DNREC’S Division of Parks & Recreation announces Rockland entrance to Brandywine Creek State Park will close beginning March 11 through April 9

GREENVILLE – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today that the Rockland entrance of Brandywine Creek State Park will be closed from the evening of March 11 through April 9 for stormwater culvert replacements. The eastern section of the Brandywine Trail from the Rocky Run Bridge to the Rockland entrance will also be closed. During the closure, failed stormwater culverts on the Brandywine Trail extending to the Rocky Run Bridge will be replaced with larger units.

The Brandywine Trail is among the busiest trails in the Delaware state parks system. Longstanding stormwater challenges due to the steep side slopes of the trail have caused sections of the trail bed to erode and have created mud puddles, preventing trail users full access to the trail. The planned culvert repairs will help alleviate the erosion and will stabilize a large section of the trail bed.

DNREC also announced that the paving of the Brandywine Trail has been placed on hold while the proposal continues to be evaluated. More details will be available in the near future.

Progress on the project is weather-dependent. For updates and the latest information, please contact the park office at 302-577-3534.

The Thompsons Bridge trailhead, parking lot and trails on the west side of the Rocky Run Bridge will remain open for users.

Media contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 50


Sussex stream restoration video airs on DNREC YouTube Channel, detailing project from start to finish

LAUREL – A new DNREC YouTube Channel video explores a stream restoration project in Sussex County by following it from initial undertaking at a Laurel resident’s request through DNREC’s engineering design for the project to its recent completion by DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship.

What originated as a response to a drainage problem caused in part by a 90-degree bend in a ditch wending through a residential community evolved over time into a stream restoration that greatly reduced flooding in the area. Restoration work centered on rerouting overflow from heavy rainfall to nearby Records Pond.

Aerial footage and graphics in the new video show how the restoration was engineered by DNREC and carried out by a partnership with the Sussex Conservation District. The project used native plants to create a wetlands buffer and also deployed rip-rap to stymie erosion at the base of trees along the stream. “The idea was to return the ditch to a channel with the overflow and stabilize it with native plants so it wouldn’t wash out any more during high-rain events,” Travis Schirmer, engineering/planning/survey technician, publicly-funded water management projects, Division of Watershed Stewardship, says of the stream restoration.

The video can be found on the DNREC YouTube Channel. For drainage concerns or problems, please call the DNREC Drainage Hotline at 302-855-1955 or email DNREC_Drainage@delaware.gov.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 18


Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps appeal period runs through Nov. 6 for parts of New Castle County

DOVER –DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship reminds residents of New Castle County that preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for portions of New Castle County released in December 2016 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are currently in a 90-day regulatory appeal period ending Nov. 6.

Anyone who believes that the preliminary maps (found online at www.de.gov/floodplanning) may contain errors can submit an appeal to their community floodplain administrator. The floodplain administrator will review and consolidate all appeals before forwarding them to FEMA. Once FEMA has reviewed appeals and made a determination on their validity, the agency will issue a Letter of Final Determination to a community in question. The preliminary maps will become effective six months after the Letter of Final Determination, currently projected to be Nov. 6, 2018.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available to local property owners. Mortgage lenders require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated special flood hazard area to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally backed mortgage loan in accordance with the Federal Disaster Protection Act of 1973. FEMA’s flood risk maps are used by insurance companies to establish insurance rates and by local communities to enforce local floodplain codes.

For more information on the flood risk maps, contact Greg Williams or Michael Powell, Division of Watershed Stewardship, at 302-739-9921. For information on DNREC’s flood mitigation program, please visit DNREC’s website at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/swc/Drainage/Pages/Flooding.aspx.

Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 47, No. 199


DNREC offers new flood planning tool for determining risk for home and business development projects

Interactive website also helps on gathering information for insurance

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section now offers an interactive Flood Planning Tool with up-to-date information for helping to determine flood risk for homes and businesses and for designing development projects in accordance with floodplain codes.

The Flood Planning Tool is designed to provide residents, businesses, floodplain managers, insurance agents, developers, real estate agents, engineers, surveyors and local planners with an effective means to make informed decisions about the degree of flood risk for a specific area or property. Flood Planning Tool users have the ability to look at the current effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) layer as well as the preliminary FIRM layer. The preliminary layer shows Delaware areas that will be revised with more detailed information as a result of flood studies that have been conducted.

DNREC’s new Flood Planning Tool website also displays FEMA’s regulatory floodplain boundary via aerial photography. Another feature is DNREC’s analysis of several special flood hazard areas that have not previously been studied in enough detail to establish a base flood elevation. The Flood Planning Tool can be found at http://maps.dnrec.delaware.gov/FloodPlanning/default.html.

Over the past 12 years, DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship has partnered with FEMA to improve the accuracy of Flood Insurance Rate Maps created in the 1970’s through a Cooperating Technical Partnership. DNREC completed floodplain mapping for all three Delaware counties in 2016. The improved flood risk maps incorporate the results of more than 330 miles of flood studies.

Property owners along Zone A floodplains have had a difficult time in the past at both understanding their flood risk and in getting properly-rated flood insurance. Base Flood Elevations and Advisory Flood Heights have now been determined in most of these areas, and a more accurate depiction of flood risk is now available. In the future engineers, developers and local officials will also be able to download HEC-RAS models (HEC-RAS is a widely-used computer program modeling the hydraulics of water flow).

Please contact Greg Williams or Janice Shute of DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section for more information at 302-739-9921.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 47, No. 60


DNREC Shoreline & Waterway Management Section to make public presentation on revised beach regulations Oct. 21 in Bethany Beach

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section will make a public informational presentation on Delaware’s revised beach regulations Oct. 21 in Bethany Beach. The presentation will take place from 1 – 3 p.m. at the South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach, DE, 19930.

The Shoreline & Waterway Management Section will outline recent revisions made to the Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches (which went into effect Aug. 11). Topics to be presented include:

  • A history of coastal storms and erosion that have impacted Delaware, and the importance of beaches and dune systems for their protective and recreational benefits
  • A brief history of the Beach Preservation Act and the state’s beach regulations
  • Building line maps
  • 2016 Revisions to the Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches, including: The Regulated Area, Substantial Damage, Substantially Improved, The Four-Step Process, Cantilevered Decks, and Temporary Structures
  • New application forms for Letters of Approval and Permits

The presentation will provide the public, local construction industry professionals, and local and county officials with information about revisions made to the regulations.

Registration is required for this event as seating is limited. Attendees may register online at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/shoreline-and-waterway-management-11381581248 or call Coleen Ponden of the Shoreline & Waterway Management Section at 302-739-9921.

If registration fills, a second presentation may be scheduled at a future date.

CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 349