Governor Carney Releases Statement on Call with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

WILMINGTON, Del.Governor John Carney spoke by phone on Friday with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to express his concerns with the Trump Administration’s plan to allow oil and gas drilling off the coast of Delaware. Governor Carney released the following statement on the call, which came a day after the Governor requested a meeting to discuss the risks associated with new oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic:

“I want to thank Secretary Zinke for taking time to discuss the risks associated with offshore oil and gas drilling. During our conversation, I invited the Secretary to visit Delaware to see firsthand what’s at stake for our state, our beach communities, our economy, and our natural resources. He accepted the invitation, and we look forward to his visit. As we’ve said publicly, drilling off Delaware’s coast would create the risk of a catastrophic spill that would have devastating effects on Delaware’s economy and our environment. Our coastal economy generates $7 billion in economic activity, and supports more than 60,000 jobs in the fishing, tourism, and recreation sectors. The health of Delaware’s economy and environment are directly tied to the health of our coastal areas. Delaware simply cannot accept the risks associated with offshore drilling, and we will continue to express our concerns to the Trump Administration. I was encouraged by my conversation with Secretary Zinke today and look forward to continued dialogue.”

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Governor Carney Requests Meeting With Secretary Zinke to Discuss Offshore Drilling Plan

WILMINGTON, Del.Governor John Carney has sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, requesting a meeting to discuss the Trump Administration’s offshore drilling plan. The plan would open up areas in the Atlantic, including areas off the coast of Delaware, to new oil and gas drilling. Governor Carney will urge Secretary Zinke to abandon the plan, which would pose serious risks for Delaware’s economy and natural resources.

The following are excerpts from Governor Carney’s letter:

“I am writing to express my strong concern and objection to your proposal to include areas in the Atlantic as part of a dramatic expansion of oil and natural gas drilling nationwide….Opening areas on the Outer Continental Shelf off the Atlantic coast threatens the economic and environmental well-being of Delaware and states throughout the entire region.”

“More than 7 million people visit Delaware’s coastal communities every year. They spend time on our world-class beaches, eat at restaurants, shop at local businesses, and help support thousands of families that work in our local economy. Delaware’s coastal economy generates almost $7 billion in economic production to the state, and supports over 60,000 jobs in the fishing, tourism, and recreation sectors.”

“The health of Delaware’s economy and environment are directly tied to the health of the state’s coastal areas. I cannot accept the tremendous risks associated with opening vast areas in the Atlantic to drilling. I request a meeting with you and your leadership team, as was granted to Florida, to discuss the proposal in more detail.”

Read Governor Carney’s full letter here.

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Related news:
Governor Carney Releases Statement on Trump Administration’s Offshore Drilling Plan
Governor Carney to Trump Administration: No Drilling in the Atlantic


DNREC hosts video premiere of ‘Delaware Bayshore Forever’ at the State Fair

HARRINGTON – Today at the Delaware State Fair, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin welcomed Governor John Carney, DNREC conservation partners and guests to the DNREC Building’s theater for the premiere of “Delaware Bayshore Forever,” a new video produced for DNREC by Michael Oates and Jeanne Covert of 302 Stories, Inc.

The 12-minute video takes viewers on a land and aerial tour of the Bayshore’s important ecological, economic, cultural, and historic resources, as well as featuring some of the people who care deeply about the region’s unique natural and cultural heritage, and depend upon its rich and abundant resources.

The video supports DNREC’s partner program, “Bayshore Forever – A 21st Century Land Conservation and Restoration Strategy for Delaware’s Bayshore Region.” This program establishes goals to protect and restore Bayshore habitats that will increase resiliency and adaptation, reduce erosion and flooding, and protect wildlife through projects including habitat protection with interested landowners, enhancement of coastal impoundments and water control structures, restoration of forest buffers and tidal marshes, and managing invasive species.

In addition to DNREC, program partners include The Nature Conservancy, Delaware Wild Lands, The Conservation Fund, Delaware Nature Society, Ducks Unlimited, Delmarva Ornithological Society, Delaware Greenways, Kent County Conservancy, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

To view “Delaware Bayshore Forever,” visit DNREC YouTube.

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

Vol. 47, No. 171

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Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police blotter: Aug. 22-28

Reminder for the week: Natural Resources Police patrols increased to monitor hunting, fishing seasons concurrently in full swing

DE F&W Natural Resources Police logoDOVER – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Aug. 22-28 made 2,263 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 419 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 80 complaints and issued 47 citations, seven of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there continues to be an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.

Incidents of note:

  • On Aug. 28, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited John R. Mitchell Jr., 42, of Ocean View with one count each of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (OUI), no personal flotation device, no fire extinguisher and no vessel registration card in possession. Mitchell was cited in the Indian River Bay near White House Beach. He was released with an order to appear in Justice of the Peace Court 14 at a later date.
  • On Aug. 27, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited John J. Kass, 44, of Pottstown, Pa. with one count of OUI on Rehoboth Bay near Massey’s Landing. Kass was released with an order to appear in Justice of the Peace Court 14 at a later date.
  • Increased patrols in Kent County wildlife areas during this time period resulted in multiple citations issued for entering after hours and one citation for possession of marijuana.

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Entering a wildlife area after hours (8)*.

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (5)*, possession of undersized weakfish (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (4), crab pot tampering (non-commercial) (1), improperly marked recreational crab pots (2), possession of summer flounder parts (1).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of lifejackets (2), no lifejacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (7), operating under the influence (2), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (3), failure to provide flares or visual distress signal equipment (1), failure to have fire extinguisher aboard (1), failure to possess registration card (1), and allowing the use of a non-compliant vessel (1), no boater education card (1).

Public Safety: Unregistered motor vehicle in a wildlife area (1)*, excessive speed in a wildlife area (1)*, possession of marijuana (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), criminal trespass (1).

* Citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area: unlicensed fishing (4), entering a wildlife area after hours (1).

Are you AWARE?
With several hunting seasons having opened Sept. 1 and fishing still at full-throttle, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police continue to increase patrols and closely monitor state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas for visitor safety and compliance, as well as checking for illegal activity such as vandalism, littering, dumping and damaging wildlife habitat.

“The public is encouraged to enjoy our wildlife, fishing and boating access areas and the unique outdoor experiences they offer,” said Sgt. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “However, as stewards of this land for the general public, we cannot allow the few people who do not respect our conservation mission to ruin things for the many who do. Those caught abusing our natural resources through illegal activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

State wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing, hunting or boating in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules. Individuals not meeting these requirements and found at these sites between sunset and sunrise face fines up to $100 for trespassing after hours.

Wildlife area visitors also are reminded that it is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including motorcycles, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas. Violators found to cause damage also will be cited for destruction of state property. In addition, operating a motor vehicle that is not licensed for use on established public roadways – including ATVs – is prohibited both on and off-road on state wildlife areas.

The following rules also apply to all state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas:

  • Camping, swimming, target shooting (including paintball), dumping and littering, and fires are prohibited.
  • Dog training is permitted only within established dog training areas or during open hunting seasons for the game animals that the dog is being trained to hunt.
  • Hunting is permitted only in specified areas and only during designated hunting seasons.
  • Firearms are prohibited on state wildlife areas from March 1 to Aug. 31, except during legal hunting seasons or as authorized by the Division of Fish & Wildlife.
  • All of these sites have a carry-in, carry-out trash policy.

“Littering can be a problem, especially in many fishing areas, so please leave no trace behind and take your trash with you,” Sgt. McDerby said.

For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each area, visitors are encouraged to give close attention to Delaware wildlife area maps published by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The maps are available in hard copy at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and also online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at de.gov/ogt.

Media Contacts: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 325


DNREC’s inaugural Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Youth Academy introduces students to outdoors law enforcement and lets them see themselves as on-the-job candidates

Vessel Boarding
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resource Police Youth Academy students conduct a vessel boarding during training

NEWARK – A full complement of 20 students concluded their week-long training at the Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police’s inaugural Youth Academy with a recognition ceremony held at and hosted by Cabela’s at the Christiana Mall. As DNREC rolled out the law enforcement academy for the first time, students learned skills in boating, fishing and hunting as seen from both sides of an NRP officer’s badge. Ranging in age from 12 to 15, the students completed their Delaware boating and hunter education classes and received their boating and hunting education certificates at the concluding ceremony in front of family and friends.

Candidates were chosen to attend the academy staged July 18-22 based on their interests as well as their experience level – and their eagerness to gain relevant experience for perhaps one day joining the ranks of DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resource Police. Each NRP Youth Academy applicant also had to submit a 500-word essay on why she or he wanted to attend. The academy offered free tuition for those selected to participate, with the majority of the training taking place at DNREC’s Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center in New Castle.

Students fall-in
The ranks of the inaugural Fish & Wildlife NRP Youth Academy fall in during the week-long training

In attending the week-long academy, students got exposed to the gamut of an NRP officer’s daily routine. They took part in patrol work as Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers by completing field scenarios that included checking deer stands and duck blinds; using a decoy deer to nab poachers in the act, and by making contact with visitors to Delaware’s wildlife areas managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. They also were given instruction in the safe operation of vessels, as well as learning about on-the-water enforcement activities. Throughout the academy, instructors emphasized the guiding principles of law enforcement, which included honor, respect, discipline, positive attitude, team work, leadership and commitment.

“The goal for the academy was to open the outdoor world to 20 young people, to expose them to boating, fishing and hunting and to share with them who we are and what it means to be a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer,” said Captain Drew Aydelotte, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police and acting NRP chief during the Youth Academy. “This group of young people represents the next generation of ethical outdoorsmen and women – and hopefully future officers who will join our elite unit.”

The 20 enrollees who completed the academy were: Johnathan Adkins of Dover; Ross Alexander Jr. of Bear; Alistair Bebbington of Newark; Benjamin Burris of Lothian, Md.; Troy Christiansen of Dover; Joshua Dyer of Dover; Haley Erickson of Clayton; Joseph Harwell of Newark; Ethan Hines of Townsend; Logan Koenig of Dover; Noah Kracyla of Townsend; Connor McDerby of Newark; Joseph McDermott of Townsend; Easley Pierson of Smyrna; Alexander Poore of New Castle; Luke Poore of New Castle; Anthony Puleo of Newark; William Shahan of Newark; Trevor Smith of Middletown, and James Williams of Marydel.

Awards were presented at the academy’s concluding ceremony to students who showed exceptional leadership, teamwork, sharpshooting, archery skills and fishing skills. William Shahan received the leadership award; James Williams was cited for teamwork; Easley Pierson was recognized for sharpshooting; Joseph Mcdermott excelled at archery; and Trevor Smith’s fishing skills all were lauded by NRP instructors.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police also thank the following sponsors who helped make the inaugural youth academy possible:

  • Cabela’s
  • Delaware Chapter of Ducks Unlimited
  • Custom Improvers, Inc.
  • Pat’s Salon in Townsend
  • Chick-fil-a Middletown
  • Delaware City Valero
  • PSC Contracting, Inc.
  • Pat’s Pizzeria in Delaware City
  • La Matesina Pizza in Townsend

To learn more about the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Natural Resources Police and its Youth Academy, please visit the law enforcement agency’s Facebook and Twitter pages at https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/ and https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice, or the Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police homepage on the DNREC website at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Pages/Enforcement.aspx

Media Contacts: Sgt. John McDerby, Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 278