Report Outlines Offshore Wind Opportunities, Challenges for Delaware

Special Initiative on Offshore Wind Provides Updates on Markets, Pricing

The opportunities and challenges ahead for Delaware as it explores the possibilities of the state entering the growing offshore wind industry are outlined in a new report prepared by University of Delaware researchers for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin wrote to ask UD’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind last year to conduct analysis of market trends, economic viability including future price points, supply chain and workforce development opportunities, and technical obstacles and options for the possible procurement of offshore wind to serve Delaware. The chairs and vice chairs of the General Assembly’s Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the House Energy Committee later also encouraged SIOW to conduct the study. The study’s objectives were outlined in a memorandum of understanding between DNREC and the SIOW.

The state’s Offshore Wind Working Group’s 2018 report highlighted several options for further consideration, including the state waiting for more developers to enter the market, an incremental approach to wind power, and evaluating other renewable sources. In requesting SIOW’s help, DNREC was interested in updating the opportunities and challenges of offshore wind to inform decisions by state leaders regarding the possible procurement of offshore wind power and related issues.

“While it does not address all of the options put forward by the Governor’s Offshore Wind Working Group, this new report provides insights into current market conditions, outlines policy options for Delaware, and identifies important tradeoffs based on priorities determined by the Governor and state legislature,” Secretary Garvin said. “The report, along with the findings put forward by the Offshore Wind Working Group, are essential pieces that will help ensure we make the right decisions moving forward.”

Among the report’s findings:

  • Projected offshore wind power prices fall within the range of wholesale power being purchased for Delaware now.
  • Offshore wind power costs less than half of Delaware’s current electricity supply when the social costs of health and climate impacts are included.
  • Health damage from polluting power plants is very real, as are health savings from adding new renewable energy.

Kris Ohleth, SIOW executive director at the University of Delaware, said the report provides information on different approaches to offshore wind development.

“If Delaware decides to create a procurement for offshore wind, the state will develop its own approach based on its priorities,” Ohleth said. “This report describes potential policies and opportunities and quantifies their relative effects on the cost of electricity.”

Delaware has set a target of achieving 40% renewable energy by 2035. In addition, shifting to renewable energy is among the strategies identified in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.

DNREC will continue to study and evaluate all the options and the technical challenges involved in connecting offshore wind to the power grid. The SIOW report, as well as the previous work from the state’s Offshore Wind Working Group, can be found at de.gov/offshorewind.

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 Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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DNREC Supports Youth Environmental Summit For Delaware High School Students

Governor Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin attended the inaugural Delaware Youth Environmental Summit (YES!) in 2020 /DNREC photo

 

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is supporting the third annual Delaware Youth Environmental Summit (YES!) on Thursday, April 14 with sponsorship and a keynote address by Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, and additional presentations by DNREC staff.

The student-led conference will be held at the University of Delaware’s Clayton Hall Conference Center in Newark and is offered free of charge, with lunch included, for Delaware high school students and educators who are advisors to school teams. Preregistration is open through April 8 at DelawareYES.org. Attendance is limited.

“Some refer to today’s young people as ‘the environmental stewards of tomorrow,’” said Secretary Garvin. “I believe they are the environmental leaders of today, and DNREC is proud to support events like YES! that seek to empower the younger generation with the tools and information to become even more effective advocates for our natural world.”

Planned by students, YES! aims to inspire youth-led action and environmental leadership through keynote speakers, breakout workshops, and nonprofit and agency exhibitors. In addition to Secretary Garvin, guest speakers include U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt-Rochester, Governor John Carney (invited), Delaware Senator Stephanie Hansen, Sierra Club President Ramón Cruz, and Andrew Fagerheim, climate advocate and Columbia University student. Topics include pathways to green schools, renewable energy, factory farming, reducing plastic in schools, environmental justice, climate resiliency, electric vehicles, our diet’s impact on climate change, and environmental advocacy.

“Our goal is to inform, inspire, activate, and empower students for environmental change,” said Neha Veeragandham, lead student organizer for YES!, from Charter School of Wilmington.

Now in its third year, YES! was created by a coalition of representatives from educators at Delaware schools, non-profit environmental organizations, and public agencies to provide the opportunity for teens to meet, learn, and share their ideas on environmental issues of concern. The inaugural conference in February 2020 was attended by student teams from more than 20 Delaware schools representing all three counties and more than 270 students. In 2021, a virtual summit was held with more than 30 Delaware high schools represented.

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

YES! Media Contacts: Dee Durham, CEO Plastic Free Delaware, deedurham@dca.net, 302-981-1950; or LeAnne Harvey, Green Building United, lharvey@greenbuildingunited.org, 276-608-5586

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Vote Georgetown Lewes Trail and Junction and Breakwater Pathway into 2021 Rail – Trail Hall of Fame

There are only a few more days before voting ends on August 6, 2021! Vote the Georgetown to Lewes Trail (GLT) & Junction and Breakwater Pathway (JBP) into this year’s Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) Hall of Fame!

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) are excited to announce the GLT and JBP are one of only three rail-trails to be nominated! Nominated as a pair, if selected, these Delaware treasures would join more than 30 other iconic trails that are nationally recognized in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

Show your support and vote today. Just click HERE or visit https://de.gov/HOFVOTE. Vote as often as you like through August 6, 2021. Voting is unlimited! The winner, to be unveiled later this summer, will receive special Hall of Fame signage for their trail, a feature in RTC’s Trailblog, and an article in the fall issue of their magazine.

“If you utilize any one of the trails in the state’s ever-expanding trail network, I encourage you to vote and often,” said Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “Not only would it be amazing for two of our most popular trails to receive national recognition, but it also is a reminder of what we are looking to achieve here at DelDOT and in the state. Our goal remains to conveniently connect people to the places they want to go. Whether that is work, school, a doctor’s appointment or to their favorite restaurant or shopping destination, we want to make sure our residents and visitors have options, alternative modes of transportation they can use to reach their destinations.”

“Having Delaware’s incredible trail system recognized by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a great honor for our state,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Many Delawareans and visitors who utilize our trails benefit through healthier lifestyles and enjoying our state’s natural resources, and we are proud these trails have gained national recognition.”

The Georgetown to Lewes Trail is easily one of the most celebrated pathways in Delaware. Since the completion of the first phase, the Georgetown to Lewes Trail has quickly become a favorite for residents and tourists alike. Trail enthusiasts can walk or bike to work, school, appointments, parks, restaurants, retail shops or numerous other destinations including the State’s breathtaking beaches. Approximately one million users a year choose to travel the Georgetown to Lewes Trail vs. utilize a motorized vehicle to reach their destination.

Another beloved trail, the Junction & Breakwater Pathway offers a 14-mile round trip connection between the historic Town of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. Like with many coastal communities conventional travel during the peak season can be challenging but thanks to this low stress, multi-model pathway pedestrians and bicyclists can ditch their vehicles without sacrificing an ounce of adventure. Less traffic means more time to explore, shop, dine and experience these truly unique destinations.

The GLT is currently half-way finished. This year construction will begin on two additional sections. Once complete the trail will create a 16.7-mile connection between the heart of Sussex County, Georgetown, and the historic Town of Lewes. Users of the JBP continue to praise the recently completed Rehoboth Beach Extension. Both trails are state maintained, and DelDOT and DNREC are always looking for ways to update facilities and improve trail safety. For more information on either trail, visit DelDOT.gov or dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy began recognizing exemplary rail-trails across the country in 2007. Rail-Trail Hall of Fame inductees are selected on merits such as scenic value, high use, trail and trailside amenities, historical significance, excellence in management and maintenance of facility, community connections and geographic distribution. For more details and to vote click HERE or visit https://de.gov/HOFVOTE. Voting is unlimited. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on August 6, 2021.


Garvin Statement on the Nomination of Michael Regan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Delaware Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Shawn M. Garvin, a former Regional Administrator of EPA Region 3, issued the following statement:

“I applaud the selection by President-Elect Biden of my state environmental colleague Secretary Michael Regan to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. I’m especially pleased that EPA will be led by someone from a coastal state facing the same climate-related issues as Delaware. Secretary Regan’s career — at the EPA, in the non-profit and private sectors, and currently as the leader of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality — gives him the experience and skill to address the challenges of environmental justice, climate change, safe and clean water, and cleaner air, just to name a few. His reliance on science and the rule of law, along with his compassion and understanding, make him the right person at this critical moment for our country and our planet. I congratulate Secretary Regan and commend President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris for this nomination.”

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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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DNREC Opens Brandywine Zoo Madagascar Exhibit

Cutting the ribbon, left to right: State Senator Sarah McBride, former State Senator Harris McDowell, Delaware Zoological Society President Arlene Reppa, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, Governor John Carney and Brandywine Zoo Director Brint Spencer. DNREC photo.

 

View Endangered Lemurs, Tortoises

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control cut the ribbon on its new Madagascar exhibit Nov. 19, and officially welcomed its new tortoise and lemur inhabitants. This new exhibit is home to radiated tortoises and three species of lemurs. The public will be able to visit the habitat starting Friday, Nov. 20.

Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin hosted a small group for a first look at the newcomers as they interacted in the exhibit, along with several who are still in quarantine. The event was also live streamed for the public and zoo fans on the Delaware State Parks YouTube page.

“I grew up coming to the Brandywine Zoo and it has come a long way since then. I am thrilled we were able to revive this habitat space as one of many upgrades in DNREC’s Wilmington parks,” said Governor Carney. “As one of few zoos managed by a State Park system, we are proud of the work the staff does here and grateful for those who brought this habitat to life.”

The animals include three radiated tortoises, four Ring-tailed lemurs from the Bronx Zoo, two Black and White Ruffed lemurs from the Duke Lemur Center; and one male and one female Crowned lemur from the Duke Lemur Center, who came as a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“We are thrilled to welcome these animals to their new home and unveil this beautiful space to the public,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Not only will the Madagascar exhibit provide a safe habitat for the animals, it will also provide an enriching environment where our visitors can learn about how humans can reduce our impacts to endangered species such as these.”

The Madagascar exhibit is part of the Brandywine Zoo’s recently approved master plan and is the largest capital improvement in the zoo’s history. The master plan focuses on improved animal welfare and guest experiences, species of conservation concern and the inclusion of more mixed-species exhibits.

At nearly 4,000 square feet, the Madagascar exhibit is one of the zoo’s largest display habitats. It includes interactive features and information about conservation concerns in Madagascar. The project took approximately 10 months to complete and cost $3.5 million, funded by the State Bond Bill with a matching Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. Since 1967, the LWCF has provided nearly 200 grants totaling almost $40 million dollars for projects in Delaware, including 73 grants to the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation alone.

As part of the Crowned lemur survival plan, a male and a female will be paired for breeding at the zoo; just 30 of the species exist in the Americas, 18 males and 12 females. Brandywine Zoo will become the 12th location on the entire North American continent where Crowned lemurs can be viewed by the public.

The Madagascar animals will be in their habitat for public viewing when temperatures are above 45 degrees. Because they are native to a subtropical climate, the animals will be brought inside the Brandywine Zoo’s new holding area once temperatures fall below 45 degrees.

In efforts to support social distancing, the Brandywine Zoo is offering three timed sessions each day. Zoo admission is $7 for adults and $5 kids (3 and older); admission is free for zoo members children ages 3 and younger. All visitors must register online at https://brandywinezoo.org. Masks must be worn by all guests ages 5 and older, and are strongly encouraged for children older than 2.

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; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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