DNREC, UD partner to create database of funding opportunities to support resilient communities

DOVER – Climate change impacts are a growing concern for Delaware’s municipalities and communities, and local governments often wonder where they can find funding to help them adapt to or combat threats of severe weather events and enhance resiliency against climate change and sea level rise. As of today with the unveiling of a new database developed by the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, with financial support from DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs, local governments and communities now have a resource to help them identify potential funding.

Financial assistance programs are available to support implementation of projects to prepare for and adapt to these severe weather threats and climate change, but the programs and resources allocated by them can be difficult to find and often go unknown about or unused. Until now Delaware municipalities might have missed out on opportunities to claim a share of these resources in the fight for resiliency against the impacts of climate change.

But with support from DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs, UD’s Institute for Public Administration conducted an exhaustive search of programs that financially support implementation of resiliency projects in Delaware. This information has been compiled into an accessible and intuitive online searchable database to benefit the state’s towns and communities. “Our intention in partnering with the university was to make it easier for municipalities in our state to find funding that will help enhance the resilience of their communities,” said Sarah W. Cooksey, administrator, Delaware Coastal Programs. “In creating the database, we made a one-stop shop for municipal leaders to find appropriate assistance that can fund projects to protect their community infrastructure, citizens’ private property and natural resources in the face of climate change impacts.”

While planning and technical assistance programs were identified and included, IPA’s search prioritized financial assistance programs that support the implementation of high-cost activities such as infrastructure improvements, facility retrofitting, construction and land acquisition, she said. Database users can also use a quick sorting feature to filter programs by type of assistance offered (grant, loan, etc.), project scope (land acquisition, energy efficiency retrofits, etc.), amount of financial assistance available, and whether or not matching funds are required.

“This database is a great tool for Delaware municipalities looking to fund resilience-building projects in their communities,” said Jerome Lewis, director of UD’s Institute for Public Administration. “Many jurisdictions need financial assistance to upgrade their infrastructure and make the necessary adaptations. This user-friendly database of funding opportunities greatly facilitates those efforts.”

The easy-to-use website lists resources that support implementation of climate change adaptation and resilient community development in the following categories:

  • Disaster preparedness
  • Disaster recovery
  • Education
  • Emergency aid
  • Energy conservation
  • Habitat restoration
  • Infrastructure upgrades
  • Planning
  • Property acquisition/ easements
  • Renewable energy
  • Species protection
  • Storm-proofing retrofits
  • Stormwater management
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Wetland protection

Online access: The Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities can be accessed from any computer, tablet or mobile device at www.sppa.udel.edu/research-public-service/ddfrc

YouTube tutorial: This three-minute video provides step-by-step instructions for using the search tool.

Provide Input: To keep the database current and relevant to grant funding, it must be continually updated as new financial assistance programs emerge and others are retired. If you wish to see a relevant program added to the Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities – or if existing entries require new content or contain errors – please contact the Institute for Public Administration by emailing resiliency@udel.edu.

The Delaware Coastal Programs (DCP) is a cooperative program between the State of Delaware and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The DCP helps manage Delaware’s federal coastal zone and balance the use and protection of its resources through the combined efforts of the Delaware Coastal Management Program and Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve

The University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration (IPA), a center within the School of Public Policy & Administration, addresses the policy, planning, and management needs of its partners through the integration of applied research, professional development, and the education of tomorrow’s leaders. Visit IPA online at www.ipa.udel.edu.

Media Contact: Kelly Valencik, Delaware Coastal Programs, 302-739-9283

Vol. 46, No. 187

Volunteers and boats sought for Inland Bays Cleanup on June 11

REHOBOTH BEACH – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is seeking volunteers and boats for the 12th Annual Inland Bays Cleanup from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 11. DNREC once again is lending support through the Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, along with the Division of Parks & Recreation.

This year’s cleanup will take place at Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp at the end of Long Neck Road, where registration will be held, and will concentrate on the Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay areas. Volunteers should dress to get dirty and be prepared for cooler conditions on the water as well as wet walking conditions on land. Rubber boots are also suggested. Those who have access to lifejackets may want to bring one, as they are required aboard any boat used during the cleanup. Lifejackets also will be provided.

Last year’s event drew 75 volunteers who filled a 30-yard donated roll-off dumpster with debris including soda bottles and cans, tires, derelict crab pots and large quantities of docking lumber. This year’s event will have a focus on recycling, with many pieces of large debris anticipated in the wake of the two major coastal storms last fall and winter.

Advance volunteer sign-up is requested, as lunch and t-shirts will be provided to participants. At the event, volunteers will need to sign a waiver, with parents or guardians completing the form for participating children age 15 and younger. This event is not recommended for children under the age of 10.

To volunteer or for more information, please contact Bob Collins, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, at 302-226-8105 or by email at jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

In addition to the Center for the Inland Bays and DNREC, sponsors for this year’s Inland Bays Cleanup include the Dewey Beach Lions Club, Waste Industries USA, Inc., State Senator Ernie Lopez and the DSWA Community Cleanup Initiative.

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

Vol. 46, No. 178

Drainage in Delaware Bayshore communities to be topic of Dec. 2 public meeting in Milford

DOVER – Residents of Bayshore communities and other interested parties are invited to attend a DNREC public meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2 at the Carlisle Fire Company, 615 Front NW Front Street, Milford, DE 19963, to hear the results of a new engineering evaluation studying drainage issues along Delaware’s central Bayshore area. The meeting will be hosted by DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship, Drainage Section, and State Senator Gary Simpson (R-18th District, Milford) chair of the Delaware Bay Beach Work Group.

The Delaware Bay Beach Work Group was formed for the purpose of examining beach erosion, marsh drainage, flooding and related issues in the Bayshore communities of Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock, South Bowers Beach, Slaughter Beach, Prime Hook Beach, Broadkill Beach and Lewes Beach, and making recommendations for a path forward to deal with these issues.

Work group members included state legislators representing these communities, DNREC shoreline and waterway staff and other local, state and federal officials. Their recommendations included the engineering evaluation, for which DNREC contracted with AECOM/URS Corporation, a national research and engineering firm with local offices in Delaware and Maryland.

The Delaware Bay Beaches Coastal Drainage Engineering Evaluation incorporated comments from residents at public meetings held in each community, documentation and investigation of issues and proposed solutions. Those attending the meeting will hear details about the evaluation, along with drainage design work and construction projects under consideration, and will have the opportunity for public comment.

For more information, visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/swc/shoreline/pages/delawarebaybeachworkgroup.aspx.

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

Vol. 45, No. 413

2015 Coastal Cleanup drew nearly 1,500 volunteers who collected almost 8 tons of trash and recyclables from 50 sites

DOVER – This year’s DNREC-sponsored 29th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup held on Sept. 19 drew 1,492 volunteers, who collected 7.8 tons of trash from 50 sites along more than 80 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. About one-quarter of that trash – aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles – was recycled this year.

DNREC organizes the annual cleanup with co-sponsors including: the Ocean Conservancy; Delmarva Power, which donates t-shirts; Edgewell Personal Care/Playtex Manufacturing Inc., which donates gloves; DelDOT, which donated safety vests for roadside sites; and Waste Management, which hauls trash and recyclables collected by volunteers.

“We think it’s fantastic that each year this event attracts a huge number of people who want to do something positive for the environment,” said Matt Likovich, spokesman for Delmarva Power, which has sponsored Coastal Cleanup for 24 consecutive years. “We appreciate the volunteers’ time and energy in helping to clean up our beaches and riverbanks.”

“In addition to marring the natural beauty of our beaches and waterways, trash can be dangerous to marine life and unhealthy for water quality,” said Delaware Coastal Cleanup Coordinator Joanna Wilson. “Each year, the Coastal Cleanup helps make a difference for marine life and water quality – and it’s the hundreds of dedicated volunteers, many of whom come back year after year, who make the Cleanup possible.”

Some of the more unusual items found during this year’s cleanup were a raincoat, assorted underwear, numerous flip-flops, a rubber swim cap, a hair dryer and flat iron, a wig, more than a dozen pairs of sunglasses, a perfume bottle, a housekey on a ring, boat seat cushions, a can of Sterno, a tent, two propane tanks, a bow and arrows, a bike pedal, a dog leash and more than 20 bags of dog waste, beach chairs, a boogie board leash, an umbrella holder, children’s sand shovels and toys, a smoke detector, a recliner, a metal bed frame, four dozen condoms, light bulbs, a paint roller and paintbrush, ceiling tiles, buckets, plastic storage containers, a mop head, trash cans, coat hangers, a sink, a toilet seat, carpet pieces, batteries, lawn chairs, a rusty fire pit, flower pots, stakes, zip ties, a microwave, plastic and wood fencing, a teacup, chopsticks, tiki torch holders and four shotglasses, one of which was still full.

Some items were notable in their numbers. Statewide, volunteers picked up 20,410 cigarette and cigar butts, an increase of 1,533 from last year’s total of 18,877. The number of fishing-related items also increased from 989 last year to 1,317 this year, including more than 100 crab pots, nearly 500 yards of fishing line and 226 fishing nets and pieces; volunteers also found fishing rods, reels, lures and hooks. Balloons decreased, from 1,214 last year to 458 this year. Other items included 1,064 fireworks, 424 shotgun shells, eight tarps and 2,433 plastic bags. In addition to 36 passenger vehicle tires, car parts included a battery cable, license plate holder, taillight, hubcaps, fenders, a bumper, a car mat and a transmission.

This year, more than 23,000 pieces of food/beverage-related trash were picked up, a reduction compared to nearly 28,000 last year. This year’s notable numbers included 5,067 food wrappers, 3,603 plastic bottle caps, 1,747 lids, 1,657 straws, 3,785 plastic beverage bottles, 2,074 beverage cans, 1,698 glass bottles and 1,444 paper, plastic and foam cups and plates.

The Delaware Coastal Cleanup is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the Ocean Conservancy’s flagship program dealing with marine debris and data collection. The types and quantities of trash collected are recorded on data cards and forwarded to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles the information to help identify the source of the debris and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing it.

Delaware’s next Coastal Cleanup is set for Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Registration will be posted on DNREC’s website at www.delaware.dnrec.gov next July.

For more information on The Ocean Conservancy or the International Coastal Cleanup, please visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

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

Vol. 45, No. 374

Volunteers encouraged to preregister for 2015 Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 19

DOVER – Volunteers are encouraged to preregister on the DNREC website for the 29th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 19. The DNREC-sponsored cleanup spans the First State’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes river and ocean shorelines as well as wetland and watershed areas. This year, 50 sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties are targeted, and many of those sites are filling up fast with volunteers, so it’s a good idea to register early.

Pre-registering helps ensure enough supplies are packed for the volunteers at each site. To see a map of this year’s sites, or to pre-register, go to www.dnrec.delaware.gov/CoastalCleanup. Pre-registration will close on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at close of business.

At last year’s Coastal Cleanup, 1,805 dedicated volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected 3.5 tons of trash from 46 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. About one-third of that trash – mostly aluminum cans and plastic bottles – was recycled. Volunteers’ more unusual finds included chopsticks, a laundry basket, runner’s race number tag, electric saber saw, windshield wiper, basketball, baseball, bowling ball, tennis balls, paint brush, tweezers, tiki torches, Barbie doll, glow stick, auto fender, plastic trellis, shingle, flashlight, toilet seat, Christmas lights, telephone box, TV, coat, engine, pinup girl postcard, an unopened 12-pack of razors, hubcap, and a message in a bottle.

Delaware’s Cleanup is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines and lakes by volunteers. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world help each year to rid the environment of marine debris and collect detailed information on the types and quantities of refuse they find. This information is recorded on data cards and forwarded to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles data for all of the cleanups held in the country and around the world. This information helps identify the source of the debris and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing it.

The Ocean Conservancy supplies trash bags, data cards and marine debris brochures. Delaware’s cleanup is co-sponsored by Delmarva Power, which provides t-shirts for the participants. DNREC is responsible for organizing the event, recruiting volunteers, distributing supplies, ensuring trash removal and tabulating data. Edgewell Personal Care, Playtex Manufacturing Inc., which provides gloves, and trash and recyclables hauler Waste Management also return as sponsors. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), which provides safety vests for roadside site volunteers, also joins the sponsor list for the 2015 cleanup.

For more information about the Ocean Conservancy and the International Coastal Cleanup, visit www.oceanconservancy.org. For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please call Joanna Wilson, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, at 302-739-9902.

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

Vol. 45, No. 274