Dicamba applicators urged to check Pesticide Use Limitation Areas before spraying

DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Department of Agriculture is urging all pesticide applicators that plan to use dicamba this growing season to check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) online Bulletins Live! Two system on a monthly basis before spraying. This new online system allows agriculture and other pesticide users to easily determine where pesticide use limitation areas (PULA) exist due to the protection of endangered species.

“I would encourage farmers and other pesticide applicators to print a copy of the bulletin and carry it with them during the application. In case they get questioned, this verifies that they have checked the website before the application,” said Christopher Wade, DDA Pesticides Section Administrator. “Since the bulletin and the corresponding maps are only valid for a month, applicators need to complete this process every month.”

Currently, Sussex County is the only county in Delaware with Dicamba Pesticide Use Limitation Areas. The online system provides a more detailed view of where the PULA is located compared to receiving a county level impact that is not truly county-wide.

To make it easy to find, the Delaware Department of Agriculture has linked the Bulletins Live! Two online system to their webpage at https://de.gov/pesticides. Users will need to enter in their address into the search bar and if there is an effective PULA identified it will be displayed in a pink color. Clicking on the PULAs will reveal a summary of the products, codes, and limitations required.

Dicamba is an herbicide that can be applied to the leaves or soil to control annual and broadleaf weeds in grain crops and pastures. If the pesticide label directs the applicator to the online Bulletins Live! Two system, then the applicator is required to follow the pesticide use limitation(s) found in the Bulletin for the intended application area, pesticide active ingredient or product, and application month.

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Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, (302) 698-4542, Stacey.Hofmann@delaware.gov


Training for volunteer beachnesting bird monitors set for May 13

LEWES – Volunteers who want to help protect Delaware’s endangered piping plovers and other beachnesting birds are invited to join DNREC’s monitoring team and attend a training session held by the Division of Fish & Wildlife from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 13, at Cape Henlopen State Park’s Biden Environmental Training Center, at 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes.

The training session will begin with a slideshow followed by a discussion on the monitoring program and how volunteers can help to ensure that beachnesting shorebirds are not disturbed while rearing their chicks.

Weather permitting, the group will finish the session by venturing out to the Point at Cape Henlopen to look for piping plovers and other shorebirds likely to be feeding on the tidal flats. Birding scopes and binoculars will be available for use, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own optics if they have them.

“Volunteers are critical to our protection efforts. When stationed at the boundaries of the nesting areas, volunteers can help explain facts to those passing by about the breeding birds and the importance of keeping closed areas free of human disturbance,” said Joe Rogerson, program manager for Species Conservation and Research, Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Without volunteers to supplement the coverage our staff provides, many people might never have the chance to better understand how humans can make a difference in the breeding success of beachnesting birds.”

Preregistration for the training is encouraged, but attendees also will be accepted at the door. Park entrance fees will be waived for volunteers attending the training by notifying the fee booth attendant. For more information on the training, beachnesting birds or monitoring efforts, please contact Kevin Bronson at 302-222-6078 or kevin.bronson@delaware.gov.

The piping plover was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1986, with the Division of Fish & Wildlife responsible for its protection in Delaware. Under a binding agreement and species management plan with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the federal agency with oversight of this ESA-protected species, piping plover nesting areas at Cape Henlopen State Park are closed annually to the public to protect the shorebirds during their nesting season from March into September. The closure, which includes the Point and smaller areas around Gordon’s Pond, protects nests and young birds from vehicle and pedestrian traffic in habitats from the dunes to the ocean needed for nesting and feeding, successfully increasing the number of piping plover nesting pairs from a low of two pairs to a high of 10 pairs.

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


Stretch of beach at Cape Henlopen State Park closed to safeguard nesting piping plovers

LEWES (May 21, 2013) – The first piping plover nest of the season at Gordons Pond Beach in Cape Henlopen State Park has been discovered, with the parents-to-be defending their territory, DNREC Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey announced on Monday afternoon. The nest was found late last week, and when last observed, contained three eggs.

To minimize disturbances to the tiny endangered shorebirds, a half-mile stretch of beach between the Observation Towers and the Herring Point crossover was closed to the public today with signs, twine and PVC stakes to mark the area.

“Closing off plover nesting areas is an established protocol every year at Cape Henlopen, and this closing is in the typical area that beachgoers are accustomed to,” said Bailey, who serves as coordinator of the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Piping Plover Protection Program. “The area will remain closed until the last of our plover chicks are fledged, usually in late August.”

Meanwhile, on the Point at Cape Henlopen, a total of five nesting pairs of piping plovers have been seen. One nest has failed, but four others have parents incubating eggs, including a female with bands on her legs.

“We don’t want to disturb the pair at the beginning of their nesting cycle, but we are confident that we will have good opportunity to further observe this female, get a full reading of the band combination and then report it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which tracks endangered species,” Bailey said. The band information will tell who did the banding and hopefully provide access to some of her background, he added.

In other beachnesting bird news, three pairs of American oystercatchers have set up nesting territories on the Point, and a pair has been seen making nest scrapes at Gordons Pond. Large numbers of least terns also are congregating on the shores of Gordons Pond but have not yet started to defend nesting territory.

For more information on piping plovers and volunteer opportunities, please contact Matt Bailey, Division of Fish and Wildlife, at 302-382-4151 or email matthew.bailey@delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 43, No. 211

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