Gordons Pond elevated boardwalk at Cape Henlopen State Park to close for repairs next week

LEWES – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) will close the Gordons Pond elevated boardwalk along the Gordons Pond Trail at Cape Henlopen State Park on Wednesday, Feb. 5 and Thursday, Feb. 6 for repairs to its railing. Access to the boardwalk where it meets the trail on the north and south points will also be closed during this time.

The popular boardwalk is located at the beginning of the trail near the Biden Center and the Herring Point parking lot, between the 2 and 2.5 mile markers if traveling north along the Gordons Pond Trail. If traveling south, the boardwalk is located between the .5 and 1 mile markers.

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation plans to repair the railing where it has pulled away from the rest of the boardwalk over the years to keep it safe for use. To repair the railing, bolts must be driven through supports under the bridge to keep the railing in place, which requires decking to be removed.

All other Cape Henlopen State Park trails will remain open during the repairs. For a map of the park’s trails, including the Gordons Pond Trail, stop by the Park Office or go to destateparks.com/Beaches/CapeHenlopen.


Governor Carney, DNREC cut ribbon on new wildlife-viewing tower at Little Creek Wildlife Area

(Cutting the ribbon for the Little Creek Wildlife Area boardwalk trail and wildlife-viewing tower east of Dover are, left to right: Governor John Carney, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Delaware Bayshore Initiative Coordinator Anthony Gonzon, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, past DNREC Secretary David Small, Representative Bill Carson, Little Creek Mayor Glenn Gauvry, Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Doug Atkin, and DelDOT Byways Program Manager Mike Hahn. DNREC photo by Joanna Wilson.)

Division of Fish & Wildlife-managed facility offers Bayshore views for visitors of all abilities

DOVER – Delaware Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin were joined today by State Representative Bill Carson, Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Little Creek Mayor Glenn Gauvry, Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Doug Atkin, and DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife and DelDOT staff to cut the ribbon officially opening the newly-completed Little Creek wildlife-viewing tower and accompanying boardwalk on the Little Creek Wildlife Area east of Dover.

The two-level observation tower’s boardwalk trail, lower level deck, and parking are fully-accessible for visitors with disabilities. The tower includes a unique railing design and expanded toe box on the lower level to allow disabled visitors to move closer to the rails for a better view.

A popular location with local bird watchers for decades, the new Little Creek Wildlife Area facility replaces an outdated tower that was not accessible to visitors with physical limitations and disabilities. Seasonally, visitors can view a variety waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds from the tower and along the boardwalk. Travelers along the Route 9 corridor, part of Delaware’s Bayshore Byway, can stop at this new destination to take in the beauty of Delaware’s Bayshore. Interpretive signs provide visitors with information about the wildlife, habitat, and management of the Little Creek Wildlife Area.

“Delaware’s Bayshore, and the Delaware Bayshore Byway that brings visitors here, are among our state’s treasures, from its woods, waters, and wetlands, to its historic small towns nestled along our eastern coastline,” said Governor Carney. “The accessible features of this specially-designed tower, boardwalk, and parking make it convenient for all visitors – including those with disabilities – to see and enjoy this part of our beautiful Bayshore.”

“The new Little Creek wildlife-viewing tower provides a sweeping view of the Delaware Bay and some of its many marshes to attract birders as well as visitors simply enjoying a beautiful day on the Bayshore,” said Secretary Garvin. “This new facility also demonstrates DNREC’s commitment to providing exceptional outdoor recreational experiences for visitors of all abilities.”

Funding for the $1.06 million project comes from Delaware Bayshore Initiative Bond Bill funds, Trails and Pathways Bond Bill funds, and Federal Highway Administration Scenic Byway Grant funds for the Delaware Bayshore Byway. The project supports the Delaware Bayshore Initiative by enhancing outdoor recreation access and supporting local communities like nearby Little Creek.

Managed by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, the Little Creek Wildlife Area provides opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, boating, and other similar outdoor recreation activities. The Division of Fish & Wildlife manages 19 wildlife areas totaling more than 60,000 acres statewide, including dozens of public-use facilities.

DNREC’s Conservation Access Pass (CAP) requirement for registered motor vehicles used to access wildlife areas is waived on the Little Creek Wildlife Area from Friday, Nov. 8 through Monday, Nov. 11. CAP revenues generated throughout the year are used by the Division of Fish & Wildlife to maintain wildlife-viewing structures and for habitat management on wildlife areas.

The Little Creek Wildlife Area is part of Delaware’s Bayshore Region, the area that stretches from New Castle to Lewes along the Delaware River and Bay coastline. The Delaware Bayshore Initiative enhances and promotes the region as a world-class conservation and low-impact recreation area, strengthens local communities, and improves the quality of life for all Delawareans. The initiative received recognition from the U.S. Department of the Interior, as one of the country’s most promising ways to reconnect America to the natural world.

Formally launched in 2015, the Delaware Bayshore Byway follows Route 9 starting in historic New Castle and ending in the City of Lewes, meandering along Delaware’s river and bay shoreline through coastal marshes and forests, fields and farms, quiet coastal communities, and recreational and historic sites. The Scenic Byway Grant, administered to DNREC by DelDOT through the Federal Highway Administration, provides funds to enhance wildlife viewing opportunities along the Bayshore Byway.

For more information on the Little Creek Wildlife Area, please contact the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

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

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


DNREC Sec. Garvin joins State Sen. Hocker, State Rep. Gray, at ribbon-cutting at Holts Landing State Park

Cutting the ribbon (left to right): Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens, State Rep. Ronald Gray, State Sen. Gerald Hocker, DNREC Sec. Shawn M. Garvin, and Friends of Holts Landing State Park President Robert Printz, with a group of children from Ocean View.

DAGSBORO – DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin was joined by State Senator Gerald Hocker, State Representative Ronald Gray, and other supporters at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate numerous new enhancements at Holts Landing State Park in Dagsboro.

Improvements include a new playground, an improved, A.D.A.-accessible hiking trail, and a freshly-paved parking area and roadway.

“Since 2016, the Division of Parks & Recreation, with the financial support of Senator Gerald Hocker and Representative Ronald Gray, along with the tireless support of the Friends of Holts Landing State Park, have undertaken a number of projects to enhance the visitor experience at this oasis on the southern shore of the Indian River Bay,” said Secretary Garvin. “I thank Senator Hocker and Representative Gray, the Friends of Holts Landing State Park, and the Division of Parks & Recreation, for making these many improvements possible.”

Construction is also underway on a new boardwalk that will stretch more than 600 feet across marsh to complete the Sea Hawk trail loop, and a viewing platform that will overlook the marsh.

Media Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife begins construction on new observation tower, boardwalk at Little Creek Wildlife Area

Visitor access limited in construction area until fall completion

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that construction of the new wildlife observation tower and associated boardwalk has begun on the Main Tract of the Little Creek Wildlife Area near Dover. The project will replace the existing wildlife observation tower and boardwalk with an upgraded, more accessible facility that will enhance outdoor recreation opportunities at this popular wildlife-watching location. Parking upgrades will also be made to benefit hunters, bird watchers, and other wildlife area visitors. Construction is scheduled for completion by October 2019, weather permitting.

During construction, a section of wildlife area roadway will be gated and closed to vehicles for safety and security reasons, and pedestrian access may also be limited during active construction. Other trails and areas on the wildlife area will remain open during construction.

The Little Creek Wildlife Area is located along the Route 9 Delaware Bayshore Byway. This project is funded in part by a Scenic Byway Grant through the Federal Highway Administration and DelDOT, along with matching state funds from the Delaware Bayshore Initiative.

For more information, please call 302-739-9912.

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

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

Vol. 49, No. 54