Virtual Workshops Set for Delaware Climate Action Plan

Public Input Sought on Climate Change Solutions

Identifying specific strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change Delaware is already experiencing will be the topics of a series of virtual public workshops planned for September and October.

Delaware is developing a Climate Action Plan aimed at minimizing greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change while maximizing the state’s resilience to the current climate impacts we’re already experiencing, including sea level rise, temperature increases and flooding.

The workshops will be presented as a series of four virtual public input sessions designed to solicit feedback on specific strategies Delaware can take to address climate change. They will include interactive activities to help participants explore possible solutions to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and maximize resilience.

The first workshop will examine specific strategies the state can take toward minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, building off initial workshops held in March and a consultant’s technical analysis of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware. This workshop will be offered on two separate occasions to enable greater participation, but workshop content will be the same.

The remaining three workshops will consider strategies the state can take to maximize Delaware’s resilience to climate impacts. Each of these three workshops will be offered once and will focus on a different climate change impact: sea level rise, increased temperatures, and heavy precipitation and flooding.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend one or more workshops in the series. Attendance at one workshop is not required for attendance at another.
The schedule of virtual workshops includes:

  • Sept. 15, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Workshop No.1 – Minimizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Sept. 17, 5:30 to 7 p.m.: Repeat of Workshop No. 1 – Minimizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Sept. 24, 5:30 to 7 p.m.: Workshop No. 2 – Maximizing Resilience to Sea Level Rise
  • Sept. 29, 5:30 to 7 p.m.: Workshop No. 3 – Maximizing Resilience to Increased Temperatures
  • Oct. 1, 5:30 to 7 p.m.: Workshop No. 4 – Maximizing Resilience to Heavy Precipitation and Flooding

All the workshops will be held virtually via Zoom, a video and telephone conferencing system that is free to use. Registration for the workshops is required. Instructions for how to download and use Zoom will be sent to registered participants prior to each workshop. Register at declimateplan.org.

The workshops will be recorded and posted on declimateplan.org. For those unable to participate in the workshops, an interactive online survey will be available to provide comments and ideas on possible climate change solutions for Delaware.

For more information about the virtual public workshop series, or to learn more about climate change in Delaware, visit declimateplan.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. The 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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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DNREC Sinks Ex-Navy and Army Freighter Turned Fishing Fleet Boat Reedville onto Delaware’s Artificial Reef System

The Reedville as it sank about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13 on Reef Site No. 11 (the Redbird Reef) /DNREC photo

DNREC continued to broaden the recreational allure of Delaware’s renowned artificial reef system today by sinking the Reedville, originally a World War II and Korean Conflict-era coastal freighter and supply ship at a reef site 16 miles offshore and with readings of *38 40.423’N 74* 44.295’ W at a depth of 87 feet. The Reedville was converted to a commercial fishing vessel after military decommissioning and has found another new life starting at 12:18 EDT as fish habitat on the ocean floor through DNREC’s artificial reef program.

The sinking of the 180-foot long Reedville was the reef program’s first deployment of a vessel since a retired Chesapeake Bay cruise ship was sunk late last year onto Reef Site No. 11. That came after the nationally-publicized and viral-videoed 2018 sinking of the retired Lewes-Cape May, N.J. ferry Twin Capes onto the Del-Jersey-Land Reef, second only to Reef Site No. 11 as a popular angling destination. Because of the ship’s profile featuring a cavernous hold and 38-foot keel to top of stack, the Reedville is expected to be a boon to two fisheries prominent in Delaware inshore waters, black sea bass and tautog.

“We continue to enhance the angling and recreational diving experience in Delaware by expanding our reef system, which includes 14 separate reef sites in the Delaware Bay and along the Atlantic Coast,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “When we sank Twin Capes two years ago as a centerpiece of the system, it was unmatched as an artificial reef for both providing fish habitat and a spectacular dive with its five decks for underwater exploration. Now with the Reedville, we’ve got four reefed vessels of the same class and we are putting it in a place that will be accessible, attract the most fish and where divers will want to explore, too.”

Reedville joins three other former menhaden boats and onetime military vessels classified as fast-supply coastal freighters now residing on Delaware reefs: the Shearwater, Gregory S. Poole and Atlantic Mist on the Del-Jersey-Land Inshore Reef, so called because it is roughly equidistant from ports of departure in each of the three states the reef’s name entails. The Reedville is the first such ship to be placed on Reef Site No. 11, better known to anglers as the Redbird Reef because it largely consists of 997 retired New York City “redbird” subway cars. The Redbird Reef covers 1.3 square miles of ocean floor and besides fish habitat created by the subway cars, includes the 215-foot-long Chesapeake Bay cruise ship, 86 US Army tanks, eight tugboats, a fishing trawler, and two barges.

The Reedville’s sinking was carried out by Norfolk, Va.-based marine contractor Coleen Marine, which has handled numerous ship and vessel reef deployments over the DNREC program’s existence at many of Delaware’s 14 permitted artificial reef sites after receiving approvals from the EPA for environmental cleanliness and from the US Coast Guard. DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, which oversees the reef program, paid $175,000 in federal Sport Fish Restoration funds to buy Reedville from Coleen Marine after the ship settled onto the Redbird Reef.

Originally a Navy ship then an Army FS (freight and supply)-class vessel, the Reedville in its commercial incarnation was renamed for the hub of the menhaden industry, Reedville, Va. – itself named after Capt. Elijah W. Reed, whose process for extracting fish oil from menhaden in the 19th century enriched him and earned Reedville (population: 500) the label of the wealthiest town in America.

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 Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Wastewater, Surface Water and Drinking Water Planning Grant Proposals Now Being Accepted by DNREC, DPH

State government agencies, county and municipal governments, and conservation districts can now submit proposals to DNREC and the Delaware Division of Public Health to receive matching grants for wastewater, surface water and drinking water project planning. Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.

Eligible projects include planning, preliminary engineering and feasibility analysis of wastewater and/or drinking water projects; stormwater retrofits; green technology practices; stream and wetland restoration projects; small watershed studies; master surface water and drainage plans; and other source water pollution control projects.

Grant applications of up to $50,000 will be considered with a one-to-one cash match requirement. Up to 10 percent of the grant funds may be used for administrative costs. There is an annual cumulative grant award cap of $100,000 per successful applicant per fiscal year for wastewater and surface water planning grants. Drinking water planning grants can be for any amount, provided funds are available.

The Wastewater, Drinking Water, and Surface Water Matching Planning Grant programs are set-asides in the state’s Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Fund. Projects will be recommended for funding by the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council (WIAC) through a competitive grant process.

  • Wastewater Planning Grants assist with wastewater infrastructure project planning and design necessary to submit a loan application for funding consideration. For project guidelines and an application, visit Wastewater Matching Planning Grant.
  • Surface Water Planning Grants support projects and activities that focus on reducing surface water runoff and improving water quality in impaired watersheds. For project guidelines and an application, visit Surface Water Matching Planning Grant.
  • Drinking Water Planning Grants help municipal water systems prepare for large, often-costly projects such as troubleshooting source water quality and proposing solutions, reconfiguring water plants to optimize treatment, and determining water main size and locations, among other activities. For project guidelines and an application, visit Drinking Water Matching Planning Grant.

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 Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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DNREC Offers Yard Waste Management Guidance for Debris from Tropical Storm Isaias

After Tropical Storm Isaias and tornados spawned by the storm left a destructive wake through the state this week that included many downed trees and limbs, the cleanup has begun for many Delaware residents – and will include disposing of more yard waste than usual. Yard waste is banned from Delaware’s landfills so it cannot be placed in trash containers or recycling bins, but DNREC provides resources to help Delawareans manage their yard waste in ways that are protective of human health and the environment.

Yard waste typically consists of materials such as grass clippings, leaves, brush, small limbs (4” in diameter or less), Christmas trees or other vegetative materials. Downed trees or large branches should be cut into manageable lengths for pickup by waste haulers or for drop-off at yard waste sites. Other materials, which might have been lost to the storm or mixed into your yard waste debris such as fence posts, treated wood, plastic or metal items and trash should be separated from yard waste. DNREC reminds Delawareans that managing waste streams properly helps ensure that these materials are disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

What DNREC asks Delawareans to do for better management of yard waste:

  • Make sure yard waste and normal trash are separated so that they can be collected properly.
  • Utilize one of the many drop-off locations statewide for yard waste if you don’t have curbside collection. A list of sites can be found at http://de.gov/yardwaste.
  • Consider working with your Homeowners Association or your neighbors to rent a chipper or hire a landscape company to mulch all fallen tree limbs and brush in your neighborhood and then put that mulch to use across your home landscape.

What should Delawareans not do with their yard waste:

  • Do not burn yard waste! Open burning is prohibited in Delaware during this time, and punishable by fine of $500 to $1,500 plus court costs.
  • Yard waste should not be mixed with other waste that goes into your trash cart.
  • Do not deposit your yard waste in vacant lots or open space areas. This is illegal dumping and will be prosecuted by DNREC’s Environmental Crimes Unit.

Check with your hauler or municipal or county government to see if additional or different yard waste schedules for pickup are available due to extenuating circumstances from the recent tropical storm. Additionally, some haulers or communities might have specific established guidelines to follow for yard waste pickup.

Report environmental violations, including trash dumping, to the DNREC Environmental Crimes Unit by calling the 24-hour toll-free hotline at 800-662-8802 or text ECUTIP to TIP411 (847411).

Information about yard waste management can be found online at de.gov/yardwaste or by calling DNREC’s Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances at 302-739-9403. Information about open burning can be found online at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/air/open-burning/ or by calling DNREC’s Division of Air Quality at 302-739-9402.

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 Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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DNREC Coastal Cleanup Encourages Residents and Visitors to Clean Up Trash Close to Home

This year, the 33rd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup will transition from a one-day, in-person event to a month-long campaign to keep the state’s beaches and waterways free of trash, DNREC announced today.

“Following the lead of other states and guidance from the Ocean Conservancy, Delaware’s Coastal Cleanup Program will not include large organized group cleanups this year,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Although we will not have the traditional gatherings at specific beaches and coastal areas statewide on the usual September Saturday, the Delaware Coastal Cleanup’s message remains the same — we can all make a difference to keep our beaches, waterways and wetlands clean and free of trash.”

In the spirit of the Coastal Cleanup, all Delawareans and visitors are encouraged make a special effort during the month of September to keep communities and natural areas in the First State clean through personal commitment and support of the Governor’s Keep DE Litter Free initiative. Volunteers will be able to report their findings all month long on the Delaware Coastal Cleanup app. Additional details, including how to download the updated app will be posted later this month on de.gov/coastalcleanup.

Cleaning up locally makes a big difference statewide and keeps trash from entering waterways and making its way to beaches. Last year, nearly 2,000 volunteers with the Delaware Coastal Cleanup collected 3.6 tons of trash and recyclables littering more than 125 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline.

DNREC suggests several ways to make a difference all year long:

  • Pick 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, wildlife areas, reserves, county or local parks.
  • Pack a disposable 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 Delaware Recycles.

DNREC reminds everyone to wear gloves when picking up trash, wash hands thoroughly after cleanup activities, be mindful of social distancing requirements, wear face coverings when near others, follow all public area protocols and be safe.

For more information, visit Delaware Coastal Cleanup or email 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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov, Joanna Wilson, Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov

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