DNREC raises public awareness of Lewes WTTP effluent bypass discharge, closes Delaware Bay shellfish harvest areas

DNREC LogoDOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control was notified Wednesday, Dec. 18 of equipment malfunctions at the Lewes wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) that the facility operator, Tidewater Utilities, Inc., was working to correct. Due to the nature of the affected equipment, the malfunction could not be expeditiously resolved, which required the Lewes WWTP to begin bypassing stages of its treatment, and begin discharging partially-treated wastewater effluent from the facility the evening of Thursday, Dec. 19.

Treatment stage bypass is ongoing as Tidewater, Inc. works to implement interim corrective measures at the facility, until the malfunctioning equipment can be replaced or repaired. Lewes residents are encouraged to reduce water usage if possible in an effort to alleviate any unnecessary strain on the wastewater treatment system. Water conservation measures would include avoiding multiple partial loads of laundry or dish washing, reducing shower time, and minimizing unnecessary flushing of toilets.

Also as a result of the Lewes WWTP’s effluent bypass situation, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin has issued an emergency shellfish closure order for harvest areas downstream of the plant. Discharge from the WWTP flows into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, which predominantly flows to the Delaware Bay. The shellfish harvest closure affects the lower Delaware Bay, from the Mispillion River Inlet south to The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, and Delaware jurisdictional waters east to the New Jersey State line in the Delaware Bay.

DNREC’s Surface Water Discharges Section was onsite Friday, Dec. 20 to observe bypass conditions at the Lewes WWTP and Tidewater Utilities’ efforts to remedy the system malfunction. Effluent continues to be screened to remove visible solids prior to discharge, while a hydrogen peroxide feed is being utilized for bacteria reduction. DNREC has ordered the Lewes WWTP to perform enhanced monitoring of effluent, as well as upstream and downstream monitoring of discharge in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. In an abundance of caution while the bypass continues, DNREC advises area residents and recreationalists not to use the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal from one mile southeast of the Lewes WWTP out through the Roosevelt Inlet.

The closure of shellfish harvest areas because of risk to public health will continue for a 21-day period after the bypass situation has ended, and the Lewes wastewater treatment plant effluent meets required discharge standards. The closure ordered by DNREC is based on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Guidelines under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program, and provides adequate public health protection for pathogens of concern, including viruses.

Rehoboth Bay was determined not to have been impacted by Lewes wastewater discharge after previous studies by DNREC concluded that the net flow of effluent from the Lewes WWTP plant enters Delaware Bay, but not the state’s Inland Bays. The temporary closure announced by DNREC applies only to clams, oysters and mussels – crabs, conch and fish species are not affected.

In assessing the ongoing bypass situation, DNREC’s Delaware Shellfish Program said that “based on location of the event, commercial oyster beds will not be impacted,” and that the impact “will primarily affect recreational shellfish harvesters near the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier, and a very limited commercial harvest of dredge clams in an area where no landings of these clams have occurred for several years.”

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

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DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Dec. 9-15

Reminder for the week: Hunting and fishing licenses and Conservation Access Passes help fund Delaware conservation and outdoor recreation facilities

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Dec. 9-15 made 1,360 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 16 citations. Officers responded to 43 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Hunting on a refuge (1), removing antlered deer parts prior to checking (1), possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (1), failure to tag antlered deer (1), failure to check antlered deer within 24 hours (2), failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours (1), and no License Exempt Number (LEN) (1).
Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2).
Public Safety: Possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vessel (1) and possession of drug paraphernalia (2).
Other: Damaging state property – cutting plants (2) and operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1).

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters, and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. The Public are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Did you know that your purchase of fishing and hunting licenses and Conservation Access Passes helps fund fish and wildlife conservation and public outdoor recreation facilities? Revenue from fishing and hunting licenses supports statewide fish and wildlife surveys, management, and conservation, as well as habitat management and fishing and hunting access on state lands managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife to include boat ramps and state wildlife areas. Conservation Access Pass revenues also help fund management and maintenance of state wildlife areas.

Delaware fishing and hunting licenses and Conservation Access Pass are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license or Conservation Access Pass online, visit Delaware licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing or hunting licenses and Conservation Access Passes, call 302-739-9918.

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DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces Delaware hunting seasons opening in January

Late deer seasons provide last chance to harvest deer

DOVER – For hunters still looking to harvest a deer, firearm deer seasons opening in January and continuing archery seasons, some extending into early February, provide the last chance to harvest deer during the 2019/20 hunting season.

Two does in the woods. US Fish & Wildlife Service photo.

Hunting seasons opening in January:
• Brant: Jan. 4 – 27
• Handgun Deer*: Jan. 4, Jan. 6 – 11, excluding Sunday, Jan. 5 and 12
• Shotgun Deer*: Jan. 18 – 26, including Sundays
• Muzzleloader Deer: Jan. 27 – Feb. 2, including Sunday, Feb. 2
*Straight-wall, pistol-caliber rifles are allowed during the January handgun and shotgun deer seasons.

Numerous other hunting seasons remain open in January. Check the 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide for more information.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at Wildlife Area Hunting Maps.

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt, and most waterfowl hunters require a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp. More information on hunting license and Delaware waterfowl stamp requirements is available at Delaware Licenses. Waterfowl and other migratory game bird (except crow) hunters will need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a LEN or HIP number, hunters can go to Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration or call toll free 1-855-335-4868. For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird stamp is also required to hunt waterfowl.

To purchase a hunting license, either in person or online, hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, must have a basic hunter education safety course card/number. Hunters who took a Delaware hunter safety course starting in 2008 can print their hunter safety card by going to http://de.gov/huntersafety. Hunters who took their Delaware hunter safety course before 2008 should call the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1 to obtain a hunter safety card.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass (CAP). Hunters can opt to receive one free annual CAP with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license. To obtain a CAP, hunters will need the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.

Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps, and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from hunting license agents statewide. Federal migratory bird stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges, and online at Federal duck stamps.

For more information on hunting, click and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of the guide and newly-updated hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details, and the Conservation Access Pass is also available by calling the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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FY2020 Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund public workshop Jan. 6 by DNREC Environmental Finance

DOVER – Environmental Finance within DNREC’s Office of the Secretary and the Delaware Division of Public Health will host a State Revolving Loan Fund public workshop Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in preparation for the development of the 2020 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving (DWSRF) Project Priority Lists. The workshop begins at 10 a.m. in the Kent County Administrative Complex, Conference Room 220, 555 S. Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901.

The workshop will inform and provide municipal government representatives, privately-owned businesses, wastewater and drinking water utilities, consultant engineers, and other interested parties with detailed overviews of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. The combined-program workshop will provide attendees with an accurate and efficient source of information for requesting financial assistance for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project needs.

Notices-of-Intent (NOI) for wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects will be solicited starting Monday, January 6, 2020, and are due by Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, to prepare the 2020 CWSRF and DWSRF Project Priority Lists (PPLs). Projects must be listed on the CWSRF and DWSRF PPLs, respectively, to be considered for funding. Workshop attendance is required by applicants and/or their consulting engineering firms who plan to apply for CWSRF and DWSRF assistance.

Workshop participants will learn about the following CWSRF and DWSRF program changes and infrastructure financing tools:

  • One-stop loan application process for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project assistance
  • Land conservation and water quality improvement loan sponsorship programs
  • Source water protection loans for drinking water supplies
  • Wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater facilities matching planning grants
  • Community water quality improvement grants
  • Asset management plan development incentives
  • Project planning advances
  • Expanded eligibilities for privately-owned businesses

In addition, detailed information will be presented at the workshop about how and when to submit projects for funding consideration, project ranking criteria, project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants.

To reserve a place at the workshop, please contact Laura Rafferty, DNREC Environmental Finance, by emailing Laura.Rafferty@delaware.gov or phone: 302-739-9941.

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


DNREC’s Natural Resources Police deliver 585 toys to U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program

Pictured aboard Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Marine Patrol vessel Alpha, are Fish & Wildlife Officer Billy Adkins (in back); Environmental Crimes Unit’s Lt. John McCarty; Delaware State Parks’ Cpl. Andrew Manning and Lt. Bryan John; Fish & Wildlife Chief Drew Aydelotte and Sgt. Brooke Mitchell; ECU Officer Rebecca Schuman; Fish & Wildlife Lt. Casey Zolper; and special guest Santa Claus (Fish & Wildlife Cpl. Josh Hudson), with K-9 Officer Rosco. DNREC photo/Shauna McVey.

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Officer Rebecca Schuman of the Environmental Crimes Unit, and Cpl. David Redgraves and Cpl. Andrew Manning of Delaware State Parks Natural Resources Police. DNREC photo/Joanna Wilson.

DOVER – After a statewide gift-giving campaign throughout the holiday season, DNREC Natural Resources Police units from Delaware State Parks, the Division of Fish & Wildlife, and the Division of Community Affairs’ Environmental Crimes Unit have delivered 585 toys to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program in Delaware to provide gifts for less fortunate children in local communities for the holidays.

“Toys for Tots ensures that less fortunate children can awaken to presents in this season of giving, and I am proud that DNREC’s three Natural Resources Police units stepped up to make that a reality for hundreds of Delaware families,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Thanks to the dedication of Cpl. Andrew Manning of our Parks Natural Resources Police and all the other officers who took part in this campaign, DNREC has helped make a difference.”

The three Natural Resources Police units placed Toys for Tots donation boxes in locations statewide, including DNREC offices and state parks, to collect new, unwrapped toys suitable for boys and girls of all ages.

In Sussex County Dec. 13, DNREC Natural Resources Police officers met Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Marine Patrol vessel Alpha at the Indian River Marina to pick up toys collected from six Sussex donation locations and deliver them to the Sussex Toys for Tots facility. They collected 315 toys, which will be among those distributed to children in 1,038 Sussex families.

A total of 270 toys collected in Kent and New Castle counties were delivered Dec. 16 to the Dover Toys for Tots facility for distribution. The Kent County facility is serving more than 1,200 children, with a waiting list.

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