DNREC Seeks Entries for Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest

Snowy egrets engage each other on the water/Photo credit: Kimberly Barksdale.

 

Submissions This Year Focus on Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control invites photographers of all ages and skill levels to enter this year’s Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest. Hosted by the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, the contest aims to 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 all the land that water moves across or under while flowing to a specific body of water. Only images from Delaware’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be accepted this year. Contest judges will be looking for striking photographic images of Delaware’s waterways, landscapes, sustainable watershed practices, native plants and animals, and agricultural practices.

Registration for the Delaware Watersheds photo contest opens at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28. All entries must be submitted by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26. A judging panel consisting of DNREC staff — a photographer, an educator and an environmental scientist — will determine finalists whose entries are voted on at the Delaware Watersheds Facebook page. Facebook voting will pick the winning photograph.

The winning photographer will receive a prize pack consisting of a $250 Visa gift card, a Delaware State Parks Annual Pass for 2022, a signed certificate from Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, a print of the winning photograph, a feature published in Outdoor Delaware online magazine, and additional goodies.

To enter the Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest, participants should fill out the online submission form, which includes providing a description with the entrant’s name, phone number, address, email address, and the location where the image was taken. Those submitting photos will click on the map in the submission form or use their device’s GPS locator to show where the photo was taken within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 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 (but no larger than 10MB) resolution, 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 accepted.

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, or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

###


DNREC Accepting Grant Proposals for Delaware Chesapeake Bay Watershed Projects

Floating wetlands at Trap Pond State Park that improve Delaware water quality were funded by a Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant.

Another Delaware water quality improvement grant opportunity is coming from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Funding Grant for best management practices (BMPs) water quality improvement projects within the state’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. With $350,000 available in grant funding for fiscal year 2021, the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship is soliciting project proposals from state agencies, county and municipal governments, conservation districts, community organizations, homeowners associations and non-profit organizations.

The Implementation Funding Grant is an annually-determined set-aside within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant. Funding is intended for use by Delaware entities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed for BMP implementation projects that will improve water quality by reducing nutrient and sediment loads. DNREC’s Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant Program administers the competitive grant process, providing technical and financial guidance during the grant application and project period.

DNREC will consider grant requests of up to $200,000, with a one-to-one non-federal match requirement. Up to 10% of the grant funds may be used for administrative costs. Proposals for the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Funding Grant must be received by DNREC no later than 4:30 p.m. Feb. 17, 2021.

Previous Chesapeake Bay implementation grant awards for local entities utilizing BMPs on water quality projects include:

•   The town of Laurel and the city of Seaford to locate and map their stormwater infrastructure in preparation for a MS4 stormwater management permit;
•  The town of Laurel for the installation of wetlands and a bioswale (vegetated trench system for capturing stormwater runoff); and
•   The Kent Conservation District and the Sussex Conservation District to install agricultural BMPs within targeted sub-watersheds.

Grant guidelines and application instructions can be found on DNREC’s website at de.gov/cbig. Proposals must be submitted by email to NPS.Grants@delaware.gov and must be no larger than 10 megabytes (MB) in size.

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 FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov


Delaware Forest Service awards $92,000 in grants for community tree projects

Contact: Kesha Braunskill, Urban and Community Forestry Program Director, (302) 698-4578
kesha.braunskill@delaware.gov 

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Urban and Community Forestry Program has awarded more than $92,000 for 24 tree projects throughout the First State. In the past 15 years, the annual grant program has provided more than $1.5 million to help communities increase tree canopy and promote the natural benefits of trees: cleaner air and water, increased property values and civic pride, and reduced storm water runoff and flooding. The grants, selected by a committee of Delaware’s Community Forestry Council, require a 50-50 cost-share match in cash or in-kind services, such as volunteer time, equipment, or supplies.

The program is open to any city, town, community group, homeowner association, or certified nonprofit organization in the State of Delaware. Awards ranged from $500 to a maximum of $5,000 in one of two project categories: tree planting or tree management (tree inventory only). Projects must be completed on public lands in the community. Priority was given to first-time applicants, Tree Friendly Communities, and municipalities with an urban tree canopy resolution.

 

PHOTO: Breakwater in Lewes got a $5,000 Delaware Urban and Community Forestry grant to plant 56 trees and 46 shrubs in eight locations, including a buffer near Breakwater Junction Trail. The Delaware Forest Service assisted with the project.


PHOTO: This tree planting at Breakwater in Lewes was funded by $5,000 from Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

Urban and Community Grants

Community Name County Award
City of Newark New Castle $895.00
Alapocas New Castle $1,800.00
Westover Hills Section A New Castle $2,150.00
Village of Ardentown New Castle $2,252.00
The Village of Fountainview New Castle $3,000.00
Village of Arden New Castle $3,372.30
Piedmont Baseball and Softball League New Castle $5,000.00
Westover Hills Section C New Castle $5,000.00
Wynthorpe Maintenance Corp. New Castle $5,000.00
Town of Smyrna Kent $4,000.00
Spring Meadows Kent $5,000.00
City of Lewes Sussex $1,225.91
Bayside Fenwick Island Sussex $1,638.00
Shoreview Woods Sussex $3,442.40
James Farm – Inland Bays Sussex $4,342.50
Town of Dagsboro Sussex $4,400.00
Meadows of Village at Old Landing Sussex $4,681.00
Breakwater – Lewes Sussex $5,000.00
Grande at Canal Pointe Sussex $5,000.00
Holland Mills Sussex $5,000.00
Long Neck Shores Sussex $5,000.00
Total $77,199.11

Chesapeake Bay Grants

Three of the grants, totaling about $5,000 each, were awarded to the City of Seaford’s Dept. of Parks & Recreation, the Seaford Historical Society’s Ross Plantation, and Trap Pond Partners in Laurel. Seaford and Laurel are located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the largest estuary in the United States and a high-priority for projects to improve water quality.

Community Name County Award
Ross Plantation – Seaford Historical Society Sussex $4,999.43
City of Seaford – Dept. of Parks and  Rec. Sussex $5,000.00
Trap Pond Partners Sussex $5,000.00
Total $14,999.43


PHOTO: Delaware Forest Service staff helped auger the holes for a tree planting at Breakwater near Lewes.


DNREC now accepting grant proposals for Delaware Chesapeake Bay watershed implementation projects

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlDOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship is now accepting project proposals from state agencies, county and municipal governments, conservation districts, community organizations, homeowner organizations and not-for-profit organizations representing local government for water quality improvement projects within Delaware’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Proposals for the Chesapeake Bay Implementation Funding Grant must be received by DNREC no later than 4:30 p.m. Oct. 17, 2018.

The Implementation Funding Grant is an annually-determined set-aside within Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Funding is intended for use by Delaware entities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed for best management practice (BMP) implementation projects that will improve water quality by reducing nutrient and sediment loads. The competitive grant process is administered by Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant Program, which provides technical and financial guidance during the grant application and project period.

Grant requests of up to $300,000 (from $600,000 in total funding for fiscal year 2019) will be considered, with a one-to-one non-federal match requirement. Up to 10 percent of the grant funds may be used for administrative costs.

The grant guidelines and application instructions can be found online at Chesapeake Bay Implementation Funding Grant webpage. Proposals must be submitted by email to James.Sullivan@delaware.gov and must be no larger than 10 megabytes (MB) in size.

For more information, please contact Jim Sullivan, Division of Watershed Stewardship, at 302-739-9922.

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

Vol. 48, No. 249


Volunteers needed to plant trees on March 17 and 18 at Blackbird State Forest, enhancing the Chesapeake Bay

TOWNSEND, Del. (March 1, 2018) – Volunteers of all ages are needed this month to help plant 8,800 hardwood seedlings along the Cypress Branch at Blackbird State Forest to provide scenic beauty, enhance wildlife habitat, fight invasive species, and improve water quality in the critical Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The planting will take place on Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at Blackbird State Forest’s Naudain Tract, 2076 Harvey Straughn Road, Townsend, Delaware 19734.

The weekend tree planting is a “rain or shine” event. Equipment, including shovels, will be provided. Volunteers are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather – wear boots or other work shoes, heavy-duty gloves and hats and bring insect repellent and sunscreen, if needed. Snacks will be provided and commemorative patches and T-shirts will be given to both youth and adult volunteers on a first-come, first-served basis.

The project is a cooperative partnership between the Delaware Forest Service, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Division of Watershed Stewardship, and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Blackbird Reforeestation Project

State Forester Michael Valenti said “Planting trees always helps improve our environment. Planting over 8,000 oak seedlings next to the Cypress Branch gives an added bonus of water quality protection and acorn production for local wildlife such as wild turkeys. We need enthusiastic volunteers to help Caroline Dowd complete this tree planting project in her bid to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award.”

Caroline Dowd is a student at MOT Charter High School in Middletown. The planting will help fulfill requirements toward her Gold Award, representing “the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, recognizing girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable Take Action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities—and beyond.” The project also continues a proud partnership between local scout groups and state conservation agencies: in both 2012 and 2013, Boy Scouts planted 4,000 trees each year at Blackbird State Forest.

Scouts plant trees at Blackbird
In 2013, local Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts planted 4,000 trees at Blackbird State Forest. Volunteers are needed to help plant more than 8,000 oak seedlings on the weekend of March 17-18.

“This tree planting is a unique opportunity for volunteers to create a positive and lasting change for Delaware’s forests,” said Marcia Fox of DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship, “The new trees will restore wildlife habitat and advance the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Initiative by promoting volunteer participation in habitat stewardship and preserving an ecologically-valuable area.”

The latest updates for the event are available at Caroline Dowd’s Gold Award Reforestation and Riparian Buffer Facebook Page.

Funding for the trees is provided by a grant to the Delaware Forest Service from the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship. The restoration of riparian forests is a key strategy for improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, recognized as a “national treasure” and the largest estuary in North America, covering 64,000 square miles in six states and the District of Columbia. The Cypress Branch in southwestern New Castle County is one of the headwaters for the Chester River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay that begins where Cypress Branch and Andover Branch join together in Millington, MD.

Blackbird State Forest covers nearly 6,000 acres in southern New Castle County and is also a stop on the historic Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.

Directions to the Blackbird Forest Tree Planting Site

  • From the NORTH:
    Route 1 (TOLL): Take Rt. 1 South to Exit 136 toward Odessa (Rt. 299) and make a left at the light. At Rt. 299 (Main Street) in Odessa, turn right onto U.S. 13 South.
    U.S. 13: Take U.S 13 South until you reach Rt. 299 (Main Street) in Odessa. Proceed through the light (continue on U.S. 13 South).
  • From Route 299 & U.S. 13: Continue on U.S. 13 south for 6.2 miles and then turn right onto Blackbird Forest Road (flashing light at the top of the hill). After 3.5 miles, turn right onto Oak Hill School Road. Continue for 2.9 miles and then turn right onto Harvey Straughn Road. Proceed for .3 miles and the destination will be on the left.

 

  • From the SOUTH:
    Route 1 (TOLL): Take Rt. 1 North to Exit 119 (N. Smyrna). Make a right onto Route 13 South. Proceed .8 miles to Duck Creek Road and make a right at the light.
    U.S. 13: Take U.S 13 North until you reach Duck Creek Road north of Smyrna (just past Visitor Center and Smokey Bear sign on the right). Turn left at light for Duck Creek Road.
  • From Duck Creek Road & U.S. 13:  Proceed west for .8 miles on Duck Creek Road and turn right onto Vandyke Greenspring Road. Continue on Vandyke Greenspring Road for 4.4 miles and turn left onto Harvey Straughn Road. In 2 miles, turn left to stay on Harvey Straughn Road. Proceed for .3 miles and the destination will be on the right.

Contact –
John Petersen, Delaware Forest Service, 302-698-4552, john.petersen@delaware.gov
Philip Miller, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, Nonpoint Source Program, 302-739-9939; philip.miller@delaware.gov

###