Governor Carney Launches Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI)

Public invited to enter trees they plant in new TEDI tracker

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday launched a new program that aims to plant a tree for every Delawarean as part of the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This initiative was originally announced in Governor Carney’s 2020 State of the State Address and discussed in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan as a strategy to support local communities’ enhancement of urban greenspaces.

Click here for photos from the event.

“Last week, when I announced Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, I said that as the country’s lowest-lying state, climate change is a very real threat to Delaware’s future,” said Governor Carney. “Reducing emissions is essential to our efforts to deal with climate change, and the Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative – TEDI – helps us move forward on accomplishing one of the strategies outlined in the Climate Action Plan.”

“We all have a stake in improving our environmental health to ensure a stronger and healthier Delaware,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “By involving the community and encouraging Delawareans across the state to plant trees, we are taking steps to mitigate carbon emissions and their impact on our state, our children and future generations.”

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) Secretary Michael T. Scuse joined Governor Carney, Lt. Governor Hall-Long, state and county officials, and stakeholders at a tree planting at Lieutenant Szczerba Memorial Park in New Castle to help launch the program. The two state agencies are partnering on the initiative.

DNREC and the Delaware Department of Agriculture partnered to develop a new website where residents can access information on selecting, planting, and caring for their trees. In addition, residents, non-profit organizations, and municipalities can visit de.gov/tedi to enter information and photos of their tree plantings to help count the trees planted throughout the state.

Healthy and resilient forests are a vital part of the efforts to combat the negative impacts of climate change. As part of a comprehensive approach in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan that includes energy efficiency, clean transportation and transitioning to clean energy sources. Planting and nurturing trees is a nature-based solution to reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“Along with our programs that help Delawareans reduce their energy use, TEDI provides an opportunity for everyone to contribute to our statewide effort to improve air and water quality, preserve soil, and support wildlife – all while reducing the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

Urban trees and forests help decrease energy use and emissions by providing shade, cooling temperatures and changing wind speeds. Studies have shown trees can reduce temperatures by 9 degrees and energy and heating costs by $7.8 billion a year in the United States.

Encompassing 1.25 million acres, Delaware has nearly 360,000 forested acres. With 78 percent of the state’s forests privately owned, the Delaware Forest Service provides technical assistance, funding and education to serve as a foundation for tree planting, conservation, reforestation, forest management and wildlife protection throughout Delaware.

“We are proud to have the Delaware Forest Service as part of the Department of Agriculture. With fewer than 25 staff, the Forest Service continually works with communities and private landowners all over Delaware to harness the power of trees to transform communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “The Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative is an important investment in our state’s forestland that will help improve our economy and public health. Every $1 million invested in tree planting and reforestation efforts creates 40 forest-related jobs. And from a health perspective, research has shown that trees absorb 17.4 million tons of air pollutants a year, helping to prevent 670,000 cases of asthma and other acute respiratory symptoms annually.”

DDA’s Urban and Community Forestry Program works to increase tree canopy in communities statewide. The Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program has provided more than $1.86 million in matching tree grants for more than 588 projects in the First State – with more than 16,000 trees planted. Municipalities, communities and organizations can assess their current level of tree cover as a starting point to explore opportunities to plant new trees using the Delaware Forest Service’s online tree canopy tool at de.gov/treecanopy

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Insurance Commissioner Navarro, Lt. Governor Hall-Long to Host Dover COVID Vaccine and Flu Shot Clinic

Local independent pharmacy to administer important immunizations

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro, in collaboration with Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long and Kevin Musto, R.Ph., FAPhA, independent pharmacist with Atlantic Apothecary, has announced a COVID Vaccination and Flu Shot Clinic on Thursday, November 18 from 1:00 to 4:00PM at the Delaware Department of Insurance’s Dover Office, 1351 West North Street. Weather permitting, the event will take place outdoors.

“Both the COVID-19 vaccines and the flu shot are safe and effective, and I’m proud to be able to offer them at our Dover office. Each are vital in helping to avoid significant illness, including hospitalization and death, and can be received during the same visit – including at our November 18 event,” said Commissioner Navarro, who will be getting his next dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the event.Be A Virus Fighter Flyer

All three types of COVID-19 vaccines – Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer – will be available. Pfizer will be provided to eligible residents 5 years and older, Moderna is available for those 12 and older, and Johnson & Johnson for those 18 and older. All levels of vaccination will be offered, including first, second, third and booster doses. Flu shots are available and recommended for those 6 months and older. High-dose flu shots for those 65+ will also be administered at no charge with a Medicare card. Minors must have a guardian’s consent to receive their immunization.

Residents should bring their photo ID or other identification, insurance information or Medicare card, and their prescription or pharmacy card if applicable. Those who have previously received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should bring their vaccine card or other documentation if possible. Vaccinations records can be obtained via the DelVAX system. For a faster registration, flu shot recipients can download and complete their Influenza Fluzone form in advance. There is a separate Influenza Fluzone form for those 65+  who wish to receive the high-dose flu vaccine. Participants will be asked to wear a mask and observe social distancing protocols.

Commissioner Navarro also expressed his gratitude to the pharmacists who have been providing these important immunizations throughout the state, saying “This event, and so many others, wouldn’t be possible without local pharmacies and their dedicated staff. We are grateful for their service to our communities.”

For more information about the flu and where to get vaccinated, visit flu.delaware.gov or call 1-800-282-8672. For information about where to get the COVID-19 vaccine, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/vaccine/where-can-i-get-my-vaccine/ or call 1-833-643-1715.

COVID-19 vaccination eligibility for Johnson and Johnson second dose, third and booster doses of Moderna and Pfizer, and age-based eligibility for vaccination are all subject to change prior to the event. More information on COVID-19 vaccine doses is available through the Delaware Division of Health.

View event flyer or email Christina.Haas@Delaware.gov  for a full-size flyer.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Media availability will be at 3PM. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Christina.Haas@Delaware.gov.


Statements on the Passing of Former Governor Ruth Ann Minner

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long on Thursday released the following statements on the passing of former Governor Ruth Ann Minner:

Governor Carney’s statement:

Tracey and I learned the sad news today of the passing of former Governor Ruth Ann Minner. I served alongside Governor Minner as her Lieutenant Governor from 2001-2009. She was a leader who had a real common touch. Governor Minner focused on raising up the working families of our state because she knew what it meant to struggle. Having grown up poor in Slaughter Beach, she brought that perspective to her job every day, and she never lost her attachment to those roots.

Governor Minner was also a trailblazer, becoming Delaware’s first female Governor when she was elected in 2000 and paving the way for women and girls in our state to seek out leadership roles. Her path to the Governor’s office was a unique one. Widowed in her early 30s, Governor Minner served as a legislative aide in the General Assembly, and a receptionist to Governor Sherman Tribbitt, before beginning her own political career. She was elected to her first of four terms in the Delaware House of Representatives in 1974. Governor Minner went on to serve three terms in the Delaware Senate, and two as Lieutenant Governor, before winning two terms as Governor.

During her time in office, Governor Minner worked with legislators of both parties to improve health care and fight cancer, strengthen our education system, and attract good jobs to our state. She will be greatly missed. Tracey and I are praying for Governor Minner’s family, and her many friends across our state, during this difficult time.

 

Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long’s statement:

Today, we in Delaware collectively mourn the loss of one of our great leaders, Governor Ruth Ann Minner. She was a role model to so many women in our state and her life story and political career was one of a kind. As our first female Governor, she was a trailblazer and worked tirelessly in a bipartisan manner to uplift all of our families up and down the state. From her grassroots down-to-earth upbringing, she put in place policies that continue to affect our families today. It was a pleasure and one of my greatest honors to work with her as a legislator and now as Lieutenant Governor. We all have her family in our thoughts and prayers.

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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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2021 Lt. Governor’s Challenge Winners Announced

 

Behavioral health, emotional well-being, and healthy food initiatives are among the list of unique programs being awarded at the October 20 virtual event.

October 12, 2021, Dover, DE — The 2021 Lt. Governor’s Wellness Leadership Challenge has announced seven recipients of this year’s prestigious award. The mission of the annual Lt. Governor’s Challenge is to recognize local health and wellness programs, policies, or environmental changes that help improve the quality of life of Delawareans. The winning submissions came from individuals, organizations, and institutions across Delaware who made a commitment to enacting better health and wellness for their communities, ultimately helping to elevate the well-being, productivity, and prosperity of the State of Delaware.

“The record number and quality of entries went above and beyond expectation, especially during the pandemic.” Said Delaware Lt. Governor, Dr. Bethany Hall-Long. “All applicants clearly impact families, neighborhoods, workplaces, communities, and/or schools with real physical and mental health policy or system changes. Thank you to all entrants who shared their health and wellness ideas and best practices.”

The Winners of the 2021 Lt Governor’s Challenge, listed in alphabetic order:

  • Brandywine Counseling & Community Services: deployed a communication, wellness, and mindfulness program to keep employees connected and affirm the health and emotional wellbeing of the BCCS team.
  • Delaware Libraries: provided telehealth support services by distributing hundreds of laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots as well as assisting with tech issues, scheduling, and directing patrons to resources to increase access to remote health and human services.
  • Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids: created their school-garden program to educate students in gardening, soil composition, plant biology, and more, as well as improve eating habits in over 30 Delaware schools.
  • Hispanic American Association of Delaware: worked with neighborhood-based groups to provide educational health sessions, workouts, and guidance to local resources such as cancer screenings and mental health support to at-risk minority women.
  • Reach Riverside Development Corporation: deployed an employee mental well-being program that included workout sessions, recreational time, group counseling, and certified counselors being made available to employees.
  • Rose Simon: hosted health seminars and food drives; distributed school supplies and vaccines by bringing doctors and other experts to vulnerable communities.
  • Seaford School District Behavioral Health Team: deployed an integrated and coordinated mental/behavioral health program driven by Student Support Teams at each school.

Honorary Mention for Unique Programming related to COVID-19 awarded to:

  • Freeman Arts Pavilion
  • Adesis

Unique Programming designed to reach special populations:

  • Breaking Barriers

The Selection Process

All Challenge nominees completed an extensive application process with a requirement to feature an initiative that met the following criteria:

  • SUSTAINABILITY: The initiative should provide an ongoing opportunity for healthier living, instead of being a one-off activity.
  • REACH: The initiative should seek to demonstrate improvements in the capacity to address the health needs of a community or a target population.
  • OUTCOME/IMPACT: The initiative should demonstrate measured improvements in access and/or increased opportunities for improving behavioral and physical health in the state. Impartial judges from the Division of Public Health, nonprofits, community leaders, and educators collaborated on selecting the winners.

Making a Difference in Delaware

By engaging businesses, local organizations, and individuals to be change-makers for health in their communities, the Lt. Governor’s Challenge spotlights and applauds those implementing solutions to create environments that support and sustain overall good health in the state.

The group of seven award recipients will be recognized for their achievements by the Lt. Governor at a live virtual event on October 20, 2021. Participation invitations will be sent directly to each honoree for them to share with their respective teams, friends, and family. For more on the Lt. Governor’s Challenge, visit the website @ www.ltgovernorschallenge.org.

 

Contact: Laura Wisniewski, Communications Director

Phone: 302-377-8313

Email: laura.wisniewski@delaware.gov