DNREC Reminds Public That The Point at Cape Henlopen is Closed for 2021 Beach Nesting Season

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds the public that The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, including a stretch of ocean and bay beach, is now closed. Since 1993, The Point has closed annually each March for the benefit of threatened and endangered beachnesters and migratory shorebirds, including red knot, piping plovers, oystercatchers, least terns and other species.

The Point’s nesting habitat on the ocean side will reopen to the public Sept. 1. The bayside beach will remain closed until Oct. 1 for use by shorebirds migrating south for the winter.  

The DNREC Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Fish and Wildlife, and Watershed Stewardship have worked together since 1990 to implement a management plan to halt the decline of beachnester and migratory shorebird populations.

For more information, contact Cape Henlopen State Park at 302-645-8983 or stop by the park office.

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 Contact: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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DNREC’s State Parks, Zoo Waive Entry Fees on Black Friday

#OptOutside Movement Draws Thousands Outdoors Each Year

The public is invited to enjoy free entry to Delaware’s state parks and zoo Friday, Nov. 27. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has waived state park and zoo entry fees annually on Black Friday for as part of a the #OptOutside movement.

More than 7,000 organizations and seven million people nationwide participate in the #OptOutside campaign each year. Visitors to state parks can support and promote the movement on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the #OptOutside hashtag.

“DNREC is proud to take part in the Opt Outside mission, now more than ever as the need to spend time outdoors has increased for many people,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Our Delaware State Parks provide a safe environment for guests to relax and have fun. We offer more than 150 miles of trails statewide, diverse wildlife, open spaces, endless activities and rare animals, like the lemurs who were unveiled last week at the Brandywine Zoo.”

Those kindergarten age or older must bring face coverings with them to enter a park and wear them when they cannot maintain social distancing from other visitors, such as in bathhouses, concession buildings and on trails where others are present. Face coverings are strongly encouraged for children ages 2 and older, unless a child has a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or disability that prevents the child from wearing a face covering.

All Delaware state parks will open at 8 a.m. on Nov. 27, with the exception of Fort Delaware State Park, which is closed for the season. Park offices will be closed. The public may visit the Brandywine Zoo and its new Madagascar Exhibit featuring rare lemurs and radiated tortoises, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are required by calling 302-571-7788, ext 213. Members can reserve time at the zoo online at brandywinezoo.org.

For state park locations and other ideas on how to get outside, go to www.destateparks.com.

 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 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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov.

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DNREC to reopen The Point at Cape Henlopen Sept. 1

LEWES, Del. – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will reopen The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, including a stretch of ocean beach and dunes, and a half-mile along the bay shoreline, Tuesday, Sept. 1. The bayside beach will remain closed until Oct. 1 for use by shorebirds migrating south for the winter. 

The area to reopen includes a stretch of ocean beach and dunes that was previously closed on March 1 to benefit more than 30 species of shorebirds, including up to 11 species of terns, six species of gulls, the brown pelican and the double-crested cormorant as well as threatened and endangered species such as red knots, piping plovers, least terns, oystercatchers and others.

DNREC’s Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Fish and Wildlife, and Watershed Stewardship have worked together since 1990 to implement a management plan to halt the decline of beachnester and migratory shorebird populations. The Point has been closed annually since 1993.

For more information, contact Cape Henlopen State Park at 302-645-8983 or stop by the Park Office.

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 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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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DNREC Announces Killens Pond State Park Water Park to Open Saturday

Safety Measures, Including Limited Capacity and Hours, in Effect Until Further Notice

 The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will reopen the Killens Pond State Park Water Park on Saturday, July 11, with measures in effect to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Water Park will limit its hours and offer two sessions per day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and will be closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. Visitor capacity at the water park will be reduced to 30%. Guests must reserve a session online prior to visiting the water park. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the park.

As part of our continued commitment to help our community in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the following protocols and procedures will also be in effect until further notice:

  • Masks or other cloth face coverings are required for entry into the water park, while in line, in concession areas and restrooms, and when social distancing of at least 6 feet between those of other households cannot be maintained.
  • Face coverings may be removed once on the pool deck, but must continue to be worn when social distancing is not possible.
  • Face coverings are not required while in the water. Any face coverings visitors choose to wear while in the water must be made of swimsuit-type material (man-made fibers). Standard face coverings made from cotton may make it difficult to breathe when wet.
  • Guests must continue to social distance when in the water.
  • Bathrooms and slide handrails will be sanitized every hour, and all other touch points will be sanitized between sessions.
  • All other COVID-19-related rules, regulations and recommendations from the Division of Public Health apply.
  • All other Water Park rules and regulations apply.

Water park entrance fees are $6 for those under 48 inches and $8 for those 48 inches and taller. Entry is free for children ages 2 and younger. The water park features attractions for all ages and abilities, including a main pool, baby pool, slides, fountains and a variety of other fun water features.

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 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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov.

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DNREC Releases Answers to Questions, Survey Results About Fenwick Island State Park Proposal

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has released the answers to publicly-asked questions about the possible location of an electrical interconnection facility at Fenwick Island State Park bringing power from a proposed offshore wind farm, as well as results of a public survey about possible improvements to the park. 

Last year, Ørsted requested that DNREC consider allowing electric cables from the company’s proposed Maryland offshore Skipjack Wind Farm to connect underground to a possible interconnection facility on Fenwick Island park property. DNREC took public comment on a number of possible improvements to the park that could be funded by Ørsted if the interconnection were allowed within the park, with the comment period extended to earlier this year. DNREC has not made a decision on the use of Fenwick Island State Park as a landing for the power produced from the proposed wind farm.

The answers released Wednesday clarified that DNREC is “considering the proposal to allow an interconnection facility to be installed at Fenwick Island State Park to direct power from the proposed Skipjack Wind Farm. The proposed wind farm itself is authorized by the state of Maryland, but an interconnection is proposed to be located in Delaware. The wind farm developer, Ørsted, would provide park improvements as part of the project. This proposal is separate from regulatory considerations of the wind farm, which is proposed to be developed regardless of Parks’ involvement.”

Other statements made in response to public questions about the possible interconnection within the park and the possible park improvements included:

  • “If the project is determined to move forward by the DNREC Secretary, the next step requires detailed planning and all associated permitting.”
  • “DNREC will not allow negative impacts to wetlands. Any unacceptable impacts to the environment will not be entertained.”
  • “A review of impacts to living resources (e.g. marine mammals, sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, birds, bats) would be conducted as part of the permitting process. Time of year restrictions are often placed on projects to protect living resources.”
  • “The proposed infrastructure improvements would remove a row of parking closest to the dune to allow the area to naturalize again and give the dune additional space to move. In addition, any new infrastructure would be designed to allow for dune movement.”
  • “Fenwick Island State Park has seen an increase in visitation as a result of increased visitors and development in the surrounding area. Regardless of any proposed amenities, the park is expected to only grow in popularity and stress existing infrastructure that is undersized for the demand. The proposed amenities will add capacity for the park and improve flow and experience for visitors.”

The public process about the possible interconnection and park improvements produced numerous questions about the offshore component of the Skipjack Wind Farm, including the distance of turbines to the shoreline, the location of wind energy areas in relation to fishing, the impacts of the wind farm on recreation, fisheries, and navigation. The DNREC answers noted that many of these questions are most appropriately addressed by Ørsted and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

DNREC received 2,692 survey submissions that gave feedback on the proposed park improvements, which include methods for increasing public safety and relieving traffic congestion, upgraded infrastructure and the addition of new recreational amenities to meet the needs of increased visitation.

Of those who completed the survey, 44% said they would like DNREC to renovate the existing parking area and/or create additional parking facilities, 32% want the bathhouse and restroom facilities to be renovated and expanded, 13% would like additional food concessionaires and 12% felt the proposed improvements would improve traffic flow and parking at Fenwick Island State Park.  

Respondents also ranked proposed amenities from first to last, with walking paths to connect Fenwick Island, a nature center and additional food concessions the most popular.

To see the survey results and read the questions and answers, go to www.destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements.

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 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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov