DNREC’s White Clay Creek State Park sustains flood damage, forcing closures and cancellations

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlNEWARK – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has announced that White Clay Creek State Park sustained damage from flooding due to heavy rains this morning, forcing closure of some parts of the park and cancellation of affiliated activities as follows:

  • The Chambers Rock Road parking lot is inaccessible due to heavy flooding and is closed until further notice. The park’s day camp has been cancelled for the week.
  • Creek Road, north of Hopkins Road, offering access to the park’s Nature Center will be closed to all traffic until further notice. The bridge spanning one of the tributaries feeding the White Clay Creek has moved off its abutments. Parks officials advised that no bridge crossing should be attempted by any means.
  • Multiple trees have fallen across trails, along with erosion occurring on some trails. Trail users should exercise caution when visiting the park within the next few weeks.
  • Hopkins Road was closed by New Castle County Police this morning, allowing parks staff to clear heavy debris from the roadway. The Delaware Department of Transportation cleared the roads and installed barrels as barriers in heavily-eroded culverts.
  • Park users can contact the park office at 302-368-6900 to report issues. Division of Parks & Recreation staff continue to assess further damage at this time.

As always with flooding events, park visitors should not access the water for fishing, swimming, canoeing, or any other recreational activities until flood waters subside.

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

Vol. 48, No. 223


Delaware requests emergency declaration from USDA for crop damage due to recent storms

DOVER, Del. — Too much rain at the wrong time, like Delaware experienced in April and May, has destroyed several high dollar crops and threatens the yield of many others, leaving farmers to wonder what the future holds. In surveying the state and listening to farmers, Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse made a request for an emergency disaster declaration two weeks ago to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Service Center.

“Delaware family farms are the backbone of our economy, making agriculture our number one industry,” said Governor Carney. “Farming is hard no matter what – but when you get hit with the weather we have seen this spring, and the damage it has done to our fruit and vegetable crops, our grains, and our hay – it has a huge impact on our farmers, our communities, and the state as a whole.”

Once a request for a declaration is made, the FSA staff begins official surveys of the status of current crops at the state and county level. These reports are then compiled, reviewed, and sent on to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. In order to be eligible for this declaration, Delaware has to have at least 30 percent loss in crop production for at least one crop.

“It is impossible for Delaware farmers to come out of this without emergency assistance,” said Scuse. “Many of our fruit and vegetable farms have taken a beating and other crops definitely will not be able to reach optimal yields. We have farmers who are trying to plant field corn for the third and fourth time. That’s a lot of money invested in seed and when the bill arrives they are going to need help paying it.”

The state has three months from the last day of the disaster to file a declaration request to USDA.

The benefit of an emergency disaster declaration is it gives farmers time to apply and get an emergency loan. These loans help producers to recover from production and physical losses from the torrential rains and flooding in Delaware. Farmers have nine months to apply for the loans once USDA makes the official crop damage declaration, which provides them time to compile the paperwork and only apply for the funds they really need to borrow.

Once submitted, Delaware has to wait to learn if USDA will grant them the emergency declaration.


Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4542, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov

DNREC Delaware Coastal Programs now accepting letters of interest from Delaware communities for Resilient Community Partnership assistance

Applications for participating in the program are due June 29

DOVER – DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs (DCP) is soliciting letters of interest for participating in the Resilient Community Partnership program, whose aim is to improve the management and wise use of land and water resources while promoting compatible economic development in the coastal zone. The Resilient Community Partnership program provides technical assistance and potential funding to Delaware communities for developing local planning strategies that prepare for and reduce the impacts of coastal hazards related to flooding from sea level rise, coastal storms, and climate change.

State, county, and municipal government entities may submit letters of interest for projects that will support local resilience planning and adaptation activities in Delaware. Applicants are encouraged to communicate with DCP staff to help answer any questions and ensure all submissions address the specified criteria. Examples of previous partnerships can be found online at de.gov/resilientcommunity.

Letters of interest should demonstrate a community’s interest in, organizational support for, and capacity to enter into a partnership effort with Delaware Coastal Programs. The letter should be a maximum of eight pages, not including supporting documentation. For further guidance, applicants should consult the Call for Letters of Interest on the DNREC website.

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessments of vulnerability to flooding due to sea level rise, coastal storms, and nuisance flooding (“sunny-day flooding”);
  • Assessments of local land use ordinances, zoning codes, and building codes for the purpose of identifying barriers and opportunities for coordination, and recommending improvements;
  • Adaptation plans that outline short- and long-term actions for reducing vulnerability and increasing preparedness, including updating comprehensive land-use plans. Such plans can be drafted for a specific community, town, or region, or for a specific type of resource or infrastructure;
  • Design of on-the-ground adaptation projects; and
  • Plans for improving communications about flood risk and adaptation options to affected populations.

Limited funding is available for activities necessary to support project objectives that require advanced technical assistance. Delaware Coastal Programs will work with award recipients to determine the technical needs of their proposed project and, as appropriate, to retain subject matter experts or contractors to meet project requirements and deadlines.

Details about the partnership program, including application requirements and procedures, can be found on the Resilient Community Partnership webpage or by calling Delaware Coastal Programs at 302-739-9283. Applications are due no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 29, 2018.

Applications may be emailed to Kelly.valencik@delaware.gov, or mailed to Delaware Coastal Programs, 100 West Water Street, Suite 7B, Dover, DE 19904 (Attn: Kelly Valencik). DNREC will announce partnership recipients on or before Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

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

Vol. 48, No. 113

DNREC announces that federal flood insurance is now available in Kent County Town of Magnolia

DOVER – The Town of Magnolia has become the 50th Delaware community to participate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship announced today – with flood insurance now available to all property owners in the town.

Staff from DNREC’s Floodplain Management Program assisted the Town of Magnolia in submitting its application to join the NFIP. FEMA, which runs the NFIP program within the Department of Homeland Security, approved Magnolia’s application to participate on April 5.
Magnolia residents can now purchase flood insurance up to the limits under the regular phase of the program. For single-family dwellings, the standard policy building coverage limit is $250,000, while the contents’ coverage limit is $100,000.

FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps indicate areas of low, moderate and high flood risk, and, in many cases, predicted flood heights. Delaware floodplain data can be viewed on DNREC’s website at http://de.gov/floodplanning.

Lenders must require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally-backed mortgage loan in accordance with the Federal Disaster Protection Act of 1973. Property owners not located within an SFHA can voluntarily purchase flood insurance from any agent or broker licensed to do business in Delaware. There is generally a 30-day waiting period before a newly-purchased flood insurance policy goes into effect. DNREC’s Floodplain Management Program advises property owners to contact their insurance company for any exceptions to this policy.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program boasts over 5.5 million flood insurance policies in more than 22,000 participating communities nationwide.

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

Vol. 48, No. 108

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