DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police kick off National Safe Boating Week May 18-24

Partnership announced to provide loaner life jackets to boaters

DOVER – With the 2019 summer season and ideal weather ahead, many boaters will soon be heading out on the water. DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Office of Boating Safety & Education encourages boaters to practice safe boating, not just during National Safe Boating Week from May 18-24 – but throughout the year.

Delaware, which consistently has one of the lowest boating accident rates in the country, had 36 reported boating accidents and two fatalities last year. This year, there have been two reported boating accidents to date and no related fatalities in the state.

Statistics support the vital role of wearing life jackets in keeping boaters safe. In 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 76 percent of all boating-related fatalities nationwide were drowning victims, with 84.5 percent of those victims not wearing life jackets, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

To further promote boaters to wear life jackets, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police will be kicking off a Life Jacket Loaner Program in partnership with Sea Tow Foundation, starting May 20. As an alternative to ending someone’s voyage on Delaware waterways when found to not have the required life jackets, officers will have loaner life jackets in sizes from Infant to Adult XL onboard their patrol vessels for the public to borrow and return.

“We’re excited to partner with the Sea Tow Foundation to make this Life Jacket Loaner Program available to boaters in our area,” said Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte. “This will help ensure that boaters of all ages have proper-fitting life jackets, which will go a long way toward keeping people safe while they’re out enjoying the beautiful waterways of Delaware.”

For more information, including Delaware’s boating safety course schedule and the online Delaware Boating Handbook, click Delaware Boating Safety, or contact Boating Safety & Education Coordinator Sgt. Brooke Mitchell at 302-739-9913 or email brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.

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

Media contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-382-7167, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 49, No. 125

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DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife celebrates completion of new boating facilities at Phillips Landing, Woodland Wharf

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Life-Saving Award presented. Left to right: Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Chief Drew Aydelotte, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Life Saving Award Recipient David Ritter of Millsboro, US Senator Tom Carper, State Rep. Daniel Short, State Rep. Timothy Dukes, and State Senator Bryant Richardson.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police promote boating safety, present life-saving award

Cutting the ribbon at DNREC’s new boat ramp at Phillips Landing near Laurel were, left to right: State Representative Timothy Dukes, State Rep. Daniel Short, US Senator Tom Carper, State Senator Bryant Richardson, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte, and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin..
Cutting the ribbon at DNREC’s new boat ramp at Phillips Landing near Laurel were, left to right: State Representative Timothy Dukes, State Rep. Daniel Short, US Senator Tom Carper, State Senator Bryant Richardson, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte, and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

LAUREL – Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin was joined today by state Senator Bryan Richardson, Representative Daniel Short, Representative Timothy Dukes, and DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife staff to celebrate the completion of the newly-reconstructed Phillips Landing Boating and Fishing Access Area and the Woodland Wharf Boat Dock and Kayak Launch near Laurel.

“These projects at Phillips Landing and Woodland Wharf provide new and enhanced access to the Nanticoke River and its tributaries for experiencing the recreational spectrum of boating, fishing, bird and wildlife-watching, canoeing, and kayaking along this beautiful National Historic Water Trail,” said Secretary Garvin. “We are proud to highlight these new amenities today and look forward to seeing them used and enjoyed for many years to come.”

At Phillips Landing, the old two-lane boat ramp has been replaced with a new three-lane ramp, with two floating docks and wing walls to allow safer and easier launching of boats, plus a new canoe/kayak launch. A repaved parking area, stone path for shoreline fishing, portable toilet enclosure, and solar lighting complete the project. The $1.09 million project was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration program, partnered with matching state funds from fishing license sales.

Cutting the ribbon at the new Woodland Wharf Boat Dock and Kayak Launch near Laurel were, left to right: State Rep. Daniel Short, Jessica Hammond of the Chesapeake Conservancy, State Senator Bryant Richardson, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, and Planning and Development Manager Bob Campbell, National Parks Service, Chesapeake Bay Office.
Cutting the ribbon at the new Woodland Wharf Boat Dock and Kayak Launch near Laurel were, left to right: State Rep. Daniel Short, Jessica Hammond of the Chesapeake Conservancy, State Senator Bryant Richardson, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, and Planning and Development Manager Bob Campbell, National Parks Service, Chesapeake Bay Office.

The new Woodland Wharf facility, located near the historic Woodland Ferry on the Nanticoke River on property purchased by the state in 2012, features a boat dock with a canoe/kayak launch, plus new steel bulkheads. A new six-space parking area and shoreline fishing access with a bench and bike rake complete the project. The $349,439 project was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant Program and state Bond Bill funds. The Woodland Wharf property was purchased with funds from the state Open Space Program and the National Parks Service; a combination of funds from the National Parks Service, Chesapeake Conservancy, and the State of Delaware funded planning for the site.

“Public access and land conservation are two major goals of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Projects like Woodland Wharf and Phillips Landing fuel outdoor recreation, sustainable economic development and public support for environmental conservation,” said Joel Dunn, president and chief executive officer of Chesapeake Conservancy. “We were pleased to contribute private funding from the Welfare Foundation to the Woodland Wharf project supporting the important work on the Nanticoke River, a major tributary to the Chesapeake.”

Both new boating and fishing access areas are managed by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. For more information on the Phillips Landing Boating and Fishing Access Area, the Woodland Wharf Boat Dock and Kayak Launch, or other boating and fishing access areas, please contact the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

Promoting boating safety and presentation of DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Life Saving Award
Also at the event, Secretary Garvin read Governor John Carney’s proclamation designating May 18-24 as National Safe Boating Week in Delaware, and DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police promoted safe boating practices including wearing life jackets. Local members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary were recognized for their volunteer work teaching Delaware boating safety classes.

Secretary Garvin and Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte also honored David Ritter of Millsboro with a Life Saving Award for his quick actions on the morning of April 5, when he rescued two anglers from the water after their fishing boat capsized in Indian River.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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

Vol. 49, No. 126


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: April 8-14

Reminder for the week: Start the boating season off right by wearing your lifejacket

DOVER – 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’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 8-14 made 2,451 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 63 citations. Officers responded to 69 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

  • On April 13, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a reported water rescue in the Delaware River, north of Pea Patch Island. Upon arrival, officers observed a small vessel that had run aground, leaving the passengers stranded. The operator, Nicholas E. Jordan, 30, of Carlisle, Pa., was cited for one count each of failure to maintain a proper lookout and no boating safety certificate. Jordan was fined $189, including court costs, and released.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (1), illegal method of take (1), hunting wild turkeys out of season (2), hunting wild turkeys during prohibited hours (2), failure to wear camouflage clothing while hunting wild turkey (2), hunting wild turkeys without an approved course of instruction (2), and unlicensed hunting (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Possession of undersized white perch (2)*, unlicensed fishing (2)*, fishing in a closed area (5), possession of undersized blue crab (1), no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (6), and unlicensed fishing (7).

Boating & Boating Safety: Inattentive operation of a motor vessel (1), no boating safety certificate (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (4), and no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (2).

Public Safety: Possession of marijuana – civil (1)*, possession of drug paraphernalia – marijuana-related (2), shooting within 15 yards of a public roadway (1), hunting from a vehicle (2), and possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (2).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (10), criminal trespass 3rd (1), and conspiracy 3rd degree (2).

*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 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. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters to practice safe boating, especially by wearing lifejackets. Delaware law requires that all personal watercraft (PWC) operators and PWC passengers, as well as all children 12 years old and younger aboard a vessel of any type wear a lifejacket while underway. The law does not require wearing a lifejacket for those age 13 years and older on vessels other than PWCs; however, vessel owners/operators are required to carry a readily accessible, properly sized lifejacket for each person onboard.

The same requirements that apply to motorized vessels also apply to paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks operating on Delaware waters. All paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks must have a wearable lifejacket and a whistle or other sound-producing device aboard and readily accessible.

For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, please visit Delaware Boating Safety.

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: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police now accepting applications for summer Youth Academies

DOVER – If you are a student aged 12 to 15 with an interest in natural resources and law enforcement, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police are once again offering their popular and successful summer Youth Academies, now in their fourth year.

The Youth Academy is a five-day program designed to teach youth about boating safety, hunter safety, and how to protect our natural resources, while looking to nurture the relationship between DNREC Natural Resources Police officers and the community. Participants in the Youth Academy attend tuition-free.

Since the program’s inception in 2016, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police have held seven academies, serving 122 youth, all of whom received their boating safety and hunter safety certifications. In 2018, a total of 44 students graduated from the academies.

This year’s offerings include two Basic Youth Academies and one Advanced Youth Academy:

  • Natural Resources Police Basic Youth Academy (Kent County) –
    Monday through Friday, July 8-12, Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center, 3018 Bayside Drive, Dover, DE 19901
    Application Deadline: Friday, June 7
  • Natural Resources Police Basic Youth Academy (New Castle County) –
    Monday through Friday, July 15-19, Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center, 1205 River Road, New Castle, DE 19720
    Application Deadline: Friday, June 7
  • Natural Resources Police Advanced Youth Academy (New Castle County) –
    Tuesday through Saturday, July 23-27, Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center, 1205 River Road, New Castle, DE 19720
    Application Deadline: Friday, June 7

The Basic Youth Academies are each limited to the first 20 qualified applicants, with priority given to those who have not already completed a hunter safety course or boating safety course when the academy begins. Applications must include a 250-word essay on why the applicant wants to take part in the academy and what Delaware’s natural resources mean to them. Students who complete the program will receive both their hunter and boating safety certifications.

The Advanced Youth Academy is for those who wish to continue learning what it is like to be a Natural Resources Police officer, as well as to learn additional outdoor skills. The Advanced Youth Academy is open to youth ages 12 to 15 years old who have either completed the Basic Youth Academy or have already earned their hunter safety and boating safety certifications. An overnight camping excursion is included and parent/guardian participation is mandatory for this portion.

The Advanced Youth Academy is limited to the first 15 qualified applicants, with priority given to those who have already completed the Basic Youth Academy. Applications must include a 500-word essay on either what the applicant learned from the Basic Youth Academy or, if they did not attend, what the applicant learned when they took their hunter and boating safety courses.

Applications are available online at http://de.gov/fwenforcement and at DNREC’s licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

Opportunities to support the Youth Academies are available. Without the generous support and donations from the business community, private organizations, and individuals, the youth academies would not be successful.

For more information regarding the Youth Academy, please contact Captain Brian Pollock at 302-365-8703, or email brian.pollock@delaware.gov.

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: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-382-7167, or 302-739-9913, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 75


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police accredited under national Boat Operations and Training Program

DOVER (March 28, 2019) – DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police were recently recognized as the 26th organization in the nation to be accredited under the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program. This accreditation ensures that the agency’s training practices, policies, qualification processes, and documentation meet the national standard recognized by the United States Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Established by NASBLA, the BOAT Program was developed to ensure the readiness of law enforcement and emergency response boat crews throughout the country. By adopting this national standard, an agency enhances its ability to conduct missions on our nation’s waterways safely and effectively, and to operate seamlessly with their federal, state, county, tribal, and local maritime partners.

Under the BOAT Program’s national standards, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police will train and qualify all of its officers and any requesting maritime partners in the areas of seamanship, search and rescue, and tactical response to boating emergencies, with the goal of providing an enhanced level of boating safety on Delaware’s waterways.

For additional information, contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte at 302-739-9913 or email drew.aydelotte@delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 49, No. 70