DNREC invites public input at Oct. 5 ocean planning workshop in Bethany Beach

BETHANY BEACH – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control invites ocean recreational users to participate in the Mid-Atlantic Non-Consumptive Recreation Workshop from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 at the South Coastal Public Library at Bethany Beach, 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach, DE 19930. Non-consumptive recreational use involves activities in which nothing is taken from the environment, such as paddlesports, boating, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, swimming, and beach going.

The workshop is part of a series of workshops being held throughout the region to share information and solicit input from the public about recreational use to support the implementation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan.

The joint Delaware-Maryland workshop is hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), of which DNREC’s Coastal Programs is the lead; the Surfrider Foundation; and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The workshop includes pizza and beverages, with RSVPs requested through https://www.eventbrite.com/e/non-consumptive-recreation-public-workshop-delaware-and-maryland-tickets-37325559754.

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


Pinelands Nature Trail at Cape Henlopen State Park has reopened

LEWES  – The Pinelands Nature Trail at Cape Henlopen State Park reopened today following tree maintenance work. The trail closed Feb. 17 when Division of Parks & Recreation staff noticed that trees had fallen on – or were leaning over – the trail. Parks staff removed a number of those trees within the trail to ensure public safety.

Most of the trees taken from the trail were in a low-lying area near the trailhead adjacent the Seaside Nature Center Parking area.


Upcoming repair work Nov. 9–19 to affect use of Junction & Breakwater Trail

Map of affected areaLEWES – Repairs Nov. 9 – 19, to the railroad crossing on Gills Neck Road in Lewes will affect how users of the Junction & Breakwater Trail gain access to Lewes. The work will require closure of a portion of Gills Neck Road, meaning that trail users who reach the trail’s easternmost end near the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal will not be able bike or walk into Lewes.

Trail users whose destination is Lewes – or who are coming from Lewes – are advised to use the path along Gills Neck Road between Cape Henlopen High School and the Senators residential development.

Signs will be posted along the trail to notify users of the road closure impacts. The Delaware Department of Transportation will also place signs on area roads to notify the public of vehicle travel pattern changes as a result of the closure.

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

Vol. 46, No. 371

DNREC’s DuPont Nature Center announces upcoming family-friendly summer programs

SLAUGHTER BEACH – The DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve, a DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife facility, will hold two Family Fish-n-Fun Days, as well as two other family-friendly special programs later this month in and near Slaughter Beach. The center is located at 2992 Lighthouse Road, east of Milford, DE 19963.

  • Family Fish-n-Fun Days – 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, July 23 and Saturday, Aug. 6, all ages, outdoor program, Slaughter Beach Pavilion, 359 Bay Avenue, Milford, DE 19963
    Meeting at the Slaughter Beach Pavilion located behind the Slaughter Beach fire hall, participants will learn about the saltwater ecosystem, how to identify fish, fish anatomy, ethical fishing skills, knot-tying, casting, baiting hooks and surf fishing through hands-on activities with nature center staff and volunteers. Fishing gear and other materials will be provided. Participants should pack lunch, snacks and beverages (no glass containers), sunscreen and insect repellant, and wear outdoor clothing, including beach-appropriate shoes and a hat.
  • Dip Netting Adventures and Nature Walk – 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, ages 5 and older, indoor/outdoor program, DuPont Nature Center
    Participants will explore the center’s live animals and exhibits before heading outside to learn more about the importance of the salt marsh ecosystem. Working in teams at the Cedar Creek bridge and boat ramp, participants will use a dip net and a bucket to catch and identify live aquatic species that live in the Delaware estuary. During the walk to the boat ramp, participants will use binoculars to spot and identify wildlife, as well as pick up trash along the road to help keep wildlife from being harmed by it. Sunscreen, bug spray, walking shoes and hats are suggested.
  • Fishy Fashions – 1-3 p.m. Friday, July 29, all ages, indoor program, DuPont Nature Center
    Participants will view the center’s live fish and learn about the parts of a fish – scales, fins, tail, eyes, etc. – and then learn how to use Gyotaku fish printing to create a “fish print” on a bandana. Participants are also encouraged to bring a t-shirt for fish printing.

Admission to the programs is free, but space is limited, so please preregister by calling the center at 302-422-1329 or emailing lynne.pusey@delaware.gov.

A Delaware recreational fishing license is required for Fish-n-Fun participants age 16 and older; a fishing license is not required for those younger than 16 and for Delaware residents age 65 and older. Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918, or click on 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and from license agents throughout the state.

Both resident and non-resident anglers age 16 and older are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number. The free number is included as part of a Delaware fishing license purchase. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older, may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free F.I.N. number.

Perched on the edge of Mispillion Harbor at the intersection of the mouths of the Mispillion River and Cedar Creek, the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s DuPont Nature Center regularly offers a variety of interactive exhibits, school tours and educational programs. Spring and summer hours from May 1 through Aug. 31 are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. September hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. The center will close for the season at the end of the day Friday, Sept. 30, reopening in April 2017. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information about the DuPont Nature Center and its programs, please call 302-422-1329, or visit DuPont Nature Center.

The DuPont Nature Center is a focal point of the Delaware Bayshore, and is part of DNREC’s Delaware Bayshore Initiative, a landscape approach to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat, increase volunteer participation in habitat stewardship projects, enhance low-impact outdoor recreation and ecotourism opportunities, and promote associated environmentally compatible economic development. For more information, click Delaware Bayshore.

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

Vol. 46, No. 254

Junction & Breakwater Trail has “bonus” reopening Friday, July 15, before restoration work resumes next week

Map of closure areas.
Map of areas to be closed for repairs.

LEWES – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today that restoration work on portions of the Junction & Breakwater Trail has moved ahead faster than expected, making it possible to reopen repaired segments of the trail Friday, July 15 (with the entire trail remaining open through the weekend), before the work resumes Monday, July 18, closing other parts of the J&B trail through Friday, July 22.

Repairs and renovation of the J&B trail, originally constructed in 2003, began July 11. Nearly two miles of trail surface are being restored on sections lying between Hebron Road, at the south end, and the Holland Glade pedestrian bridge on the north side of the trail. Other smaller segments of the trail will be repaired between the Hawkseye community and the Wolfe Neck parking lot trailhead.

Repairs focus on reconstructing rough exposed rock trail sections, to be resurfaced with stone dust to create a smooth walkable and bikeable tread. Other repairs include eliminating areas of standing water and washouts, and replacing fencing.

DNREC’s contractor on the Junction & Breakwater Trail restoration, George & Lynch Inc., completed the first stage of the project a day early, allowing for the “bonus” reopening. The second stage of restoration spans Monday, July 18 through Friday, July 22, with the entire J&B trail expected to open from July 23.

The Junction & Breakwater Trail and the Gordons Pond Trail are part of a 15-mile regional network linking Lewes and Rehoboth. The Junction & Breakwater Trail between Gills Neck Road and the Hawkseye community will be open continuously. Trail users also are encouraged to use the Gordons Pond Trail for recreational activities while the Junction & Breakwater Trail restoration is in progress.

The trail restoration is a cooperative project between DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation and the Federal Recreational Trails Program. For questions on this project and for up-to-date information about it, please contact Susan Moerschel, Trails Program Manager, 302-222-3711, or, Superintendent Paul Faircloth at the Cape Henlopen State Park Office, 302-645-8983.

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

Vol. 46, No. 255