DNREC Works Into Fall on Beach Nourishment Projects

Having recently completed the Murderkill emergency dredging project which deepened and widened the river channel as depicted above (with marine dredge seen in background), the DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management Section now turns to smaller truck-haul beach nourishment projects at Pickering Beach and other Kent County locations. The Shoreline and Waterway Management Section also will work on an upcoming nourishment project in partnership with the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation at Delaware Seashore State Park. DNREC photo.

 

Pickering Beach in Kent County to Receive Sand Over Next Month,
With Other Bay Beach Communities Set for Sand Reinforcement Ahead

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is set to continue beach nourishment along the Delaware Bay when the DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management Section begins a month-long project Monday, Oct. 17 at Pickering Beach in Kent County that will bring some 3,500 cubic yards of sand trucked in from local sources to cover 2,500 feet of community beachfront.

The Pickering Beach nourishment project and others in Delaware Bay communities to be undertaken this year by DNREC are funded in large part by the American Rescue Plan. Funds totaling $1.3M will be used by the Shoreline and Waterway Management Section for deploying small nourishment projects along the Bay beaches to include Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock, and Cape Shores, in addition to Atlantic Ocean nourishment work at Delaware Seashore State Park’s North Inlet Day Use Area. Work this fall and into winter is expected to lengthen the beach and dune life of a DNREC project that spanned five Bay beach communities and was completed last winter.

“Money from the American Rescue Plan enables us to continue performing these small-scale nourishment efforts both to further fortify some of the more vulnerable sections of Bay beach shoreline and to reinforce the work we’ve recently done in these communities,” said Jesse Hayden, DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Section administrator.

While DNREC’s beach nourishment projects introduce sand into the shoreline system to offset the effects of erosion, the Pickering Beach and Kitts Hummock projects aim more to strengthen – and lengthen – the life of the projects completed last winter in the same communities. “Coastal storms will continue to impact our coast, so having the opportunity to supplement some of the most vulnerable areas even after all of the work we did last year means we will be better prepared for the next storm,” said Hayden.

Because both the Delaware Bay and Atlantic beaches and dunes also provide crucial habitat for migrating shorebirds, including several threatened species, and other wildlife such as spawning horseshoe crabs, DNREC beach nourishment projects ordinarily are not permitted to begin until Oct. 1 each year, and must be completed by April 15 at most beaches, or by March 1 at others. The Bay beach nourishment projects beginning this month are expected to be completed far ahead of those 2023 deadlines.

Delivery of material by DNREC’s sand vendor Pennsy Supply will begin in Pickering Beach on the project start date listed above, while delivery from ML Joseph Sand and Gravel to the Delaware Seashore State Park project site is expected to begin by early November. Construction at Pickering Beach is planned for four weeks, weather-dependent, and with work occurring during DNREC standard business hours Monday through Thursday. The beach will be closed during construction activity but will be open Friday through Sunday for the duration of the project. Visitors should anticipate partial closures of the beach at Delaware Seashore State Park’s North Inlet Day Use Area while heavy equipment is on site during standard business hours Monday through Thursday.

More information about the work of the DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management Section can be found at de.gov/shoreline. More information on beach nourishment in Delaware is available from Outdoor Delaware magazine, de.gov/outdoordelaware.

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

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DNREC Seeks Entries for Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest

Great Blue Heron at Trap Pond, by 2021 contest winner Sharon Denny.

 

Photographers of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate in the Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest. Hosted by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the contest will share the beauty of Delaware’s diverse environment while acting as a vivid reminder that everything that happens on land directly affects what happens in our waterways.

A watershed is land that water moves across or under while flowing to a specific body of water. All land in Delaware is part of a watershed. This year, images taken in any watershed within the state of Delaware will be accepted. The contest opens online for entries on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 and closes on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.

“This contest challenges photographers to go out to capture and share the unique beauty and functionality of Delaware’s watersheds,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “In addition, sharing these photos will help highlight areas of the state that have an important and significant role in improving our water quality and managing water quantity, which are both under threat due to the impacts of climate change on our state.”

A panel of judges consisting of a photographer, an educator and a scientist from DNREC staff will be looking for striking photographic images of Delaware’s waterways, landscapes, sustainable watershed practices, native plants and animals and agricultural practices. The judging panel will determine the finalists whose work will be posted online, with the winning photograph to be chosen by public voting through the DNREC Watershed Facebook page.

The winner will receive a prize pack including a $250 Visa gift card, a 2023 Delaware State Parks annual pass, a print of the winning photograph, and a certificate signed by Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. The winning photo also will be published in Outdoor Delaware online magazine at de.gov/outdoordelaware.

To enter the Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest, use the online submission form at de.gov/watershed. The form should include the entrant’s name, phone number, address, email address, a photo description and the location where the image was taken. A legal parent or guardian must complete the form for contestants under the age of 18. Images must be at least 1650 by 2100 pixels resolution but no larger than 10MB, and the digital image must be submitted in .jpeg or .png format. Only photos that meet the criteria, along with a completed form, will be eligible. DNREC staff members and immediate family are not eligible to submit photos in the contest.

Learn more about Delaware watersheds at de.gov/howyoucanhelpwetlands.

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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Blackbird Creek Reserve to Host Fall Festival

The Blackbird Creek Fall Festival is a day of family-friendly fun celebrating the arrival of autumn and the beauty of the Blackbird Creek Reserve. DNREC photo.

 

Event Features Hayrides, Artisans, Crafts and More

The annual Blackbird Creek Fall Festival returns Saturday, Oct. 15, with a day of free family fun and entertainment. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) hosts the festival at the Blackbird Creek Reserve, along the banks of Blackbird Creek. The festival will take place rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Blackbird Creek Reserve, 801 Blackbird Landing Road, near Townsend.

“The Blackbird Creek Fall Festival provides a great opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of the Delaware Bay, said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The free festival has become a go-to event for those looking to get outside and enjoy a fun-filled fall day.”

The festival will feature traditional crafts, hands-on learning about the estuary, live music, food trucks and kids’ activities. Visitors may also browse the works of artisans, enjoy hayrides, go on a guided hike of the Blackbird Creek Reserve and check out educational exhibitors.

Families also can get a “passport” enabling them to earn a prize by visiting all the participating stations throughout the festival and taking the opportunity to learn about the natural resources and heritage of the Delaware Bay through games, demonstrations and challenges.

More information about the Blackbird Creek Fall Festival is available at de.gov/blackbirdfestival.

The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, with components at Blackbird Creek Reserve and the St. Jones Reserve in Dover, is part of a national system of reserves that protects more than 1.3 million acres of coastal land and water nationwide. Designated in 1993, DNERR has grown to protect 6,364 acres in two counties, incorporating a variety of important ecosystems that range from the Delaware Bay to upland forests. DNERR staff focus on habitat restoration, educational programs, creating land stewardship demonstration areas, and using the Reserve as a living laboratory for long-term data monitoring since 1995. More information about the reserve can be found at de.gov/dnerr.

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 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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.


Delaware Hunting Seasons to Open in October Include Antlerless Deer, Muzzleloader Deer, Duck and Snow Goose

A Northern pintail drake, a duck also known to wildlife watchers and hunters as a “bull sprig” for its graceful and powerful flight. Delaware’s first season split for duck hunting runs from Oct. 21 to 29. /USFWS photo

 

Youth Waterfowl Hunt to Occur Oct. 15; Hunters Reminded That Deer Hunting is Allowed on All Sundays Through Jan. 31, 2023

Additional Delaware hunting seasons are set to open in October, including various deer firearm seasons, duck, snow goose and other migratory game birds – as well as the one-day youth-only waterfowl hunt on Saturday, Oct. 15, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. Deer hunting is allowed on all Sundays through Jan. 31, 2023, using only those hunting methods legal for the respective established deer hunting seasons, with additional information available at de.gov/sundayhunt.

Hunting season dates and hunting hours for seasons opening in October:

  • Snow goose: Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, 2023; Feb. 4, 2023 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Antlerless deer: Oct. 1 through 2, 17, 21 through 24 and 28 through 31, including Sundays (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • Muzzleloader deer: Oct. 7 through 16, including Sundays (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • Youth Waterfowl Hunt: Oct. 15 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Ducks, coots and mergansers: first season split Oct. 21 through Oct. 29 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Mourning dove: through Oct. 3 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Moorhen, gallinule, sora, Virginia rail, king rail and clapper rail: through Nov. 23 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Common snipe: through Nov. 26 (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Jan. 31, 2023, including all Sundays (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 4, 2023 (½-hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset; closed during the November deer general firearm season)
  • Coyote: through Feb. 28, 2023 (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)
  • Crows: through March 25, 2023, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only (½-hour before sunrise to sunset)
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2023 (½- hour before sunrise to ½-hour after sunset)

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at de.gov/wamaps, with information specific to Sunday deer hunting on state wildlife areas available at de.gov/sundayhunt.

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt, and most waterfowl hunters are required to purchase a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp and a Federal Duck Stamp. Dove, goose and duck hunters also need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained online at de.gov/digitaldnrec or by calling toll free 1-855-DEL-HUNT (1-855-335-4868). When using the online DNREC permitting system, hunters should either create a profile or use the “Quick Hunting Registration” option.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife are required to have and 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 de.gov/digitaldnrec, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901 or from hunting license agents statewide. Hunters obtaining a LEN are reminded that they should create a profile using the de.gov/digitaldnrec portal or obtain a LEN at a hunting license agent if they have not already done so. Federal Duck Stamps are available for purchase at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges and online at 2022/2023 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.

More information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2022/2023 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide at de.gov/hunting. More information on hunting licenses, the state waterfowl stamp and the Conservation Access Pass is available at de.gov/huntinglicense.

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 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 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Delaware Natural Resources Police Cite Sussex Man for Illegal Dumping

Delaware Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU) arrested a Georgetown man Tuesday, Sept. 20, on a charge of illegal dumping on a public roadway.

After an investigation by ECU officers, Serapio Zapata, 58, was issued an e-ticket with a fine of $637 for causing or contributing to the discharge of solid waste materials.

DNREC reminds Delawareans and visitors to Keep DE Litter Free, not to litter, to help clean up our outdoor spaces, and protect the state’s unique natural heritage.

Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

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