Delaware Building Energy Codes Receive Update

An update to the state’s building energy codes that took effect this month will help reduce long-term costs to consumers while also decreasing greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware.

Energy codes establish minimum design and construction requirements for energy efficiency in buildings, including insulation, air leakage limits, lighting and heating and cooling systems. The standards increase building sector energy efficiency, deliver energy cost savings to building owners and occupants, increase occupant comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware.

The update introduces energy efficiency improvements, including increased residential air sealing requirements, hot water pipe insulation and energy efficient windows and lighting options, as well as more efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system operation resulting from improved duct design and sealing, energy efficient windows and lighting options.

“The adoption of these updated standards is an important step in helping Delawareans reduce their energy costs,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “It will also help us toward meeting our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Governor John Carney has committed to reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Electric power generation is among the top three sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware.

Construction costs related to the updated codes will be offset by the energy savings accrued to building occupants and owners, according to analyses from the U.S. Department of Energy, including two Delaware-specific assessments completed by the Pacific Northwest National Lab.

The state first established a minimum statewide code for energy conservation in 1979. The code, which is based on standards set by the International Code Council and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, was last updated in 2009. Legislation requires DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy to review and update the state’s regulations every three years. The latest code update went through a full regulatory process, including a public hearing in December and acceptance and consideration of public comment on the changes.

The update includes a six-month transition period, during which the Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy will provide targeted training and technical assistance to the construction industry and code enforcement officials. Topics that will be covered by the training will include:

  • An overview of the changes
  • Practical compliance strategies, particularly for the building envelope requirements in the new energy codes
  • Construction and design strategies for air sealing smaller homes
  • Other topics, including hot water pipe insulation and HVAC duct design

The training also will provide an opportunity for DNREC to gather additional feedback and input from participants to determine the need for follow-up training topics.
Visit DNREC’s Building Energy Codes webpage for more information.

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; or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

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Delaware surf-fishing permits are sold out after reaching annual cap

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today it has reached its cap of 17,000 Delaware surf-fishing permits issued for the calendar year. With the cap figure attained, no more surf tag permits will be issued until December.

In 2019, the Delaware’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Council established a 17,000 cap on annual surf-fishing permit sales. The Division of Parks and Recreation implemented a first-come, first-served cap on the number of permits issued as the most equitable way to serve all beach users, and to manage a limited resource, while also protecting against overcrowding of parks beaches. This plan aligns with DNREC’s priority to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to Delaware’s state parks system.

While surf fishing permit sales have ended for 2020, novice surf anglers are encouraged to view the “Surf Fishing at Delaware State Parks” informational video that explains surf-fishing rules and regulations in Delaware, what equipment is needed, how to drive on the beach and what to do if a vehicle gets stuck in the sand. There are no current restrictions for non-vehicle, walk-on fishing for those with a valid Division of Fish and Wildlife fishing license. Walk-on surf anglers should only use pedestrian foot traffic access points to access surf-fishing beaches and should use caution near drive-on access points.

Surf-fishing permits also serve as a Delaware State Parks Annual Pass that provides access to all 17 state parks. Park user fees, including surf-fishing permit fees, provide 65% of the Division of Parks and Recreation’s funding, and are used to operate and maintain the parks.

To learn more about fishing in Delaware State Parks, visit destateparks.com/Adventures/Fishing.

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

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Herring Point, beaches at Cape Henlopen State Park closed to surfing, swimming due to possible shark bite

12-year-old boy transported to local hospital with bite mark

DNREC officials have closed Herring Point to surfing and swimming Thursday afternoon until further notice following a biting incident reported just before 1 p.m. Beach goers are also restricted to knee-deep waters around the Cape Henlopen bathhouse.

A 12-year-old boy surfing off Herring Point sustained puncture wounds to one of his legs and was transported by ambulance to Beebe Hospital in Lewes. While initially reported as a shark bite, the appearance of the bite mark is being reviewed by state and fisheries experts to determine if it was from a shark or potential other creature.

DNREC Natural Resource Police Park Rangers and lifeguards are patrolling the beach area to warn surfers and other beachgoers to stay in shallow water.

Shark attacks are rare. The only known shark bite at a Delaware State Park beach occurred in June 2014.

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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DNREC announces 15,500 surf-fishing permits issued this year, restricts sales locations

The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control announces it has issued 15,500 of this year’s 17,000 available surf-fishing permits. In 2019, the Delaware’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Council established a 17,000 cap on annual surf-fishing permit sales as the most equitable way to serve all beach users, manage a limited resource and protect against overcrowding of parks beaches.

Starting Thursday, the Division of Parks & Recreation will reduce the number of locations where surf-fishing permits may be purchased; online sales will be unavailable. The following locations will issue surf-fishing permits until the 17,000 cap is reached:

Bellevue State Park: 800 Carr Road, Wilmington

Cape Henlopen State Park: 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes

Killens Pond State Park: 5025 Killens Pond Road, Felton

Indian River Life-Saving Station: 25039 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach

Surf-fishing permit transfers and replacements are also available at these sites. As a courtesy prior to reaching the 15,500 mark this year, the division issued an e-newsletter and contacted those who purchased surf-fishing permits in 2018 and 2019.

Novice surf anglers are encouraged to view the Surf Fishing at Delaware State Parks informational video that explains surf-fishing rules and regulations in Delaware, what equipment is needed, how to drive on the beach and what to do if a vehicle gets stuck in the sand. There are no current restrictions for non-vehicle, walk-on fishing for those with a valid Division of Fish & Wildlife fishing license. Walk-on surf anglers should only use pedestrian foot traffic access points to access surf-fishing beaches and should use caution near drive-on access points. 

Surf-fishing permits also serve as a Delaware State Parks Annual Pass that provides access to all 17 state parks. Park user fees, including surf-fishing permit fees, provide 65% of the Division of Parks & Recreation’s funding, and are used to operate and maintain the parks.

To learn more about fishing in Delaware State Parks, visit destateparks.com/Adventures/Fishing.

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 & 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

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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