DNREC launches Environmental Perspectives, a new interactive website featuring data-driven storytelling

DOVER – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has launched a new interactive website feature called Environmental Perspectives, which uses a data-driven storytelling approach with themed stories to provide readers with an interactive platform to explore the Department’s work on critical environmental issues.

The first eight stories touch on a variety of DNREC’s efforts:

The public is invited to suggest topics to be included in future Environmental Perspectives stories by submitting ideas through the website at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/environmental-perspectives.

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

Make an ‘ECOnnection’ with DNREC at this year’s Delaware State Fair

Harrington – With the 2018 Delaware State Fair throwing open the gates tomorrow for its fun-filled 10-day run (Thursday, July 19 thru Saturday, July 28), DNREC is again right in the middle of the annual extravaganza – with an array of environmental displays in the Department’s climate-controlled State Fair building, and game prizes to be won by kids of all ages for showing their knowledge about the state’s natural resources and environment.

Under this year’s theme, “DNREC – Your ECOnnection,” DNREC’s displays link visitors to environmentally-friendly programs and ideas. Fairgoers will find information and activities from DNREC’s divisions and programs. Featured this year at the fair: DNREC’s Energy House and an interactive watershed display demonstrating how water flows and wetlands hold water that includes a 3-D map of stormwater runoff from a suburban yard draining into Delaware’s wetlands, rivers, streams, bay and the ocean. State Fair visitors young and older also are invited to play DNREC’s scavenger hunt game for discovering eco-friendly facts about Delaware that can be found within the DNREC building, and to pick from a wide range of prizes after their successful “hunt.” Visitors also can “get a charge” from DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy’s mobile solar panel display and charging station, known as T-Rex, located in front of the DNREC Building July 19-24.

Meanwhile, the DNREC On Stage theater offers a preview of programs from parks, nature centers and other facilities statewide owned and operated by the Department’s Divisions of Fish & Wildlife, Climate, Coastal & Energy, Parks & Recreation, and Watershed Stewardship. Stop by daily to learn more about what we have to offer – and discover unique new places you and your family can visit!

ECOnnect with DNREC!

Fairgoers of all ages can learn more about the science behind the work DNREC does in protecting the environment and Delaware’s natural resources. DNREC’s building includes displays, hands-on activities and educational games. At DNREC on Stage, in the building’s air-conditioned theater, they will also see live animal shows and presentations ranging from maritime history to geology to Delaware’s unique plants and animals. DNREC’s building is located on the fair grounds’ East Rider Road – admission is free and the building is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily during the fair. For more information, please the DNREC At the State Fair web page.

DNREC on Stage Schedule

Thursday, July 19

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Build Your Own Horseshoe Crab! Kids of all ages are invited to color and create their own model of a horseshoe crab, and learn more about these unique aquatic creatures. (From the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve)

Friday, July 20

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Creating Power through Natural Resources! See how water creates power by watching a steam engine in action, then create your own pinwheel to harness wind and make energy (From Auburn Heights Preserve)

Saturday, July 21

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Wacky Worms! Learn about the lives of worms and why they are important to us, by exploring worms up close with hands-on activities. (From Bellevue State Park)
  • 3 – 6 p.m. Geology Rocks! See the difference between a metamorphic rock and an igneous rock. Magnifying lenses, magnets and minerals are all part of the hands-on experience. (From White Clay Creek State Park)

Sunday, July 22

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Bringing the Zoo to You! Meet a few of the residents of Delaware’s very own zoo and learn about where and how they live. (From the Brandywine Zoo)

Monday, July 23 – Senior Day

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Travel Back to the Civil War Days! Interpreters in period costume invite children to play games and try on period costumes, then march in children’s infantry drills. (From Fort Delaware State Park)
  • 3 – 6 p.m. Beach Comes to the Fair! Live horseshoe crabs and other beach creatures travel inland to DNREC’s fair building to meet visitors. (From Cape Henlopen State Park)

Tuesday, July 24 – Kids Day

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Horseshoe Crabs and Skins, Scat and Tracks! Two fascinating programs about Delaware’s resident living fossil – the horseshoe crab – and a close-up look at identifying animals by their tracks, scat and skins. (From the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve)
  • 3 – 6 p.m. Experience Colonial Games and Toys! Costumed interpreters invite visitors to play games and check out toys from Colonial times, on the DNREC building’s porch. (From First State Heritage Park) Also, get a close-up look at one of DNREC’s environmental Emergency Response Team vehicles.
  • 3 – 6 p.m. Creatures & History of Indian River Inlet! Participants will learn about the history of this dynamic waterway, its role in our maritime history, and how it impacts the local ecology of Delaware’s inland bays. (From Delaware Seashore State Park/Indian River Life-Saving Station)

Wednesday, July 25 – Armed Forces Day/Military Appreciation Day

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Animal Adaptations! Discover how animals adapt to an urban environment through hands-on activities with Park Naturalists. (From Alapocas Run State Park/Wilmington State Parks)

Thursday, July 26 – Governors Day/Senior Day

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join DNREC’s Volunteer Olympics! Get a taste of some of the volunteer opportunities DNREC offers by competing in fast and fun games including beach grass planting and horseshoe crab counting … with prizes.
  • 1 – 2 p.m. DNREC Awards at Mann Tharp Pavilion! DNREC’s Young Environmentalists, Youth Fishing Tournament winners, Wetland Warriors, Volunteers of the Year, and DNREC photo contest winners will be recognized.
  • 2 p.m. Meet DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police! See a special presentation by one of F&W NRP’s specially-trained K-9 teams in the theater room. Also, get a close-up look at a DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resource Police vehicle and marine patrol vessel outside from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Friday, July 27

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Who’s in the Bay Today? Learn about aquatic species that live in the Delaware Bay and meet some up close! (From the DuPont Nature Center)
  • 3 – 6 p.m. Reptiles and Amphibians of Delaware! Meet the often-unnoticed creatures that crawl, hop, swim and slither in our wetlands, woods and waterways. (Killens Pond State Park)
  • 4:30 – 9 p.m. How Does Your Deer Measure Up? Learn how Boone & Crockett’s white-tailed deer scoring system works, see some examples of mounted record-holders and get your own evaluated. (On the DNREC Building porch)

Saturday, July 28

  • Noon – 3 p.m. Wildlife in the Park and in YOUR Backyard! Meet a few local animals and explore different pelts and skulls of animals found in your neighborhood.

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

DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal & Energy announces St. Jones Reserve Visitor Center closed until fall for renovations

Trails and reserve grounds near Dover will remain open throughout construction project, with restrooms accessible to visitors

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal & Energy announced today that the visitor center at the St. Jones Reserve in Dover is temporarily closed for updating of the reserve’s exhibit hall. Construction is slated to be completed in early fall. During construction, restrooms will be open during normal office hours, and trails and grounds remain open to the public every day from dawn until dusk.

The St. Jones Reserve is the southern component of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve. DNERR is a partnership between the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. DNERR is administered through the Delaware Coastal Programs Section of DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal & Energy.

For more information, please call the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve at 302-739-6377.

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

Vol. 48, No. 188


DNREC invites public to vote online for finalists in first Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship invites the public to vote on finalists in the first Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest by visiting www.delawarewatersheds.org. The contest aims to share the beauty of Delaware’s diverse environment while acting as a vivid reminder that everything happening on land within the state’s watersheds also directly affects what happens in our waterways.

A watershed is all of the land that water moves across or under while flowing to a specific body of water. The contest was open to all photographers, with images from any of Delaware’s watersheds accepted as entries. Judges were looking for striking photographic images of Delaware’s landscapes, waterscapes, native plants, and native wildlife.

Contestants entered photographs in three categories:

  • Natural Landscapes and Waterscapes of Delaware – Photographs of any waterbodies such as streams, rivers, lakes, creeks, estuaries, bay, ocean, etc. or scenic landscapes in Delaware.
  • Native Wildlife of Delaware — pictures of native animals, birds, fish, insects, and amphibians.
  • Native Plants of Delaware – photos of native plants in any setting.

Online votes must be cast by Sunday, July 8. Contest judges determined the photographs that moved on to the online voting phase of the photo contest. Public voting will determine the top finalists in each category. Photography by contest finalists will be on display at the 2018 Delaware State Fair, and will be voted on by fairgoers to determine first, second and third-place winners. The three winners in each category will receive a DNREC Delaware State Parks annual pass for 2019. First-place winners in each category also will be recognized at the annual DNREC Awards ceremony on Governor’s Day at the Delaware State Fair in July. Winning photographs also will appear in a future issue of Outdoor Delaware magazine.

For more information, please contact Phil Miller at phillip.miller@delaware.gov or 302-290-3578.

CONTACT: Philip Miller, Conservation Programs Section, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-290-3578.

Vol. 48, No. 174

DNREC to host Wetlands Celebration and Get in Gear Family Bike Rally May 5 at Trap Pond

DOVER – DNREC is celebrating May as American Wetlands Month with a variety of activities to honor wetlands as an important natural resource that plays key roles in protecting Delawareans from storms and flooding and providing habitat for wildlife. DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program will highlight wetlands by hosting a family event, releasing a new wetland video, and posting wetlands trivia and stories online.

To kick off the month, the 2nd Annual Wetlands Celebration will be held in conjunction with the 15th Annual Get in Gear Family Bike Rally from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at Trap Pond State Park in Laurel. These two events have joined together to provide fun and engaging entertainment for the whole family that brings awareness to Delmarva’s wetlands and the critters that inhabit them, as well as offering a unique mix of outdoor recreation, science, art, and history.

The Wetlands Celebration features interactive activities, exhibitors, demos, live music, and games. Families will find plenty to do, including self-guided wetland walks, enter to win a rain barrel, scavenger hunt, and free pontoon boat tours of Trap Pond. Boat tours will be offered every hour, with the last one pulling out at 2 p.m., and provide a brief history of the pond and some of the plants and animals that call Trap Pond home. Rental fees for the park’s canoes and kayaks are covered by the event admission.

Exhibitors include Delaware Museum of Natural History, DNREC’s Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program, Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, Rehoboth Art League, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Tri-State Bird Rescue, and Trap Pond State Park. Snacks will be available for purchase from food trucks.

Run by Trap Pond Partners, the Get in Gear Family Bike Rally starts at 10:30 a.m. and will traverse the perimeter of Trap Pond. Registration for the Bike Rally is $10 per person or $25 per family, and it is requested that you bring your own bike. All funds go to support Trap Pond State Park. To register or to get more information about the event, please visit the Wetlands Celebration website.

Park admission will be covered by the Bike Rally entry fee, or by mentioning the Wetlands Celebration at the fee booth; the first 150 cars that go through the booth also will receive free park admission. This outdoor event is rain or shine, but some of the day’s activities are weather-permitting.

Other Delaware American Wetlands Month activities include:

  • Wetland Warrior Award Nominations: Nominations for the 2018 Delaware Wetland Warrior Award will accepted through June 22. Now in its 11th year, the award recognizes students, teachers, classrooms, citizens, or organizations that have demonstrated exemplary efforts to benefit Delaware wetlands. The awards will be presented on Governor’s Day at the Delaware State Fair in July. Find more information about submitting a nominee at de.gov/wetlandwarriors.
  • Social Media Campaign: Each week during the month of May the Delaware Wetlands social media accounts will be posting trivia questions, highlighting unique wetlands around the state and focusing on how wetlands naturally provide important services to us every day.

DNREC’s American Wetlands Month activities are organized by the Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program. For more information, about wetlands and the program please visit de.gov/delawarewetlands.

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

Vol. 48, No. 98