DNREC Asking the Public to Report Sightings of Wild Turkeys During July and August

Photo Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is looking for volunteers to help with its annual wild turkey productivity survey during July and August.

The public is encouraged to monitor and report wild turkey sightings in Delaware to provide data that helps DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife sustainably manage the state’s turkey population. Since the annual wild turkey productivity survey began in 2010, Delaware’s citizen conservationists have helped collect information on turkey populations within the state by generating consistent data on turkey distribution, productivity and sex/age ratios.

The 2020 survey period runs from July through Aug. Upon each wild turkey sighting, volunteers are asked to record the date, county, turkey management zone, and number of hens (adult females), gobblers (adult males), and poults (young of the year). Volunteers are asked to submit their results to the division by September 10, 2020.

Instructions, a data sheet, and a map of turkey management zones are available for volunteers to download at dnrec.delaware.gov and a wild turkey identification guide can be obtained on the ID Guide page or by calling the Wildlife Section at 302-735-3600, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information is available at the division’s wild turkey webpage.

The reintroduction of the wild turkey into Delaware over three decades ago, nearly 200 hundred years after it became locally extinct, remains one of Delaware’s greatest wildlife conservation success stories. After the initial release in 1984 of 34 wild-trapped turkeys into Sussex and Kent counties from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Vermont, division biologists with support from the National Wild Turkey Federation continued turkey reintroductions through the early 2000s. Once the wild turkey population had established a foothold in Delaware, a hunting season was established in the spring of 1991 that has been a continued annual tradition, with wild turkeys now found in nearly every corner of the state.

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: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov

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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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DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation extends deadline for Fenwick Island State Park Improvements Survey

FENWICK – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has extended the Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey deadline to Jan. 15, 2020. The extension is to allow further input regarding improvements to the park that are under consideration.

The estimated $18 million in proposed improvements look at ways to improve traffic flow, upgrade infrastructure, and add new recreational amenities. Ørsted, an offshore wind developer, has proposed funding these projects as part of a public-private partnership.

The funding for the amenities under consideration could be done sooner if the State allows the Maryland Skipjack Wind Farm project proposed in Federal waters to connect to the electrical grid under Fenwick Island State Park. DNREC is extending the period to take comments on the park improvements. Comments on the wind farm should be directed to United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Office of Public Affairs at BOEMPublicAffairs@boem.gov, 202-208-6474 or 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.

The Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey and its comment section are specific to the park and its amenities. For questions or to complete the survey, visit www.destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements.

For more information about the Skipjack Wind Farm, visit https://skipjackwindfarm.com. For additional information on the Federal approval process through BOEM, visit www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/maryland-activities.

Contact: Shauna McVey, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 302-739-9220.


New survey targets educators who change positions

The Delaware Department of Education has launched a new survey to learn more from educators changing positions and help stakeholders better understand educator workforce patterns across the state.

 

Understanding why educators change roles or leave their positions will help local leaders to target approaches to improve recruitment and retention efforts in their districts or schools. The Delaware Department of Education will use statewide data to identify and implement new strategies to attract and retain teachers, school leaders, and other educators across the state. 

 

“We want all Delaware students to have well-prepared and effective educators supporting their learning every day. Understanding why educators choose to change positions or schools will help us to better support educators and both keep them in or attract them to the areas in which we need them the most,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.

 

 

In addition to the department analyzing the statewide data, local school districts and charter schools will be provided local data, which will aid them in developing local strategies to address recruitment and retention challenges.

 

“Our district appreciates the work and collaboration that the department put into funding and developing the statewide Educator Mobility Survey. The data that both the department and districts and charter schools will have access to as a result of these survey responses will be significant in making necessary and meaningful improvements to our recruitment and retention practices,” Laurel School District Director of Finance and Human Resources Monet Whaley Smith said. “With the increasing shortage of certified teachers across our state, retaining our most impactful educators is of critical importance. This survey will help take the guess work out of determining why teachers leave schools, districts, and Delaware and, what we can do about it.”

 

The department plans to release a report in early 2020 based on the survey results.   

 

educator.mobility@doe.k12.de.us.

 

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


USDA to collect final 2018 crop production and crop stocks data

Dover, Del. – As the 2018 growing season officially comes to an end, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact producers in Delaware to gather final year-end crop production numbers and the amount of grain and oilseeds they store on their farms. At the same time, NASS will survey grain facility operators to determine year-end grain and oilseed stocks.

“These surveys are the largest and most important year-end surveys conducted by NASS,” explained NASS Delaware State Statistician Dale P. Hawks. “They are the basis for the official USDA estimates of production and harvested acres of all major agricultural commodities in the United States and year-end grain and oilseed supplies. Data from the survey will benefit farmers and processors by providing timely and accurate information to help them make critical year-end business decisions and begin planning for the next growing and marketing season.”

NASS will analyze the survey information and publish the results in a series of USDA reports, including the Crop Production Annual Summary and quarterly Grain Stocks reports, both to be released Friday, January 11, 2019.

“Responses to the producer survey will also be included in the County Agricultural Production Survey and used in calculating county yields,” explained Hawks. “USDA uses county yield information from the survey to evaluate and administer vital farm disaster and insurance programs. Farmers who receive this survey are not included in the County Agricultural Production Survey; therefore this is their only opportunity to be included in the calculation of Delaware’s county yields.”

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential, as required by federal law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified. All NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/. For more information call the NASS Delaware Field Office at (800) 282-8685.

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Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4500, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov