience what can happen when they operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or while distracted with a cell phone. Vision, braking, and steering are impacted by the various levels of impairment and demonstrate the dangers in a virtual training scenario.

“Impaired driving remains prevalent on our roadways. Much like aggressive driving or other dangerous behaviors, impaired driving is entirely preventable,” said Secretary McQueen. “Many thanks to DATE, OHS, and the support of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for devoting their time and dedication to this project. Projects like this are critical for our efforts to reduce the incidence of impaired and distracted driving throughout our state.”

With 3,972 DUI arrests and 1,050 DUI related crashes occurring in our State last year, DATE and OHS will join forces to deploy the simulator at schools and community events statewide to educate the public and create an awareness around the dangers of impaired driving.

“Our Division is pleased to present this state-of-the-art Impaired Distracted Driver Simulator. From its inception, this project has been supported by our partners at Highmark Delaware, Delaware Office of Highway Safety and the Office of the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security,” DATE Director John Yeomans said. “This is an extremely valuable tool in our continued efforts to educate our citizens and especially our young drivers regarding impaired driving.”

“Driving under the influence is the result of poor decision-making, and has tragic consequences,” OHS Director Kimberly Chesser said. “The DUI Simulator offers an opportunity for people to experience various driving conditions, hazards and scenarios as if they were under the influence while safely using a simulation program. The simulation mimics the difficulties drivers will encounter at various blood alcohol content levels. By incorporating the DUI simulator into our safety programs, we are educating the community about the consequences of impaired driving and reinforcing our drive sober message.”

DATE was awarded a $140,000 grant from Highmark Delaware to help purchase the driving simulator.

“Highmark Delaware’s BluePrints for the Community is pleased to support the purchase of an impaired driving simulator for the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement as they partner with schools and community-based organizations throughout the state to combat impaired driving. By providing real-life scenarios in a safe and controlled environment, good driving practices can be instilled in our young drivers,” Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield President Nick Moriello said.

Media Contact:
Arshon Howard
Chief of Community Relations
Cell: (302) 922-0186
Arshon.Howard@delaware.gov

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Delaware’s Division of Developmental Disabilities Services Announces Easterseals as New Provider for Self-Directed Care

DOVER (Oct. 13, 2021) –The Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) announced today that Easterseals of Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore will become the Division’s new “Agency with Choice” Provider, providing self-directed services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Self-directed supports provide additional flexibility to individuals and families to build the service system that suits them best.

Marissa Catalon, Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services said, “Self-directed care options empower people to control the supports they receive – whether those supports are needed at home, at a job, or out in the community. It’s our most flexible option, and we’re excited to have Easterseals as a new provider of this service option for our community.”

Easterseals will work with individuals receiving personal care and respite services via the DDDS Lifespan Medicaid Waiver Program and their families to provide assistance with training, enrollment, staff-hiring and onboarding.

Pam Reuther, Chief Operating Officer of Easterseals of Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore, shared the enthusiasm for this new partnership. “Easterseals has a long history of working to meet the unique needs of every individual we support. We’re excited to have been selected as the new Agency with Choice Provider for DDDS and look forward to enabling more individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families to play a stronger role in building the supports they need.”

DDDS first made self-directed care through the Agency with Choice program available to its service recipients in 2017 in partnership with Consumer Direct Care Network. “We’re incredibly grateful for the work Consumer Direct Care Network did in partnership with the State to build and grow this program over the last four years,” said DDDS Director Catalon. “Because of their commitment and stewardship of this service, we feel confident in our ability to transition this program to our new partner and continue its expansion in our service system.”

DDDS is one of 10 divisions in the Department of Health and Social Services. It serves more than 5,000 service recipients statewide.


DNREC Announces the 2022 Delaware Wetlands Conference

The Delaware Wetlands Conference brings together a wide range of interests – from scientists, natural resource managers and environmental professionals, to government representatives, community leaders and educators

 

The 10th Delaware Wetlands Conference presented by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 1 and 2, 2022. Information about opportunities to sponsor the wetlands conference, and to exhibit and present at the conference can be found at de.gov/dewetlandsconference.

The DNREC Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program and the DNREC Coastal Training Program have planned the two-day event to showcase the importance of wetlands in Delaware and across the mid-Atlantic region. More than 400 wetland experts and enthusiasts from the mid-Atlantic region and beyond are expected to gather at the biennial conference to share the latest innovations in wetland research, conservation and outreach programs.

The conference brings together scientists, planners, county, state, and federal representatives, community leaders, educators, and natural resource managers. Attendees will gain insight into current research on tidal and non-tidal wetlands, the value of the region’s wetlands and the beneficial impacts that professional management of wetlands can have on a community. Each day will include poster sessions, networking time, and presentations during concurrent sessions. Oral and poster presentations cover wetland topics related to coastal resilience, soils, beneficial use, monitoring and assessment, remediation, stream and wetland restoration, wildlife, policy/legal considerations, green technology, mitigation, and hydrodynamics.

Wetlands play a vital role in everyday lives, protecting communities from flooding and erosion and boosting local economies through tourism and the seafood industry. Taking advantage of opportunities to sponsor, exhibit, and present at the conference not only supports wetland science and education in the mid-Atlantic region, but also gains visibility with important leaders in the field of wetlands professionals.

For more information on the 2022 Delaware Wetlands Conference, including how to register for it beginning Nov. 12, visit de.gov/dewetlandsconference.

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. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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