‘Pollinators for Clean Water’ presentations Feb. 6 and March 20 at Seaford Library as part of Reclaim Our River Program

SEAFORD – The DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Reclaim Our River (ROR) program, in partnership with the Delaware Nature Society and the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, will host two free presentations on pollinators and gardening for clean water at the Seaford Library Feb. 6 and March 20. Both presentations start at 6 p.m. at the library located at 600 N. Market Street Extended, Seaford, DE 19973.

The presentations will address how, over the last 20 years, the monarch butterfly population worldwide has declined by 90 percent – a critical environmental loss since plants depend on pollinators such as butterflies to reproduce. They also will focus on how pollinators enable flowering plants to help purify water and prevent erosion through roots that hold the soil in place and foliage that buffers the impact of rain as it falls to the earth.

All who attend and participate will receive free milkweed seeds along with information on activities that support clean water by ROR partnership members. Attendees also will learn about this year’s 2017 ROR-Nanticoke Series which again offer numerous opportunities to have fun around the water and learn surefire techniques for keeping our waterways clean, according to Philip Miller, DNREC Nonpoint Source Program, Division of Watershed Stewardship.

The Feb. 6 pollinator presentation will be given by Mike McFarlin, who has single-handedly raised hundreds of monarch butterflies each summer in an attempt to repopulate Delaware’s monarch population. His presentation will delve into this majestic butterfly’s migration routes and the impact humans have on their environment. Mr. McFarlin will also discuss his experiences looking for eggs, raising the monarch from eggs, feeding them, and ultimately releasing the developed butterfly.

The second presentation March 20 will be led by Alice Mohrman from the Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, and will focus on gardening for clean water and butterflies. From Ms. Mohrman, participants will learn how to invite pollinators, birds and butterflies to your yard, deck, patio, or balcony. Also provided are tips on how to landscape your yard, big or small, with attractive native plants which support wildlife habitat while helping to reduce pollution in our waterways. Ms. Mohrman also will demonstrate a few easy steps toward creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

For more information about both presentations, please contact Alice Mohrman at 302-422-0847 or alice@delawarenaturesociety.org. For more information on the Reclaim Our River program, please contact Philip Miller at 302-739-9939 or Philip.miller@delaware.gov.

The Reclaim Our River – Nanticoke Series is devoted to bringing monthly events, workshops and recreational activities to the Nanticoke Watershed. The series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with Delaware’s waterways and provides important information on water quality that can help in protecting aquatic resources.

Media Contact: Philip Miller, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship Nonpoint Source Program, 302-739-9939; email: philip.miller@delaware.gov

Vol. 47, No. 23

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H. Donovan Phillips Jr. appointed as Delaware member of Chesapeake Bay Local Government Advisory Committee

DOVER – Governor Jack Markell has appointed H. Donovan Phillips, Jr. to serve as a member of the Chesapeake Bay Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC), created by the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council through the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement. The Chesapeake Executive Council – whose members include the governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission Chair and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator – was established in 1983 with responsibilities for guiding the Chesapeake Bay Program’s policy agenda and setting conservation and restoration goals for the bay.

Mr. Phillips, Delaware’s LGAC appointee, is a Laurel town councilman, and a founding member, chairman, and board member of the Laurel Redevelopment Corporation (LRC). The mission of the LRC, a non-profit corporation, is to enhance the quality of life in Laurel by obtaining, rehabilitating and revitalizing properties that increase economic development for the town.

DNREC and the Division of Watershed Stewardship work in partnership with the Town of Laurel, the LRC and Chesapeake Bay LGAC to enhance the natural assets along the waterfront of Broad Creek, a tributary of the Nanticoke River. The LRC’s vision is to create activities and businesses that will enhance the attractiveness of the town while protecting and improving the health of important aquatic resources. The LRC owns, develops, and protects the parks and properties along 95 percent of the Broad Creek shoreline within the town’s boundaries.

As an LGAC member, Mr. Phillips will advise the Chesapeake Executive Council on how to effectively implement projects and engage the support of local governments to achieve the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Signatories to the 2014 agreement include representatives from the entire watershed, committing for the first time the Bay’s headwater states to full partnership in the Bay Program.

The Chesapeake Bay LGAC’s mission is to share the views and insights of local elected officials with state and federal decision-makers, and to enhance the flow of information among local governments about the health and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Also of importance to the LGAC’s mission is the challenge of nutrient and sediment load reduction facing local jurisdictions within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

More information on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement can be found at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/chesapeakebaywatershedagreement/page. More information on the Chesapeake Bay Local Government Advisory Committee can be found at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/groups/group/local_government_advisory_committee

Contact: Jennifer Walls, DNREC Watershed Assessment and Management Section 302-739-9939; email: jennifer.walls@delaware.gov

Vol. 46, No. 434

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DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship to host free rain barrel building workshop March 19 in Blades

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship will host a free rain barrel building workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 19 at the Blades Town Hall, 20 West 4th Street, Seaford, DE 19973. All supplies will be provided and participants after completing the workshop will leave with their free rain barrel.

The workshop will begin with an overview of rain barrels including the benefits, do’s and don’ts, assembly and maintenance. The Delaware Nature Society also will share other techniques to help improve Delaware’s waterways. Workshop participants will receive free kits to convert plastic drums into rain barrels, with plastic drums donated by Dogfish Head Brewery and Coca-Cola. Participants will choose and assemble their barrel, with assistance available from DNREC staff.

The number of participants is limited and pre-registration is required, with free tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rain-barrel-building-workshop-tickets-22499188679

For more information about the rain barrel building workshop, please contact Philip Miller at 302-290-3578 or philip.miller@delaware.gov.

The rain barrel building workshop is part of “Reclaim Our River, Nanticoke Series,” a program designed to bring more water quality-oriented events, workshops and recreational opportunities to the Nanticoke Watershed. This program provides important information on techniques to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution and other ways to improve water quality. The series also promotes public access to waterways and provides recreational opportunities as a way to connect residents to their waterways and inspire them to make improvements. For more information on the Reclaim Our River Program, click: http://delawarewatersheds.org/. For upcoming Reclaim Our River events, click 2016 Reclaim Our River Calendar of Events or Reclaim Our River Series Guide.

What is a Rain Barrel?
A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores water from roofs and downspouts for uses such as watering lawns, gardens, and house plants; cleaning off gardening tools; and washing your car. Rain barrels help lower your water bills, particularly in the summer months by collecting thousands of gallons of water a year. Rain barrels are also important for our environment because they help reduce water pollution by decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff reaching our streams and rivers. An average rainfall of one inch within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house. This stormwater runoff picks up anything on the ground such as litter, excess fertilizer, pet waste, and motor oil, transporting it to storm drains that dump the untreated water directly into our waterways.

Media Contact: Philip Miller, 302-290-3578, or philip.miller@delaware.gov

Vol. 46, No. 69