Weatherization Program Helps Delawareans Invest in Their Homes

Program is Free to Delaware Families Who Qualify

It’s time for Delawareans to prepare their homes for winter weather. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control offers the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) at no cost to qualified low-income families to reduce energy costs.

DNREC encourages Delaware homeowners and renters to review the eligibility guidelines at https://de.gov/wap to then receive a free energy audit. An auditor will determine the services to improve the energy efficiency of the homes. Typical services include air-sealing, insulation, heating system repair, lighting upgrades and minor repairs that are necessary to complete energy-saving measures.

Last year, 195 Delawareans benefited from this program, with an average estimated savings of $283 per home per year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The program will now be available throughout Delaware by Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA), which had previously contracted to provide services to 200 homes in New Castle County. Following a recent state competitive bidding process, ECA is contracted to weatherize an additional 200 homes each year in Kent and Sussex counties and, at the start of their contract, has a client waiting list with 100 potential homes. ECA will use two subtractors, Eleventh House Solutions and HELP Initiative, to provide administrative functions.

People interested in receiving weatherization services anywhere in the state can contact ECA at 302-504-6111 or ecasavesenergy.org/delaware-weatherization.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

###


DNREC Natural Resources Police Make Arrests in Stolen Vessel Incident

Matthew Tortu

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Matthew Tortu, 24, and Travis Gooding, 21, both of Coatsville, Pennsylvania on August 22 for multiple felony criminal charges and boating violations in response to and after investigating a report of a stolen vessel.

The suspects were allegedly observed before daybreak on August 22 in a vessel aground on a sand bar in the Indian River Bay by other boaters in the area who reported the incident and that the vessel occupants were not the owners of the subject vessel. Natural Resources Police officers responded to the report and arrested Tortu and Gooding at the site upon determining that the Maritime Skiff vessel had been stolen earlier that morning from Tuckahoe Acres where it was moored.

Tortu and Gooding were both charged with one count each of felony theft, felony conspiracy, criminal mischief, no boating safety certification, no navigation lights and negligent operation of a motor vessel. Gooding was also charged with one count of failure to maintain a proper lookout.

Travis Gooding

Tortu was arraigned by video phone with Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on an unsecured bond of $4,040, pending a future court appearance in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.

Gooding was arraigned by video phone with Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on an unsecured bond of $4,050, pending a future court appearance in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.

Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

The public is encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

###


DNREC Lifts Second Recreational Swimming Advisory for Rehoboth Beach

DNREC lifted a recreational swimming advisory for Rehoboth Beach at Rehoboth Avenue Friday afternoon after water quality tests taken Thursday showed bacteria levels had returned below the advisory level.

The second advisory of the year for Rehoboth Beach at the Rehoboth Avenue location had been issued Thursday, Aug. 20, based on results from Wednesday’s regularly scheduled sampling by DNREC’s Recreational Water Program. Ocean beach swimming advisories based on bacteria levels usually end after a day or so.

DNREC water quality experts say the elevated level of bacteria that caused both Rehoboth advisories are most likely associated with heavy rainfall, which most recently fell in the area Wednesday. These bacteria originate in the gut of warm-blooded animals, such as wildlife or domestic pets – and indicator bacteria from these sources washes into near-shore waters during periods of heavy rainfall.

The current advisory status and history of test results for monitored recreational waters in Delaware, including ocean and bay beaches as well as some inland ponds, is at https://recwaters.dnrec.delaware.gov/. Anyone can sign up at the site to be notified of recreational water advisories when they are issued.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

###


DNREC Issues Recreational Swimming Advisory for Rehoboth Beach

DNREC has issued a recreational swimming advisory for Rehoboth Beach at Rehoboth Avenue based on elevated levels of bacteria found today in a sample taken Wednesday by the Department’s environmental scientists.

Elevated levels of bacteria at Rehoboth Avenue are often associated with heavy rainfall as occurred in the area Wednesday morning. These bacteria originate in the gut of warm-blooded animals, such as wildlife and domestic pets – and indicator bacteria from these sources washes into near-shore waters during periods of heavy rainfall.

DNREC’s Recreational Water Program staff has collected another water sample, with results available Friday afternoon, at which time a decision will be made to lift the current recreational swimming advisory or to extend it. Ocean beach advisories usually can be ended after a day or so, as was the case with the previous Rehoboth advisory issued July 30 and lifted the next day.

The City of Rehoboth Beach has been notified of the recreational advisory, and notice has gone out on DNREC’s Recreational Water advisory notification listserv.

Additional information on recreational swimming advisories and DNREC’s water testing program, and instructions on how to join the advisory notification list, can be found at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/watershed-stewardship/assessment/recreational-water-monitoring/

The current advisory status for DNREC-monitored beaches and water bodies is at https://recwaters.dnrec.delaware.gov/.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

###


Wastewater, Surface Water and Drinking Water Planning Grant Proposals Now Being Accepted by DNREC, DPH

State government agencies, county and municipal governments, and conservation districts can now submit proposals to DNREC and the Delaware Division of Public Health to receive matching grants for wastewater, surface water and drinking water project planning. Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.

Eligible projects include planning, preliminary engineering and feasibility analysis of wastewater and/or drinking water projects; stormwater retrofits; green technology practices; stream and wetland restoration projects; small watershed studies; master surface water and drainage plans; and other source water pollution control projects.

Grant applications of up to $50,000 will be considered with a one-to-one cash match requirement. Up to 10 percent of the grant funds may be used for administrative costs. There is an annual cumulative grant award cap of $100,000 per successful applicant per fiscal year for wastewater and surface water planning grants. Drinking water planning grants can be for any amount, provided funds are available.

The Wastewater, Drinking Water, and Surface Water Matching Planning Grant programs are set-asides in the state’s Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Fund. Projects will be recommended for funding by the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council (WIAC) through a competitive grant process.

  • Wastewater Planning Grants assist with wastewater infrastructure project planning and design necessary to submit a loan application for funding consideration. For project guidelines and an application, visit Wastewater Matching Planning Grant.
  • Surface Water Planning Grants support projects and activities that focus on reducing surface water runoff and improving water quality in impaired watersheds. For project guidelines and an application, visit Surface Water Matching Planning Grant.
  • Drinking Water Planning Grants help municipal water systems prepare for large, often-costly projects such as troubleshooting source water quality and proposing solutions, reconfiguring water plants to optimize treatment, and determining water main size and locations, among other activities. For project guidelines and an application, visit Drinking Water Matching Planning Grant.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

###