DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police announce extension of No Wake Zone in Lewes-Rehoboth Canal

Slow No Wake SignLEWES – DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police announced today that additional No Wake signs are being installed to extend the current No Wake Zone in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal southward to the Rehoboth Bay. The extended No Wake Zone will begin in the vicinity of Bay Vista Marina and extend to the Canal entrance jetties at Rehoboth Bay, with the No Wake Zone incrementally extended as signs are installed. All No Wake signs will to be installed by Dec. 1.

The No Wake Zone extension is needed to address public and navigation safety, increased boat usage and speeding, shoreline erosion, and property protection. The area has seen an increase in recreational and commercial boating traffic over the past few boating seasons, which has led to increased complaints of wake violations. Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police met with local businesses, state park officials, and the boating public in deciding to extend the No Wake Zone.

Questions can be directed to Capt. Doug Messeck, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, Sussex County Office, at 302-855-1901.

Media Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9915 or 302-382-7167; or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

DNREC displays Delaware’s coastal and natural resources on Oct. 7 at Coast Day in Lewes

LEWES – Delaware’s coastal and natural resources will be showcased Sunday, Oct. 7 at DNREC’s Coast Day education tent on the campus of the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment in Lewes. Coast Day, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is the university’s annual end-of-summer event that attracts thousands of visitors from Delaware and throughout the region.

“Coast Day celebrates Delaware’s coastal resources and brings together partners who are committed to preserving our beaches, waterways, tidal marshes, farmland, upland forests, bay and ocean for future generations,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Coast Day visitors will get a close-up look into the science and technology that is being used and developed to help make important decisions about our natural resources in Delaware and around the globe.”

In addition to DNREC’s education tent between the Smith and Cannon buildings, the Department’s R/V First State will be docked with other research vessels and available to tour. DNREC’s tent features the agency’s diverse programs designed to conserve and protect Delaware’s natural resources and encourages public participation through hands-on activities and educational games that appeal to both adults and children. DNREC has exhibited at Coast Day since the event’s inception in 1976.

This year, a variety of DNREC exhibits with games and giveaways will highlight Delaware’s coastal and natural resources, including:

  • Equipment used by Shoreline and Waterway Management;
  • The Delaware Bayshore mini-theater;
  • DNREC volunteer opportunities at the EcoCafe;
  • Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Operation Game Theft Trailer;
  • The Delaware Shorebird Project;
  • The Clean Transportation Incentive Program with a trivia game wheel;
  • Marine debris research and interactive Environmental Perspectives website;
  • The Recycling Program’s “Bin It to Win It” game;
  • Fossils, minerals, and coastal aquifers;
  • Outdoor Delaware magazine, with free copies and special edition critter trading cards;
  • Cape Henlopen State Park Nature Center and Fort Miles;
  • Bats with the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Species Conservation & Management program;
  • The Mosquito Control Section;
  • Wetlands; and
  • Septic systems.

For more information on the event, visit www.decoastday.org.

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

Vol. 48, No. 268

Drinking Water Notice Issued to Water Customers in Lewes After Lead Levels Exceed EPA Action Level

DOVER  — The Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing that the Lewes Board of Public Works (BPW) has issued a drinking water notice to customers after tests showed elevated levels of lead in the water. DPH received notification late last week from BPW that drinking water samples collected in August showed an exceedance of the EPA Action Level for lead. Lab analysis found that the 90th percentile result of 26.5 ug/L exceeded the EPA Action Level of 15 ug/L. Sampling consisted of 10 samples collected in different parts of the BPW service area with results ranging from non-detect to 38.4 ug/L.

DPH is actively working with the Lewes BPW to conduct additional sampling and gather information to help define the scope and cause of the issue. Both agencies believe the presence of lead is likely associated with lead service pipes serving individual homes and buildings, or with plumbing components (pipe, fixtures, solder, etc.) within them that contain lead. The Lewes BPW is working to identify the impacted areas, but the differences in housing age, construction materials and other factors will make it difficult to identify all the impacted structures.

Residents who are concerned that their plumbing may contain lead should have their water tested, as testing is the only way to know definitively if lead is present. The required test kits are available at private laboratories; homeowners should ensure testing takes place through an EPA-drinking-water-certified laboratory. To find one, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or visit www.epa.gov/safewater/labs.

In addition to posting the public notice on its website, BPW is mailing the notice to customers’ homes and working with the City of Lewes to email the information to residents as well. BPW will also test water in schools prior to opening next week, as well as Beebe Healthcare and a long-term care facility served by the utility’s system. Posting of public notices after a lead level exceedance is required by state law. DPH is working with BPW to resolve the issue and will conduct more frequent monitoring of the water system.

“Exposure to lead in drinking water is a concern, particularly for young children and pregnant women,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “While we work with the Lewes Board of Public Works to identify what is causing the presence of lead, there are steps residents can take to reduce potential exposure to it.”

In order to reduce potential exposure to lead, DPH advises customers who are concerned they may have lead in their plumbing to take the following steps:

• Run the water for 30 seconds to flush lead from plumbing prior to using the water.
• Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Hot water in contact with the pipes can leach more lead, so using cold water can reduce exposures.
• Consider bottled water as an alternative source. Additionally, there are filters available for home use that will remove lead. NSF International maintains a list of filter products certified to remove lead.
• Do not boil water. Boiling water does not remove lead.

Bathing and showering should be safe, even if the water contains lead over EPA’s action level. Human skin does not absorb lead in water.

Exposure to high levels of lead in tap water can cause health effects, impacting the kidneys, nervous system and other body systems. Lead can also impact the intellectual and physical development of children. There are often no outward signs of lead exposure, but a simple blood test can determine a child’s blood lead level.

Most studies show that exposure to lead-contaminated water alone would not be likely to elevate blood lead levels in most adults, even exposure to water with a lead content close to the EPA action level for lead of 15 parts per billion (ppb). Risk will vary, however, depending on the individual, the circumstances and the amount of water consumed. For example, infants who drink formula prepared with lead-contaminated water may be at a higher risk because of the large volume of water they consume relative to their body size. Anyone who is concerned that they, or their children, have been exposed to lead should talk to their doctor about a blood lead test.

For more information about the health effects of lead, visit https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm. or call the DPH Healthy Homes program at 302-744-4546. For more information about testing your home’s drinking water, visit https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead#testdw.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.

Registration open for DNREC-sponsored living shorelines workshop March 7 and 8 in Lewes

DOVER – DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays will host a two-day workshop, “Introduction to Living Shorelines Training for Engineers, Contractors, and Landscape Professionals,” from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, March 7 and 8, at DNREC’s Lewes Field Facility, 901 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958. Admission to the workshop is free, with lunch provided.

Participants will be introduced to an in-demand and eco-friendly technique in shoreline management: the living shoreline. Topics to be covered include site evaluation, design, permitting, and exemplary projects, supplemented with site visits.

Stable shorelines help protect coastal communities and serve as important habitat for native animals. However, commonly-used hardened methods of shorelines stabilization do not adequately serve both purposes. Living shorelines are an increasingly popular solution.

Engineered using native plant material, shellfish, sand, and some hard structures, these shorelines prevent erosion, reduce wave energy, trap floating sediment, and filter stormwater runoff from lawns and pavement – all while maintaining natural beach or wetland habitats.

Space is limited to 25 workshop participants per day, and participants may attend one or both days. To sign up, visit www.deshorelineworkshop.eventbrite.com. Participants currently working in Delaware will be given preference. For more information, please email communications@inlandbays.org.

Vol. 48, No. 29

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

Delaware Offshore Wind Working Group to hold Dec. 5 public workshop in Lewes in conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate

DOVER – In conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate, Delaware’s Offshore Wind Working Group will host a public workshop Tuesday, Dec. 5 in Sussex County for input about the potential for offshore wind energy and the ways that it might benefit the state. The workshop will begin at 6 p.m. at the Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Avenue, Lewes, DE 19958.

As with a workshop held Nov. 29 in Odessa, the Lewes workshop will begin with a briefing on the status of the Offshore Wind Working Group, which was established by Governor John Carney’s Executive Order 13 in August. Representatives from the US Wind and Deepwater Wind companies will then give a presentation on projects approved earlier this year by the Maryland Public Service Commission, and the prospects for new offshore wind projects that might provide economic opportunities and energy benefits to Delaware. The public will then be invited to comment on these projects in an open forum.

The Offshore Wind Working Group began meeting in October, and by Dec. 15 the group must submit a report to the Governor with recommendations on short- and long-term strategies for developing wind power to serve Delaware, and plans to develop job opportunities in the offshore wind industry.

All Offshore Wind Working Group meetings are open to the public and are posted on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar. Briefing materials, public comments, and additional resources can be found at de.gov/offshorewind.

For more information or to submit written comment, please contact Tom Noyes, Division of Energy & Climate, by emailing Thomas.Noyes@delaware.gov or calling 302-735-3480.

Vol. 47, No. 254

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