Report highlights Delawareans’ desire for climate change action

50th anniversary of Earth Week theme resonates across the state

DOVER, Del. – The theme for the 50th anniversary of Earth Week is climate change, an issue that concerns most Delawareans, according to a report commissioned by DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy. The report found 77% of Delawareans see climate change as a serious threat that will harm future generations.

The report, conducted by Standage Market Research in partnership with University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication, is based on a survey of more than 1,100 Delaware adults. The full report, published this week, is available at de.gov/climatesurvey.

The full report builds on preliminary survey results released in February. It reveals differences in perceptions of climate change and sea level rise across the state and compared to those nationwide. Key findings include:

  • A majority of adults in both Delaware and the U.S. believe climate change is an important issue. Additionally, 64% of U.S. residents are worried about climate change, and the same is true of Delaware residents (62%).
  • Delawareans in all three counties say they have been personally affected by climate change. However, New Castle County residents are more likely than residents of Kent and Sussex counties to favor immediate action to reduce the impacts of climate change (76% versus 68% and 58%, respectively).
  • Sussex County residents are more likely to say they have been personally affected by sea level rise. More than half (51%) of adults in Sussex County said they have personally experienced or observed local impacts of sea level rise, compared to 47% for Kent and 45% of New Castle residents.
  • Women are more likely than men to say we should act now on climate change (78% versus 62%). They are also more likely to say they have personally experienced or observed local impacts of climate change (62% versus 50%). Opinions about sea level rise follow similar patterns.
  • There are no significant age differences for having personally experienced or observed local impacts of climate change. However, younger adults are also more likely to favor acting now to reduce the impacts of climate change (78%, versus 64% and 69%, respectively).

“The impacts of climate change threaten our environment, economy and way of life,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Over the past decade the percentage of Delawareans concerned about this issue has increased. We continue to experience the impacts of sea level rise, hotter temperatures and more frequent intense storms, but we are also working toward solutions as we continue to develop Delaware’s Climate Action Plan.”

According to the climate perceptions survey, Delawareans support a range of options to address the causes and consequences of climate change, including:

  • 82% support preserving undeveloped land;
  • 80% believe we need stronger air pollution controls;
  • 79% support changing building codes;
  • 74% said roads and infrastructure should not be built in flood-prone areas;
  • 74% think we should increase the amount of electricity we get from renewable sources;
  • 73% believe we should improve energy efficiency standards;
  • 64% support elevating building in risk areas

Development of the Climate Action Plan will continue through 2020, with a report due in December. Public input sessions on development of the plan were held in each of the three counties in March. More than 250 people participated in those meetings, and many others have gone online to declimateplan.org to complete a questionnaire asking about various actions the state can take to address the causes and consequences of climate change.

The period to complete the questionnaire closes Friday, May 1.

Later this summer, virtual meetings will be held to gather additional public input addressing what the state can do to manage the impacts of climate change that we are already seeing, such as sea level rise. A third opportunity for the public to weigh in will occur this fall, after possible strategies have been identified.

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. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Jim Lee, jamesw.lee@delaware.gov

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2018 Education Preparation reports show programs’ progress

The Delaware Department of Education today released 2018 biennial reports on the state’s teacher and specialist educator preparation programs, part of a comprehensive effort to strengthen educator preparation programs in the First State.

 

The reports provide information ranging from the diversity of programs’ candidate classes to student performance outcomes of graduates, to employment placement and retention within the state. The reports show progress on some fronts, most notably that the state’s institutes of higher education are making some progress in attracting a more diverse class of future educators.

 

In 2018, across all educator preparation programs in Delaware, 1 in 4 candidates identified as an individual of color, compared to 1 in 5 two years ago. While about 56 percent of Delaware’s student population identifies as a race other than white, only 15 percent of the educator workforce does.

 

“Diversifying the teaching workforce is an important priority for the state as we strive to create an educator workforce that is more reflective of our student population,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said. “While we still have work to do, I commend the work our colleges and universities have undertaken to more successfully attract candidates of color to and retain them in their teacher preparation programs.”

 

The reports also show gains for specific programs.  Delaware State University has increased its program sizes across the board, for example. And University of Delaware’s Blended Early Childhood Program increased its overall score thanks to increases in student outcomes and the observation of teacher practices in PK-2 classrooms as well as supervisor perceptions of the program graduates’ level of preparedness.

 

The program reports garner programs continued approval to operate based on data.  Programs are classified into the following categories based on their performance – Renewed, Renewed With Conditions, or Probation.  Some particularly small programs are noted to be a Program Under Further Review due to extremely limited data. 

 

The reports provide prospective students considering educator preparation programs in Delaware a resource for learning about their options while the state’s districts and charter schools have additional information on the strengths of each program.

 

About half of Delaware’s novice educators are prepared by Delaware preparation programs; the reports are a part of the state’s overall strategy to strengthen such programs throughout the state. 

 

All available performance data is used to classify all programs, whether or not they generated a program report. Overall the 2018 results show 28 programs categorized as renewed, 9 programs renewed with conditions, and two programs on probation. Additionally, 14 programs are classified as a program under further review due to insufficient data. Programs that are renewed with conditions or placed on probation will be required to submit a plan of action for improvement to the Delaware Department of Education.  Programs under further review must demonstrate the workforce need the program is meeting and additional evidence of meeting program standards.   A state summary of all programs is also included in the release.

 

Media Contact: Alison May, alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, 302-735-4006

 


Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: June 25-July 1

Members of the 2018 DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Basic Youth Academy class learning to march last week.

Reminder for the week: Anglers need fishing license, FIN Number

DOVER (July 6, 2018) – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between June 25-July 1 made 4,257 contacts with anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 135 citations. Officers responded to 102 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • June 25-29, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers held their Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Basic Youth Academy at the Ommelanden Hunter Education Center, near New Castle. Twenty kids, ages 12-15, participated and received their hunting and boating education certificates.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Action

Incident of note:

  • On July 1, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested an individual for 77 counts of possession of undersized blue crabs while commercial crabbing in the Delaware Bay. He was arraigned at Kent County justice of the Peace Court 7, where he pleaded guilty and was fined $1,545 and released.

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

Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (2), failure to have required fisheries identification number (FIN) (1), possession of undersized blue crab-recreational (3), possession of undersized blue crab-commercial (80), possession of undersized white perch (1), over the limit recreational crab pots (2) and recreational crab pot tampering (1).

Boating and Boating Safety: No life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (4), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), negligent operation of a vessel (3), no tidal boat ramp certificate (2), operating under the influence of alcohol (1), towing a water skier without required observer (1), failure to observe slow no wake zone (4), failure to observe slow no wake zone-PWC (1), no Type IV PFD (1), no boating safety certificate (2) and operating an unregistered vessel (1).

Public Safety: Shellfish in a closed polluted area-recreational clamming (4), driving with a suspended license (1), civil possession of marijuana (2), possession of drug paraphernalia- marijuana related (4), possession of drug paraphernalia (2) and possession of prescription drugs not in original container (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (7)*, and fictitious vehicle registration (1)*.

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

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 http://de.gov/ogt.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind recreational anglers that a Delaware fishing license is required for fishing, crabbing, and clamming in both tidal and non-tidal waters statewide.

A resident annual Delaware recreational fishing license, which covers fresh and tidal waters as well as crabbing and clamming, costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Persons under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. For non-resident anglers age 16 and older, a Delaware fishing license costs $20.

Both resident and non-resident anglers age 16 and older also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) 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 FIN number.

Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information, call 302-739-9918.

For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2018 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Lt. John McDerby, 302-354-1386, Sgt. Brooke Africa, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913.


Lieutenant Governor, Behavioral Health Consortium Present Governor with “Three-Year Action Plan”

 

Advisory body developed roadmap to address prevention, treatment and recovery

 

WILMINGTON, Del. – On Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, along with members of the Behavioral Health Consortium, presented Governor Carney with their initial report, a “Three-Year Action Plan,” to confront addiction and mental illness across Delaware.

“I am proud to release this initial report to Governor Carney,” said Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “The members of the Behavioral Health Consortium have been meeting for over six months listening to members of the community tell their personal stories and experiences of how the addiction epidemic has affected them and gathering their feedback on how we can improve our behavioral health care system and better serve Delawareans. This report is an initial roadmap for the Governor and members of the General Assembly to address the challenges we face and start saving lives.”

Creation of the Behavioral Health Consortium was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan for Delaware. Last August, the Governor signed Senate Bill 111, creating the advisory body of advocates, health officials, law enforcement, state leaders, and members of the community to develop an integrated plan addressing prevention, treatment and recovery for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders. It has been meeting since October to develop both short and long term solutions to address behavioral health and the addiction epidemic in Delaware.

“Too many Delaware families are dealing with the effects of addiction and mental illness,” said Governor Carney. “This action plan gives us a path to follow, to directly confront many of the challenges facing Delaware families, to expand access to prevention and treatment services, and to reduce the stigma around mental illness and substance abuse. I asked Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long to lead this effort because she has the experience and leadership necessary to help us make real change. I look forward to reviewing this plan in more detail, and to talking to members of the General Assembly about a path forward. Thank you to the Lieutenant Governor, and all the advocates across our state for their leadership on this very important issue.”

Based on the data gathered by the Consortium, and from the voices of more than 600 Delawareans that participated in a community forum process, the report is divided into six main areas of action:

  • Access and Treatment
  • Changing Perceptions and Stigma
  • Corrections and Law Enforcement
  • Data and Policy
  • Education and Prevention
  • Family and Community Readiness

Each contains both immediate and longer term recommendations for action to improve the behavioral health care system in Delaware.

“Although the consortium already had a great deal of expertise among its members, the group still solicited a lot of public input that helped inform this first report,” said Representative David Bentz. “It’s also encouraging that this report includes a detailed action plan, which is something we can begin to enact almost immediately. This won’t be a report that sits on a shelf and collects dust – it’s going to get put good use right away, making a difference for residents facing mental health and substance abuse issues.”

“Thousands of families, advocates, medical professionals, and policymakers across the state have stood up and said that we need to meet the addiction crisis head-on,” said Senator Stephanie Hansen. “That’s an incredible resource, and the Behavioral Health Consortium’s focus has been keeping this train moving in the right direction. The Consortium’s final report is the product of months of work that provides a valuable North Star for Delaware as we combat this harrowing epidemic.

For more information on prevention, addiction, treatment and recovery, please visit HelpIsHereDE.com. Individuals who are suffering from addiction can also call DHSS’ 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected to treatment options. In New Castle County, call 800-652-2929, or Kent and Sussex Counties, call 800-345-6785.

Click here to view the Behavioral Health Consortium’s Three-Year Action Plan.

Click here to view the livestream from today’s event.

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Related news:
Delaware Opioid Prescription Rates Falling Seven Months After New Regulations Enacted
In Response to Addiction Epidemic, DHSS Seeks Proposals to Implement Centers of Excellence Model to Improve State’s Substance Use System of Care
Delaware Steps Up Fight Against Addiction; Begins Work to Expand Mental Health Services
Governor Carney Signs Legislation Forming a Behavioral Health Consortium and Addiction Action Committee in Delaware
Governor Carney Signs Package of Legislation to Combat Addiction Crisis


Governor Carney Releases Initial Report of Department of Correction Independent Review

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday released the initial report of the Independent Review into causes of the February 1 hostage incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. A final report is due to the Governor by August 15.

“I’d like to thank Judge Chapman and former U.S. Attorney Oberly. The review team has worked hard to examine the conditions that may have contributed to the February 1 incident, and to recommend changes that will help us improve security inside James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, and across Delaware’s correctional system,” said Governor Carney. “I am continuing to review the recommendations. But as I have said since February, we will take this report seriously. It will not collect dust on a shelf. We are committed to taking appropriate action that will enhance safety and security for Delaware’s correctional officers and inmates at Vaughn and at all of Delaware’s correctional facilities. We owe that to Lieutenant Floyd and all the victims of the February 1 incident.”

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