Delaware State Parks Fee Season to Begin March 1

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds visitors to Delaware State Parks that 2021 entrance fees will be in effect starting Monday, March 1 through Nov. 30.

State park entrance fees for vehicles registered in Delaware are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks. Fees for out-of-state vehicles are $8 at inland parks and $10 at ocean parks. Entrance fees will remain in effect through Nov. 30, which is the normal fee season end date.

Daily park entrance fees may be purchased via credit-card machine at most park locations, where fee attendants are on duty or self-registration envelopes provided at park entrances that are then placed in designated secured drop boxes.

Revenue generated from park entrance fees is used to manage 17 state parks and more than 26,000 acres of state park lands. Park users generate 65% of the revenue utilized to operate and maintain the parks. The revenue is used for trail maintenance, environmental and recreational programs, visitor amenities, guarded beaches, management of campgrounds, cabins and more.

Annual Passes

Annual passes are a convenient way to access the parks for the entire fee season. A Delaware resident annual pass costs $35, and Delaware residents 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $18. A $65 lifetime pass is available for Delawareans 65 and older. Reduced rates are also offered to Delawareans who receive public assistance, or who are active duty military or veterans. Active duty military personnel with an out-of-state license plate can purchase an annual pass at the in-state rate.

In addition, the corporate and group pass program offers participating businesses, nonprofits and other groups discounted annual passes. For more information on corporate and group passes visit www.destateparks.com/GroupPass.

Annual passes may be purchased online at www.destateparks.com, at all park offices, and at seven retail locations. For more information, visit www.destateparks.com/Know/PassesTagsFees.

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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Fees, passes required at state parks, wildlife areas starting Friday, May 8

Reduced cost state park pass available for those on state assistance, including unemployment

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today that it will reinstate entry fees and park pass requirements at all Delaware State Parks and require a Conservation Access Pass to enter state wildlife areas starting Friday, May 8.

DNREC also announced that those receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits can receive an annual park pass for $10, and those passes can be purchased online for those on unemployment as well as other state or federal assistance. The Assistance Pass Program was already available to those on General Assistance, Medicaid, Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children (WIC) or Purchase of Care, but was only available with an in-person application.

On March 16, DNREC suspended entry fees, park passes and access passes until April 30 to allow Delawareans to be active outdoors and to provide space for activity, and the free period was then continued.

For the safety of the public and for employees, a number of limitations and requirements will remain in place in parks, wildlife areas, fishing areas and boat ramps, including:

  • Entrance booths at parks will not be staffed, so visitors without a park annual pass will pay the daily fee via automated credit card machines or the self-registration envelopes at park entrances.
  • Bathrooms will remain closed or unavailable at parks, wildlife areas, fishing areas and boat ramps.
  • Beaches remain closed except for exercising, dog-walking and surf fishing under very limited conditions, per the Governor’s state of emergency orders.
  • Playgrounds, campgrounds and park offices continue to be closed and tours and other activities in parks will not yet resume.
  • Visitors to parks, wildlife areas, fishing areas and boat ramps must have masks with them, and must wear them when social distancing from others cannot be maintained.
  • The Governor’s requirement that out-of-state visitors must quarantine for 14 days upon entering Delaware before visiting parks, wildlife areas or other public spaces remains in effect.

“As the state’s businesses take small steps toward reopening on Friday, we will start our delayed fee season for parks as well, since 65 percent of the funding that runs our state parks system comes from visitor fees. And we are extending our discounted Assistance Program annual pass to those on unemployment for the first time ever,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said. “Like businesses, we still need some limits out of concern for health and safety, so we will not yet back to full operations but hope to take more steps soon.”

Delaware State Parks

State park entrance fees for vehicles registered in Delaware are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks. Fees for out-of-state vehicles are $8 at inland parks and $10 at ocean parks. Entrance fees will remain in effect through Nov. 30, which is the normal fee season end date.

Annual passes and surf fishing permits may currently only be purchased online, as all state park offices remain closed to the public, with annual passes for Delaware vehicles at $35 and for out-of-state vehicles at $70, with discounts for seniors, military and others. Those who purchase an annual pass before June 1 may place their receipt of purchase in the window of their vehicle to use state parks while waiting for the pass to arrive via mail. For information on pass and permit fees, go to www.destateparks.com/Know/PassesTagsFees, which includes a link to apply for the reduced cost Annual Pass Assistance Program for those on state and federal assistance, including unemployment.

Delaware Fish and Wildlife areas

A Delaware Conservation Access Pass is required for any registered motor vehicle that’s used to access most of state wildlife areas. Conservation Access Passes are available as annual passes, which may be used from July 1 through June 30, or as three-day passes, which may be used for three consecutive days. The conservation pass provides needed funding to help the Division of Fish and Wildlife maintain and improve public access, facilities, and wildlife habitat on state wildlife areas. Conservation Access Passes may be purchased and more information is available online at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/conservation-access-pass/.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

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
Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov


State Continues to Process Taxes And Fees

 

Income Tax Deadlines Extended
State Tax Due Dates Remain Unchanged

Last week, the Delaware Division of Revenue (DOR) announced that the deadlines for taxpayers to file certain personal and corporate income tax returns and payments had been extended to July 15, 2020 due to “rolling conformity” with federal income tax rules adopted by the IRS in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

The new deadline of July 15, 2020 applies to corporate income tax tentative returns due April 15 as well as final personal income tax returns, estimated personal income tax payments, and fiduciary income tax returns each due April 30.

All State of Delaware agencies continue to process State tax filings, accept tax payments, and issue refunds, where applicable. The State is not extending the deadlines for filing returns and payments for other State taxes and fees, including but not limited to the following categories:

  • Personal Income Tax Withholding
  • Personal Income Tax Estimated Payment due 6/15/2020
  • Corporate Income Tax Tentative Payment due 6/15/2020
  • Unemployment Insurance Tax (Non-profits and other reimbursable organizations will receive a 90-day deferment on UI payments)
  • Corporate Franchise Tax
  • LLC, LP, and GP Annual Tax
  • Gross Receipts Tax and Business License Renewals
  • Realty Transfer Tax
  • Tobacco and Cigarette Tax
  • Bank Franchise Tax and Fees
  • Insurance Taxes and Fees
  • Public Utility Tax
  • Alcoholic Beverage Tax
  • Public Accommodations Tax
  • Motor Fuel Tax

State staff are available to respond to taxpayer questions throughout the COVID-19 emergency. Taxpayers are urged to visit the websites of applicable agencies for additional COVID-19 information or call or email the following offices:

Division of Revenue
Leslie A. Poland, Community Relations Coordinator
leslie.poland@delaware.gov
Picture of the Delaware Division of Revenue logo
Division of Unemployment Insurance
DOL_UI_Employer_Tax_Questions@delaware.gov
Kenneth Briscoe, Communications Coordinator & Public Information Officer
kenneth.briscoe@delaware.gov
Division of Corporations
Doug Denison, Director of Community Relations
douglas.denison@delaware.gov
Delaware Bank Commissioner
Dawn Hollinger, Public Information Officer
dawn.hollinger@delaware.gov
Picture of the Great Seal of the State of Delaware
Delaware Department of Transportation (302-744-2724)
Charles McLeod, Director of Community Relations
charles.mcleod@delaware.gov

 


UPDATE on DNREC operations in response to COVID-19

Events, including private rentals, canceled through May 15;
One-day cleaning period implemented between rentals of State Park cabins and cottages

DOVER, Del. – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control continues to focus on taking a proactive and preventative approach to keep communities and employees safe in the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, while maintaining operations and services as best as possible.

Detailed information about events, meetings and online options is available at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/coronavirus and destateparks.com/Covid19. A few of the updates include:

  • All Department events and programs scheduled from now through May 15 have been canceled, consistent with the Governor’s state of emergency order. The cancellations include private rentals and events at Delaware State Parks sites and facilities, such as picnics, 5Ks and parties. Organizers of events are being notified directly.
  • All state parks and wildlife areas remain open and no entrance fees will be charged through April 30. Anyone visiting a park or wildlife area is encouraged to engage in responsible social distancing practices and avoid groupings of people. Annual park passes, good for the entire season, and surf fishing tags should be purchased online only or at any third-party agents instead of at park offices or in the Dover office. Purchased park passes will be mailed before April 30. Conservation access passes needed for state wildlife areas after April 30 should also be purchased only online or at any third-party agents instead of the Dover office.
  • All state park campsites, cabins, bathhouses, and cottages continue to be open at this time. There will be at least one-day break between rental periods of cabins and cottages to allow for thorough, increased cleanings between guests.
  • Public hearings will be available via phone or video conference. The public will be able to submit comments about the subject of each hearing via email, online form, or regular mail. Verbatim transcripts will be prepared by a court reporter while all exhibits entered into the hearing record will be posted on hearing-specific DNREC webpages. Specific information on how to access each hearing will be posted with individual hearing notices.
  • Sales of fishing licenses, hunting licenses, wildlife area conservation access passes and boat registrations will be online transactions only or made at any third-party vendors that remain open. The Department has provided convenient links to these resources on its homepage, available at dnrec.delaware.gov.
  • Commercial fishing license sales will continue at the Department’s main office in Dover but by appointment only. Call 302-739-9916 to make an appointment.
  • Applications and information provided for well, septic, air, water and other permits are being accepted by email, mail and phone, reducing direct interchange of documents.
  • Offices remain open, but with limited services. A limited number of staff are onsite, but many personnel are working remotely, and available by email and phone to provide technical assistance to the public, contractors, and environmental consultants on regulatory inquiries and permitting matters.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

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.

Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation to host public meeting on proposed changes in surf fishing program

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation will discuss proposed changes to the surf fishing program at its upcoming, regularly-scheduled Parks and Recreation Council meeting. The meeting, open to the public, is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17th, at the Dover Public Library, 35 East Loockerman Street, Dover 19901.

Parks & Recreation staff will offer a presentation on proposed surf fishing permit fee increases, and the public will be given the opportunity to comment. The proposed fee increase, if approved at the council’s Jan.17 meeting, would go into effect on Feb.1.

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation is proposing raising the surf fishing permit fees to $90 for Delaware residents, an increase of $10. Out-of-state residents would pay $180 for the annual surf fishing permit, an increase of $20. Surf-fishing permit holders would continue to receive the additional benefit of their permit serving as an annual pass, providing free access to all 17 of Delaware’s state parks.

The Division of Parks & Recreation is also proposing limiting the number of surf fishing permits issued to 17,000 annually. In 2017, the state issued 17,104 permits. The fee increase is being proposed to help ensure the public’s safety, and to maintain the quality user experience at designated multi-use beaches. The beaches have a capacity, and the Division of Parks & Recreation seeks to limit the number of permits issued to assist in continuing to manage the surf fishing program. The priority is to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. A limit on the number of permits issued would help ease future congestion on all multi-use beaches.

Delaware’s state park system is primarily self-funded. Sixty-five percent of the funds used to operate and maintain the parks come from the collection of user fees. Revenue generated by the proposed fee increase would advance the Division’s efforts to improve amenities, and increase the presence of park enforcement at ocean parks.

The authority to increase park user fees is included in Section 87 of the FY 2019 bond bill, and requires “adequate opportunity for public comment and approval of the appropriate public advisory council.” The Parks and Recreation Council is an 11-member board appointed by the Governor, that serves in an advisory capacity to the Division of Parks & Recreation.

The public can submit written comments in advance on the Division of Parks & Recreation’s web page at www.destateparks.com/FeeProposal. Written comments can also be sent to: Greg J. Abbott, Attn.: Surf-fishing permit fee proposal, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901 prior to the Jan. 17 meeting. More information is also available at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/61600.

Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 337