DNREC showcases Delaware’s coastal and natural resources on Oct. 6 at Coast Day in Lewes

LEWES – Delaware’s coastal and natural resources will be featured from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6 at DNREC’s Coast Day education tent between the Smith and Cannon buildings on the campus of the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958.

Coast Day is the university’s annual outreach event that attracts thousands of visitors from Delaware and throughout the region to showcase the latest in ocean science and conservation.

“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.”

DNREC’s tent features the agency’s diverse programs that help 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:
Shoreline and Waterway Management Section’s Dune Sign Contest winners display, floodplain mapping tool, and dredging survey

  • The Delaware Bayshore Initiative’s mini-theater and DuPont Nature Center’s touch tank
  • DNREC volunteer opportunities at the EcoCafe
  • The Delaware Shorebird Project
  • DNREC Recycling Program information and sorting activity
  • Outdoor Delaware magazine
  • Cape Henlopen State Park Nature Center and Fort Miles programs
  • Resources for the public on ocean science from Delaware Coastal Programs
  • Air quality monitoring equipment demonstrations
  • Information on bats and white-nose syndrome with audio of bat calls and videos from the Species Conservation & Management Program
  • Mosquito Control Section‘s tips for knocking out pests
  • Wetlands conservation activities for the whole family
  • DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances will provide information on Brownfields Development and Heating Fuel Underground Storage Tank Closure Assistance programs.

For more information on the event, visit https://www.deseagrant.org/coast-day.

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

Vol. 49, No. 241

DNREC Shoreline & Waterway Management Section announces results from dune sign contest

DOVER – The results are in for the DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section’s “Keep Off the Dunes” signage contest, which invited the public to submit eye-catching and effective original artwork and messaging to remind beachgoers of the importance of protecting Delaware’s vibrant but fragile dune system.

Winners were selected in three categories by Shoreline & Waterway Management staff from 36 entries:

First place – The Chesapeake Mermaid, Angela R. Mitchell, Chesapeake Beach, Md.
Second place – Jane Mruk, Odessa
Third place – Gregory Young, Wilmington

First place – Amanda Silar, Sussex Technical High School
Second place – Ally Collier, Sussex Technical High School
Third place – Nadjina Bogle, Sussex Technical High School

First place – Lily Reed, Felton
Second place – Ava Shilling, Hereford, Md.*
Third place – Sydney P., Hereford, Md.*
*Signs made in the Water Family Fest, held in June at the James Farm Preserve in Ocean View

Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay coastal dunes are vital in the state’s defense against coastal storms and extreme weather events. Dunes are also important natural habitats for plants and animals. To keep dunes strong enough to help protect our environment and the ecosystems they support, Delawareans need to protect the dunes by staying off of them. DNREC emphasizes this message by posting beach signs to encourage beach-goers to use provided crossovers along the dune system to avoid damaging the dunes.

To see the winners of the Keep Off the Dunes sign contest, please visit https://de.gov/dunesign. Winners will be announced and their entries displayed at University of Delaware’s Coast Day Oct. 6. The winning artwork in the contest may be reproduced as signs and placed near dunes along Delaware’s coastline.

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

DNREC, City of Lewes launch outreach campaign to clear Lewes dune of illegally-stored personal items such as kayaks

Items stored on the dune can damage it, and the vegetation that helps hold it together.

DOVER – Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the City of Lewes will launch an awareness campaign next week aimed at clearing the Lewes dune of personal effects such as boats and kayaks that are stored illegally on the dune – not only causing harm to the dune but preventing it from protecting coastal properties and from providing natural habitat for native wildlife.

Lewes Dune Protection FlyerIn collaboration with the city, DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section within the Division of Watershed Stewardship will distribute a flyer advising against storing items such bikes, boats, kayaks and other water sports equipment on the dune. DNREC is mailing the flyer as a reminder to all Lewes property owners seaward of the canal in Lewes Beach – property owners within walking distance to the dune – that storing items on the dune is breaking the law in Delaware.

A second reminder to property owners and their guests is obeying another state law limiting pedestrian access and vehicle traffic on the dune. This law prohibits operation of motorized vehicles, transportation or storage of any type of boat, and pedestrian traffic across or on the primary dune on any state-owned or state-maintained public beach, except at dune crossing locations approved by DNREC.

The Shoreline & Waterway Management Section notes that for a dune to provide best protection for coastal properties, a continuous dune line needs to be maintained. A low spot in the dune can allow storm tides and waves to create a dune breach, exposing properties behind the protective dunes to storm waves. Structures, cars, trucks, bikes, boats, and other equipment placed in the dune area and heavy use of dunes by pedestrians for access to the beach can destroy vegetation and lower the elevation of the dune, thereby reducing the dune’s protection capabilities. Illegally storing manmade items, such as kayaks, boats or beach chairs smothers the beach grass that supports and helps sustain the dune. Without beach grass, sand is not trapped in the dune – and when sand is not trapped, it can be blown away by the wind, creating weak spots in the dune that can be breached by flood waters during coastal storms.

DNREC also has begun placing signage at Lewes Beach to remind beachgoers to stay out of the dunes, and will begin installing sand fencing in the same area where the signs are erected later in the season. For more information on dune protection, please contact DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section at 302-739-9921 or the City of Lewes at 302-645-7777.

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

Vol. 49, No. 210

Online registration now open to volunteers for 32nd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup sponsored by DNREC

DOVER – Online volunteer registration is now open for the 32nd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 14. Sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the cleanup spans the First State’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes river and ocean shorelines as well as wetland and watershed areas. This year, volunteers will focus on more than 45 sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties for cleanup.

DNREC LogoIndividual volunteers and groups are strongly encouraged to preregister on DNREC’s website at de.gov/coastalcleanup to ensure enough supplies are readied for each site. Preregistration will close Monday, Sept. 2.

Groups of 10 volunteers or more also are asked to contact Delaware Coastal Cleanup Coordinator Joanna Wilson by phone at 302-739-9902, or by emailing joanna.wilson@delaware.gov, or to contact the appropriate zone captain listed on the website for advance site placement.

At last year’s Coastal Cleanup, 1,115 dedicated volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected 2.7 tons of trash from 42 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. Cleanup volunteers’ more unusual finds included a dishwasher, a message in a bottle from 2007, a knife in a sheath, mattress springs, scissors, charcoal grill, pirate hat, car muffler, beach chair, bushel baskets, street sign, key card, glow stick, ink cartridge, pacifier, pith helmet, car console, golf club handle, metal canopy frame, a troll doll, a Nintendo game controller, and a Rubik’s Cube.

Delaware’s Cleanup is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines, rivers, streams, and lakes by volunteers. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world help each year to rid the environment of marine debris and collect detailed information on the types and quantities of refuse they find. Information is recorded on data cards and sent to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles data for all cleanups to help identify debris sources and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing marine debris. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please call DNREC Public Affairs at 302-739-9902.

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

Vol. 49, No. 202


DNREC Sec. Garvin joins State Sen. Hocker, State Rep. Gray, at ribbon-cutting at Holts Landing State Park

Cutting the ribbon (left to right): Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens, State Rep. Ronald Gray, State Sen. Gerald Hocker, DNREC Sec. Shawn M. Garvin, and Friends of Holts Landing State Park President Robert Printz, with a group of children from Ocean View.

DAGSBORO – DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin was joined by State Senator Gerald Hocker, State Representative Ronald Gray, and other supporters at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate numerous new enhancements at Holts Landing State Park in Dagsboro.

Improvements include a new playground, an improved, A.D.A.-accessible hiking trail, and a freshly-paved parking area and roadway.

“Since 2016, the Division of Parks & Recreation, with the financial support of Senator Gerald Hocker and Representative Ronald Gray, along with the tireless support of the Friends of Holts Landing State Park, have undertaken a number of projects to enhance the visitor experience at this oasis on the southern shore of the Indian River Bay,” said Secretary Garvin. “I thank Senator Hocker and Representative Gray, the Friends of Holts Landing State Park, and the Division of Parks & Recreation, for making these many improvements possible.”

Construction is also underway on a new boardwalk that will stretch more than 600 feet across marsh to complete the Sea Hawk trail loop, and a viewing platform that will overlook the marsh.

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