DNREC to resume state park campground rentals June 1

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will reopen its campgrounds in Delaware State Parks Monday in response to Governor John Carney’s removal of the emergency ban on short-term rental units starting June 1. The mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers will also be lifted Monday.

Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced that the State of Delaware will lift the ban on short-term rental units and the quarantine on June 1 as part of the rolling reopening of Delaware’s economy.

All state park campsites, cabins, cottages and yurts were temporarily closed from March 24 through May 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Division of Parks & Recreation issued refunds for reservations through May 31. The current liberal cancelation policy will remain in effect through June 15, allowing those with reservations to cancel them and receive a full refund.

Camping is available after June 1 at the following state parks:

Cape Henlopen: Tents, RVs, cabins

Delaware Seashore: Tents, RVs

Indian River Marina: Cottages

Killens Pond: Tents, RVs, cabins

Lums Pond: Tents, RVs, yurts

Trap Pond: Tents, RVs, yurts, cabins

All cabins and cottages will be sanitized by a professional cleaning service between rentals to allow Parks staff to focus on cleaning common park areas. Some amenities will remain closed until further notice, including nature centers and playgrounds, due to COVID-19.

Campers are required to heed all current safety protocols in Delaware State Parks in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19. All visitors to Delaware State Parks must carry a face mask or other cloth covering and wear it in restrooms, any other enclosed space and when social distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained between members of different households. When camping, visitors are encouraged to report any safety concerns to a Campground Host or the park’s office.

To reserve a campsite, go to destateparks.com/reservations or call 1-877-98 PARKS (1-877-987-2757).

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 Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

 

 


DNREC Natural Resources Police Park Rangers arrest Rehoboth Beach man on multiple drug charges

K-9 Vos has first drug alert while on patrol

DNREC Natural Resources Police Park Rangers arrested a Rehoboth Beach man on multiple drug and other charges Memorial Day at Cape Henlopen State Park after park rangers found two subjects in a closed primitive camping area.

At around 4 p.m. May 25, Rangers approached and questioned the individuals, who were burning a fire in a campsite fire pit, and found Ricky C. Garner, 37, of Rehoboth Beach to be in possession of marijuana. K-9 Vos then gave a positive alert for the presence of narcotics in Garner’s belongings, where Rangers found suspected powder cocaine and suspected MDMA (ecstasy).

The Rangers recovered 139 grams of marijuana, edible marijuana, marijuana vape oil, 1.9 grams suspected cocaine, 4.9 grams dried fungus suspected psilocybin mushrooms and 1.9 grams suspected ecstasy from Garner.

Garner was taken into custody without incident and charged with the following misdemeanors:

  • 1 count of misdemeanor possession/consumption of marijuana other than for personal use quantity
  • 3 counts possession/consumption of a controlled counterfeit substance without a prescription
  • 3 counts possession of drug paraphernalia
  • 1 count of illegal camping/trespassing under State Park regulations
  • 1 count of possession of a prohibited item (BB gun) under State Park regulations

Garner was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on his own recognizance pending notification in the Court of Common Pleas.

This was K-9 Vos’s first drug alert on patrol. He recently graduated from the Delaware State Police K-9 narcotics detection training program, and now serves in both patrol and narcotics detection capacities.

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 Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


DNREC begins treatment of downstate public ponds for the aquatic weed hydrilla

With inland water temperatures rising and aquatic plants emerging, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is treating downstate public ponds for the nuisance aquatic weed hydrilla. Uncontrolled hydrilla can choke the water, crowding out beneficial plant species and preventing fishing and boating access. Ponds being treated this year are Griffiths Pond near Milford, Concord Pond near Seaford, and Wagamons Pond in Milton. Signs are posted at the boat ramp of each pond on the day of treatment.

Sonar, registered and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is an aquatic herbicide containing fluridone. It is used to treat Hydrilla, a non-native, invasive plant that likely entered the state through the aquarium trade. Sonar has been used in Delaware since the 1980s, and has proven to be environmentally-compatible and effective for controlling hydrilla. Sonar does not pose a threat to wildlife, including fish, nor are there any restrictions placed on fishing or consumption of fish as a result of these treatments.

The only special restriction is to not use water from the treated ponds for irrigation for 30 days from the date of treatment. Residents and farmers along and directly downstream of treated ponds should not use the water to irrigate their gardens, yards, or agricultural lands during that period to avoid possible damage to their plantings, and landowners with permits to use water from these ponds will be directly notified before treatment.

To prevent the spread of hydrilla and other invasive aquatic vegetation, anglers and boaters are encouraged to remove all hydrilla and other aquatic plants from their boats, trailers, and gear before leaving the boat ramp area.

For additional information, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries section at 302-739-9914.

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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

 

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Beach Restrictions To Be Lifted, Visitor Numbers Limited In State Parks For Memorial Day Weekend

Delawareans will resume activities such as swimming and sunbathing on Delaware State Park beaches for Memorial Day weekend, with existing restrictions on beaches being lifted by the Governor effective Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m. Out-of-state visitors who have maintained a 14-day quarantine since entering the state are also allowed to resume activity on Delaware beaches.

Since March, beach activities had been limited to exercising, dog-walking and restricted surf fishing as part of precautions against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Adequate social distancing on the beaches remain a concern and will be closely monitored as the restrictions are modified. 

To carry out Gov. Carney’s phased reopening of Delaware beaches, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced the following for state parks:

Current restrictions on beach activity will be lifted starting 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22. Sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, surfing, kayaking, walk-on surf fishing and other activities will be allowed to resume for Delawareans and for those from out-of-state who have quarantined 14 days.

At least 6-foot distance will be required on beaches among those from different households, and groups of visitors from the same household may be no larger than 10. Masks or face coverings are encouraged to be worn on beaches.

Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks will have capacity limits – between 50 and 70% of parking spaces – that will be enforced at entrances and with closure of parking spaces.

Visitors must bring face coverings, such as masks or bandanas, with them when entering state parks. Within state parks, face coverings must be worn in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as in bathhouses, park offices, concession buildings, boat docks, and trails and paths where others are present.

Beach-area bathrooms and bathhouses will open May 22. Most bathrooms in other state parks around the state will also open, but some will remain closed due to distancing/cleaning considerations.

Cleaning services will be increased to multiple times per day at all open bathrooms and bathhouses.

For surf fishing, the emergency limit on number of persons per vehicle will be lifted and now only one person will need to be actively fishing. But 20-foot distancing between vehicles will be required and drive-on beaches may be closed by officers to additional vehicles when the carrying capacity to implement social distancing is not possible.

State Park offices will open Thursday, May 21, and will require credit cards for purchases. Face masks must be worn when entering park offices.

Visitors are encouraged to purchase Annual Passes to avoid anticipated delays for daily entrance payments. 

Annual Pass and Surf-Fishing Permit sales resume availability at all park offices starting Thursday, and are available online at destateparks.com.

Daily park entrance fees will only be collected via the automated credit card machines or self-registration envelopes provided at park entrances for those without annual passes or permits.

Camping and pavilion reservations at all state parks have been canceled through May 31. Full refunds will be issued, and no further action is required by the customer. Should the Governor’s state of emergency closure of camping be extended beyond June 1, further cancellations will occur at that time.

State park daily entrance fees for vehicles registered in Delaware are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks. Fees for out-of-state vehicles are $8 at inland parks and $10 at ocean parks. Annual park entrance passes are $35 for Delawareans and $70 for out-of-state, with discounted rates for military and for those on state or federal assistance, including those on unemployment. For information on pass and permit fees, go to destateparks.com/Know/passestagsfees.

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 Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov.


New website provides Seaford-area residents information on proposed flood risk mapping revisions

Seaford-area residents are asked to review and comment on proposed floodplain mapping changes in the Clear Brook watershed by visiting a new website managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The proposed floodplain map changes for Clear Brook are being made because a recent evaluation found the Hearns Pond area floodplain is receding and areas downstream are slightly expanding.

The new wesbsite includes a helpful video that provides important information for residents about how the proposed changes may affect their properties and flood insurance rates. Visitors to the website can also record their comments on the proposed revisions. Any comments must be received by May 31.

“DNREC and its consultant performed updated watershed modeling, which included recent improvements to the Hearns Pond Dam to produce more detailed and accurate flood risk assessments and maps for the Clear Brook watershed,” said Michael Powell, administrator for the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship. “This improved study and map will ultimately be adopted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to produce updated federal floodplain maps for the watershed.”

DNREC partners with FEMA to improve the accuracy of flood risk maps statewide. Delaware’s current flood risk maps are used by FEMA to set flood insurance rates and enforce local floodplain codes. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available to property owners. Mortgage lenders require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated flood hazard area to buy flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally-backed mortgage loan.

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

For information on flood risk maps, contact Gina Tonn or Michael Powell, with the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, at 302-739-9921. The Division has also posted more information about the flood mitigation program on the Department’s website.

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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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