DNREC Announces Grants to Support Communities With Pollution Restoration Projects

Virtual Public Workshop Scheduled for Nov. 16

Delaware communities adversely affected by environmental pollution can now apply for Community Environmental Project Fund (CEPF) restoration grants for the 2022 grant cycle through the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

The CEPF was created by the Delaware General Assembly in 2004 through legislation that authorized DNREC to establish a grant fund by withholding 25% of funds collected as penalties for violations of environmental regulations. These funds are returned to the communities where violations occurred through competitive grants to nonprofit organizations in support of community environmental projects. Grants are available to affected communities to fund restoration projects that result in:

  • Reduced pollution
  • Enhanced natural resources
  • Enhanced recreational opportunities

Applicants can identify the drainage basin location of their projects with a mapping tool available at dnrec.delaware.gov.

IRS tax-exempt organizations are eligible for CEPF grants of up to $25,000. These groups include civic and community organizations, educational institutions, counties, municipal governments, state agencies and quasi-state agencies. The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. The projects funded in this grant cycle can begin on July 1, 2022 and should be completed by June 30, 2023.

DNREC will hold a virtual public workshop focused on the CEPF program to assist applicants with finalizing their applications at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16. Connection information for the workshop is posted at de.gov/dnrecmeetings, and at de.gov/cepf. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required for participation.

Recent CEPF projects statewide have included a habitat restoration and scrap tire cleanup, a pollenating rain garden at a school, healthy home and energy assessments, a museum trail project, an energy savings model home for a low income community, a native plantings project to mitigate stormwater runoff, educational signage for a stormwater management site, funding to support plastic pollution education and a floating dock and canoe/kayak project that provides recreational access and helps stabilize canal banks.

The grant application, workshop details and more information about the CEPF are available online at de.gov/cepf.

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; Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov


DNREC announces availability of 2020 Community Environmental Project Fund grants; public workshops set for Sept. 10-11

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin has announced the availability of Community Environmental Project Fund (CEPF) grants for the 2020 grant cycle – with DNREC scheduling two upcoming public workshops about the CEPF program and applying for the grants. Workshops will be held in New Castle County Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 from 6-7:30 p.m. at DNREC offices at 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720, with a Wednesday, Sept. 11 workshop for Kent and Sussex Counties taking place from 6-7:30 p.m. in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

House Bill 192 created the Community Environmental Project Fund, in February 2004. HB 192 requires that CEPF funds benefit the communities where the civil or administrative violations occurred. It provides for the restoration of affected communities by funding environmental projects that result in:
• The reduction of pollution
• The enhancement of natural resources
• The enhancement of natural resources for the purposes of creating recreational opportunities for the citizens of Delaware

IRS tax-exempt organizations are eligible for CEPF grants up to $20,000. These include: civic and community organizations, educational institutions, counties, municipal governments, state agencies and quasi-state agencies. The application deadline is Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. The projects funded in this grant cycle will commence on July 1, 2020, and should be completed by June 30, 2021.

Pre-registration is requested for the public workshops, but is not required. Please contact James Brunswick, DNREC Community Ombudsman within the Division of Community Affairs at 302-739-9040 and James.Brunswick@delaware.gov to pre-register or for more information about the workshops.

For an application form and more information on the CEPF program, please visit:

Vol. 49, No. 220


DNREC allocates $158,728 to community environmental projects through state’s Community Involvement Advisory Council

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today the awarding of the 2019 Community Environmental Project Fund (CEPF) grant awards to nine Delaware non-profit organizations totaling $158,728 in funding. The CEPF – administered through the state’s Community Involvement Advisory Council under DNREC supervision – supports community environmental projects that mitigate pollution, enhance the environment, or create outdoor recreational opportunities.

The CEPF was established under House Bill 192 in February 2004. The legislation authorizes DNREC to withhold 25 percent of all civil or administrative penalties collected by the Department for violations of environmental regulations. It requires the Department to return that portion of penalties collected as grants to non-profit organizations in communities where the violations occurred. In 2011, the legislature tightened the CEPF’s geographic focus by mandating that its funds be returned to the communities within the same drainage basin where the violations occurred.

The 2019 grant recipients and the projects associated with them are:

Calvary Christian Academy (CCA) is the recipient of a $20,000 CEPF grant for the Pollenating Rain Garden Project. Calvary students will create a functional rain garden area to reduce the amount of impervious surface, improve water quality, and reduce the amount of stormwater runoff leaving the CCA property. In addition to the educational signs and benches to be constructed, the school will develop a curriculum to support this area as a living laboratory to increase learning opportunities for students.

Delaware Wild Lands seeks to protect and improve the waterways and water resources within and around the organization’s Roberts Farm with its $9,636 CEPF grant. The project’s environmental enhancement components include restoration of an agricultural field and removal of a hazardous scrap tire pile. The organization creates environmental educational and community engagement components by purchasing equipment for use by local schools and community groups in a water quality-monitoring project.

The H.E.L.P. Initiative’s “Milford Strong” campaign is a $20,000 pollution mitigation and energy efficiency project. H.E.L.P stands for Healthy Home, Energy Efficient, Lead Safe, and People Centric. Staff and volunteers will conduct 100 healthy home and energy assessments. They will install energy-saving light bulbs and home safety measures, including lead paint test kits, smoke and carbon dioxide detectors.

The Delaware Museum of Natural History will receive $19,062 for the Environmental Enhancement and Recreational Opportunity, Evolution Trail Project. The museum will install a handicapped-accessible, and environmentally responsible, 959 x 6 foot porous asphalt surface. The museum receives over 80,000 visitors each year whose visits include environmental education.

The Central Baptist Community Development Corporation will receive a $20,000 CEPF grant for a low-income community solar-powered, pollution mitigation and community education pilot program. A local bank has donated a house to the CDC at 716 N. Pine S, in Wilmington. The house will be equipped with a 4KW solar power system. This project will serve as a model for energy savings for the 140-150 homes the CDC will acquire in the East Side Rising Initiative. Central Baptist will also use the project as a training vehicle for 5-10 solar installation trainees.

The Delaware Center for Horticulture will receive a $20,000 CEPF grant to plant native and urban-tolerant plants along a stretch of Delaware Avenue in Wilmington. The environmental enhancement project will mitigate stormwater runoff and improve natural resources at the site.

The City of Rehoboth Beach Grove Access Project ($20,000 CEPF grant) will support construction of a floating dock and canoe/kayak launch. The construction of the launch landing area will provide recreational access for fishing, kayaking, and tour boats, and help to stabilize the banks of the Lewes/Rehoboth Canal.

The City of Newark Redevelopment of the Rodney Complex Stormwater Management Project is an Environmental Enhancement and Recreational Opportunity Project that will receive a $20,000 CEPF grant to install to 5-7 interpretive signs at the Rodney Complex Stormwater Management site. The signage will explain the environmental enhancement features of stormwater wet pond management including flood mitigation, nutrient management, and protection of native species for the thousands of projected visitors to the site each year.

The Delaware Community Foundation will receive a $10,000 pollution mitigation grant on behalf of the Plastic Free Delaware, Plastic Pollution Action Committee. The foundation will receive the funds and administer the funds for the Coalition to support to hire a part-time project manager to oversee and coordinate the outreach and educational efforts of the coalition. The Plastic Pollution Action campaign will educate the public and elected officials about pollution generated by single-use plastic bags. The campaign is aimed at securing the participation of the public, restaurants, and retail food outlets in “Plastic-straws-by-request approaches to pollution mitigation.

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