US Wind and Ørsted Conducting Offshore Wind Research

Companies Updating Data for Maryland-Approved Projects

Visitors to Delaware Seashore State Park will see an increase in activity in the coming months as US Wind and Ørsted, two offshore wind energy development companies, conduct research and collect data to determine the best path forward for their wind projects.

Both companies plan to update and refresh information collected in the Indian River Bay in 2016 and 2017, and to conduct geotechnical work in the Atlantic and at some land-based locations.

In 2017, the Maryland Public Service Commission awarded US Wind Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) for the construction of a roughly 248 megawatt (MW) offshore wind project. A second 808.5 MW project received approval in December 2021.

Ørsted has also received approval from Maryland’s PSC for two projects: Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 MW project, and Skipjack 2, an 846 MW wind project. All four projects are proposed to be built in wind energy areas off the Delaware and Maryland coasts.

“Any project of this scope requires an extensive regulatory process, as well as considerable public input. Gathering the information is the first step,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

In 2019, Ørsted researched the possibility of using Fenwick Island State Park as a location for an interconnection facility. It was later determined that the location was not environmentally feasible.

“We’ve heard the feedback of Delawareans who told us they want to be updated on offshore wind activities, including research. We want to ensure the public is aware of these activities and what the research entails,” Garvin said.

The research will include geotechnical investigations in the Atlantic and Indian River Bay, land-based geotechnical sampling at Delaware Seashore State Park and other work including data collection on wetlands, rare species and cultural resources.

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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


DNREC Reminds Public Do Not Sled or Snowboard on Dunes

 Those caught trespassing in dune areas restricted to the public could face fines upward of $100 from the DNREC Natural Resource Police.

 

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds residents and visitors that sledding, snowboarding and other recreational activities are not allowed on Delaware’s sand dunes.

Dunes contain fragile wildlife habitat and provide protection for the beaches and the communities they border.

In addition to asking the public to help protect the dunes, the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation also advises that, except for at marked crossings, pedestrian traffic and recreation activities are prohibited on dunes in Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore state parks.

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 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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov.

###


Piping Plovers Experience Poor Nest Productivity Year in Delaware

A banded piping plover male photographed in mid-July at Cape Henlopen State Park on Delaware’s Atlantic coast/DNREC photo.

 

DNREC Provides Updates on Other Beach-Nesting Bird Species

Beach-nesting piping plovers experienced poor nest productivity on their breeding grounds in Delaware during 2021, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today in summarizing the rare shorebird species’ nesting success within the state.

Six pairs of piping plovers were recorded nesting at The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park with 18 more nesting pairs at Fowler Beach on Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, making for a modern-day record total of 24 breeding pairs. Despite the record number of breeding pairs, piping plovers were less successful in producing only 19 fledglings, young birds that hatched and can fly in leaving their nest. Poor fledgling productivity is suspected to be the result of nest loss from a Memorial Day storm and higher-than-average predation at Fowler Beach.

Record piping plover productivity was documented in Delaware over the previous three years for the federally-listed threatened species and Delaware state-listed endangered species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established a goal of 1.5 fledglings per breeding pair in 1996 as part of the piping plover recovery plan, with Delaware’s nesting productivity exceeding that goal from 2018 to 2020. This year, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recorded 19 fledglings, for a productivity rate of 0.8 fledglings per breeding pair. In 2020, 21 breeding pairs were documented, producing 47 fledglings for a productivity rate of 2.2 fledglings/pair.

Delaware’s piping plover recovery effort involves partnerships between DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Recreation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.

In other beach-nesting bird species nesting season updates, two pairs of American oystercatchers nested at The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park while one pair nested at Delaware Seashore State Park. Although the nest successfully hatched at Delaware Seashore State Park, the chicks did not fledge. A pair of American oystercatchers were observed using the marsh islands of Delaware Seashore State Park and were seen with two chicks that appear to have successfully fledged. Least tern counts were lower than recent years, with only four breeding pairs and four nests found at Cape Henlopen State Park, where only two chicks hatched, and neither of them fledged.

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 Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. 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 Parks & Recreation to host 5th annual ‘Boo-B-Que’ Oct. 18 to promote Delaware Children in Nature initiative

Rehoboth Beach — DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation will host the 5th annual “Boo-B-Que By the Sea,” a barbecue cook-off competition and family festival, on Friday Oct. 18 at Delaware Seashore State Park.

This year’s event will take place at the South Inlet Campground starting at 6 p.m. Free parking is available at the South Inlet Day Area during the event. The event features a wide variety of family-friendly activities. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Delaware Children in Nature Endowment Fund, which affords young people outdoor recreational opportunities across the state.

From 6-10 p.m. Oct. 18, the public can join the Kansas City Barbecue Society competitors (KCBS) for a spooky evening, with trick-or-treating, and an opportunity for visitors to sample and select the “people’s choice award” winners for chicken wings. Craft beers will also be available on tap for adults hosted by La Vida Hospitality. Ocean 98 radio’s DJ Magellan will be live onsite for the festivities.

KCBS is a competitive cooking organization and the world’s largest non-profit group of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts, with more than 20,000 members worldwide. Every year, KCBS sanctions more than 450 barbeque contests worldwide, with the mission of recognizing BBQ as “America’s Cuisine,” and “to celebrate, teach, preserve and promote barbeque as a culinary technique, sport, and art form.”

For event details or to enter either the professional of local BBQ competitions please visit www.boo-bq.com.

For more information, contact Scott Borino, Division of Parks & Recreation, at 302-227-2800.


DNREC invites public to Oct. 2 open house on Fenwick Island State Park improvements

FENWICK – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation will host a public open house from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 to review potential improvements to Fenwick Island State Park as part of a public-private partnership. The open house will take place at the Fenwick Island Town Hall, 800 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, Delaware 19944.
 
A display of existing conditions, proposed improvements, and maps will be available for the public to view. Recommended improvements include methods for increasing public safety and relieving traffic congestion, upgraded infrastructure, and the addition of new recreational amenities, which will meet the needs of increased visitation. Members of the community are encouraged to attend to share thoughts, ask questions, and leave comments.
 
For more information on the open house, please visit destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements or call Matt Ritter at 302-739-9187.