DNREC Seeks Volunteers for Delaware Coastal Cleanup Sept. 11

The Wallace family of Kent County collecting litter and trash at Slaughter Beach during the 2020 Delaware Coastal Cleanup

 

Volunteers Also Invited to Clean up Close to Home in September

Volunteers for the 34th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup will have two options this year to help keep the state’s beaches and waterways free of trash through a widespread effort that also touches Delaware’s natural areas and neighborhoods. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is hosting the traditional one-day coordinated event at 39 sites statewide on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon. In addition, a month-long campaign starting Sept. 1 will encourage Delawareans and visitors to clean up neighborhoods, green spaces and waterways throughout the state on days, times and at locations of their choice.

Delawareans and visitors alike are encouraged make a special effort to keep communities and natural areas in the First State clean through personal commitment and in support of Governor John Carney’s Keep DE Litter Free initiative. “In order to keep our state beautiful, we must keep our coastlines and outdoor spaces clear of litter. That’s why we started our Keep DE Litter Free initiative,” Governor Carney said. “Thanks to DNREC and our other state and local partners who work to protect our unique natural heritage every year with this Coastal Cleanup. I encourage all Delawareans to participate.”

“We look forward to giving volunteers a choice of options this year to participate in the Delaware Coastal Cleanup,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Whether volunteers sign up for the traditional Saturday morning cleanup at specific beaches and coastal areas or choose their own time, date and place to clean up close to home, the Delaware Coastal Cleanup’s message remains the same: We can all make a difference keeping our beaches, waterways and wetlands clean and free of trash.”

For the Sept. 11 coordinated cleanup, volunteers must preregister by Tuesday, Aug. 31 for their choice of sites at the mobile-friendly Coastal Cleanup online hub. Limitations on the number of volunteers are in effect at all sites and no walkups will be accepted on the day of the cleanup. Site captains with supplies will be onsite to sign in volunteers and provide trash bags and directions. Although gloves, paper data cards and pencils will be available on request, volunteers are strongly 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.

Participants can find ideas about how to get involved in the 2021 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Facebook and Twitter. Volunteers in both the coordinated event on Sept. 11 and the month-long campaign can post photos on facebook.com/DelawareDNREC for a chance to win a 2022 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 on the Coastal Cleanup online hub at de.gov/coastalcleanup2021. Results will be updated during the month in real time on an interactive map.

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.

For more information, visit de.gov/coastalcleanup. Volunteers also can email questions about the cleanup 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: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov, Joanna Wilson, Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov

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DNREC to Revise Bundicks Branch Flood Risk Map in Sussex County

DNREC and FEMA are partnering to improve flood risk mapping of Bundicks Branch, west of Lewes in Sussex County

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is conducting a floodplain mapping study for Bundicks Branch in Sussex County and encourages the public to learn more about the upcoming mapping changes at https://de.gov/bundicksbranch. Comments and questions about the Bundicks Branch mapping study can be submitted online, with more information about floodplain mapping and flood insurance also found there.

The Bundicks Branch study is an example of DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to improve the accuracy of flood risk maps statewide through a Cooperating Technical Partnership. Current flood risk maps for Delaware can be viewed at www.de.gov/floodplanning.

“DNREC and its consultant are performing updated watershed modelling to produce more detailed and accurate flood risk assessments and maps for the Bundicks Branch watershed,” said Michael Powell, DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management section administrator. “This improved study and map will ultimately be adopted by FEMA to produce updated federal floodplain maps for this watershed.”

FEMA’s flood risk maps are used for flood insurance purposes and to enforce local floodplain codes. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available to local property owners. Mortgage lenders require borrowers whose properties are in a designated special flood hazard area to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally backed mortgage loan in accordance with the Federal Disaster Protection Act of 1973.

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.

More information about Delaware’s floodplain management program can be found on the DNREC 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. The DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. 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

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Be Part of the Solution to Pollution in the Inland Bays Aug. 28 Boat Captains Needed to Volunteer

Rehoboth Beach, Del. — Volunteers with boats are needed to help the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays to remove debris from the Bays during the Annual Inland Bays Clean Up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28.

The effort will focus on the shores along Rehoboth and Indian River Bays by boat, while the Delaware Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway groups will be coordinating cleanups on land. The water-based cleanup, which has been organized by the Center since the early 2000s, is supported by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

Previous cleanup efforts have netted thousands of pounds of trash, including plastic bottles and bags, tires, cans, wrappers, fishing gear and docking lumber. Trash in local waterways can be harmful to both Bay users and a variety of coastal and aquatic life including birds, fish and mammals such as dolphins.

Volunteers collect trash in past Inland Bays Clean Ups
Volunteers collect trash in past Inland Bays Clean Ups

The Center is in need of boat captains with power boats to collect and transport debris. Boat captains interested in volunteering should contact Program Manager Bob Collins at 302-226-8105 ext. 711 or at jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

Non-boat owners will also be needed to help with the trash collection on the water, as well as unloading what’s collected into a dumpster on land. Volunteers can register for the 2021 Clean Up online at tinyurl.com/InlandBaysCleanUp. Advance registration is required so that the Center can reserve adequate space on the boats.

Volunteers will be assigned to specific cleanup locations on the day of the event at the launch point: Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp, located at the end of Long Neck Road in Millsboro.

Volunteers should be prepared for the weather (including cooler, breezy conditions on the water) and should dress for dirty and wet conditions. Work gloves are recommended and closed-toe shoes are required. Those who have access to lifejackets should bring one, as they are required onboard any boat used during the cleanup. Lifejackets will be provided as needed. Volunteers also should plan to bring their own water and snacks or lunch as refreshments will not be provided.

Each volunteer must sign a waiver to participate (which will be available the day-of). This event is not recommended for children under 12, and participants under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

The Center will be following the CDC and state guidelines regarding COVID-19.

DNREC is once again lending support through its Delaware Natural Resources Police. Sponsors include the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, Dewey Beach Lions Club, GFL Environmental/Waste Industries of Delaware, state Senator Ernie Lopez and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s Community Cleanup Initiative.

For more information, please contact Program Manager Bob Collins at 302-226-8105 ext. 711 or email communications@inlandbays.org.

About The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Learn more at inlandbays.org.

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.

Contact: Bob Collins, Program Manager, 302-226-8105 ext. 711

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Delaware to Solicit Projects for Water Quality Funding

Public Workshop Scheduled on Aug. 11

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, in conjunction with the Division of Public Health, will begin soliciting for new water quality projects Aug. 11 as DNREC and DPH start to develop 2021 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving (DWSRF) project priority lists. Projects must be listed on the CWSRF and DWSRF project priority lists to be considered for funding.

A State Revolving Loan Fund virtual public workshop will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11 via Webex and offer a detailed overview of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. Attendees will get guidance on requesting financial assistance for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project needs. Pre-registration for the workshop is required.

Workshop attendees also will be informed that State Revolving Fund programs administered by DNREC Environmental Finance can provide a wide range of financial assistance, including:

  • A 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 matching planning grants
  • Community water quality improvement grants
  • Asset management planning grants
  • Project planning advances
  • Planning and design loans

The workshop also will offer guidance on how and when to submit projects for funding consideration, project ranking criteria, project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants.

Notices of Intent (NOI) for State Revolving Fund wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects are due by DNREC close of business at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10.

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 Environmental Finance team administers Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, making funding available to municipalities, the private sector, nonprofit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Vote Georgetown Lewes Trail and Junction and Breakwater Pathway into 2021 Rail – Trail Hall of Fame

There are only a few more days before voting ends on August 6, 2021! Vote the Georgetown to Lewes Trail (GLT) & Junction and Breakwater Pathway (JBP) into this year’s Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) Hall of Fame!

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) are excited to announce the GLT and JBP are one of only three rail-trails to be nominated! Nominated as a pair, if selected, these Delaware treasures would join more than 30 other iconic trails that are nationally recognized in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

Show your support and vote today. Just click HERE or visit https://de.gov/HOFVOTE. Vote as often as you like through August 6, 2021. Voting is unlimited! The winner, to be unveiled later this summer, will receive special Hall of Fame signage for their trail, a feature in RTC’s Trailblog, and an article in the fall issue of their magazine.

“If you utilize any one of the trails in the state’s ever-expanding trail network, I encourage you to vote and often,” said Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “Not only would it be amazing for two of our most popular trails to receive national recognition, but it also is a reminder of what we are looking to achieve here at DelDOT and in the state. Our goal remains to conveniently connect people to the places they want to go. Whether that is work, school, a doctor’s appointment or to their favorite restaurant or shopping destination, we want to make sure our residents and visitors have options, alternative modes of transportation they can use to reach their destinations.”

“Having Delaware’s incredible trail system recognized by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a great honor for our state,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Many Delawareans and visitors who utilize our trails benefit through healthier lifestyles and enjoying our state’s natural resources, and we are proud these trails have gained national recognition.”

The Georgetown to Lewes Trail is easily one of the most celebrated pathways in Delaware. Since the completion of the first phase, the Georgetown to Lewes Trail has quickly become a favorite for residents and tourists alike. Trail enthusiasts can walk or bike to work, school, appointments, parks, restaurants, retail shops or numerous other destinations including the State’s breathtaking beaches. Approximately one million users a year choose to travel the Georgetown to Lewes Trail vs. utilize a motorized vehicle to reach their destination.

Another beloved trail, the Junction & Breakwater Pathway offers a 14-mile round trip connection between the historic Town of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. Like with many coastal communities conventional travel during the peak season can be challenging but thanks to this low stress, multi-model pathway pedestrians and bicyclists can ditch their vehicles without sacrificing an ounce of adventure. Less traffic means more time to explore, shop, dine and experience these truly unique destinations.

The GLT is currently half-way finished. This year construction will begin on two additional sections. Once complete the trail will create a 16.7-mile connection between the heart of Sussex County, Georgetown, and the historic Town of Lewes. Users of the JBP continue to praise the recently completed Rehoboth Beach Extension. Both trails are state maintained, and DelDOT and DNREC are always looking for ways to update facilities and improve trail safety. For more information on either trail, visit DelDOT.gov or dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy began recognizing exemplary rail-trails across the country in 2007. Rail-Trail Hall of Fame inductees are selected on merits such as scenic value, high use, trail and trailside amenities, historical significance, excellence in management and maintenance of facility, community connections and geographic distribution. For more details and to vote click HERE or visit https://de.gov/HOFVOTE. Voting is unlimited. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on August 6, 2021.