DOVER – The results are in for the DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section’s “Keep Off the Dunes” signage contest, which invited the public to submit eye-catching and effective original artwork and messaging to remind beachgoers of the importance of protecting Delaware’s vibrant but fragile dune system.
Winners were selected in three categories by Shoreline & Waterway Management staff from 36 entries:
First place – The Chesapeake Mermaid, Angela R. Mitchell, Chesapeake Beach, Md.
Second place – Jane Mruk, Odessa
Third place – Gregory Young, Wilmington
First place – Amanda Silar, Sussex Technical High School
Second place – Ally Collier, Sussex Technical High School
Third place – Nadjina Bogle, Sussex Technical High School
First place – Lily Reed, Felton
Second place – Ava Shilling, Hereford, Md.*
Third place – Sydney P., Hereford, Md.* *Signs made in the Water Family Fest, held in June at the James Farm Preserve in Ocean View
Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay coastal dunes are vital in the state’s defense against coastal storms and extreme weather events. Dunes are also important natural habitats for plants and animals. To keep dunes strong enough to help protect our environment and the ecosystems they support, Delawareans need to protect the dunes by staying off of them. DNREC emphasizes this message by posting beach signs to encourage beach-goers to use provided crossovers along the dune system to avoid damaging the dunes.
To see the winners of the Keep Off the Dunes sign contest, please visit https://de.gov/dunesign. Winners will be announced and their entries displayed at University of Delaware’s Coast Day Oct. 6. The winning artwork in the contest may be reproduced as signs and placed near dunes along Delaware’s coastline.
Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police announce results from 33rd Annual Youth Fishing Tournament
DOVER – Under mostly sunny skies, 165 young anglers and their families gathered Saturday, June 1, at three Delaware ponds for DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 33rd Annual Youth Fishing Tournament. All fish caught in the tournament were weighed and released, as young anglers learned a first-hand lesson in conservation.
The New Castle County location, Lums Pond near Bear, drew 77 young anglers casting lines; in Kent County, the Akridge Scout Reservation pond near Camden had 62 youngsters turn out; and in Sussex County, Ingrams Pond near Millsboro reeled in 26 participating young anglers.
When the day was done, 15-year-old Elise Britton of Middletown was the overall statewide winner, as well as the New Castle County winner, for the third year in a row, with a total weight of 24.17 pounds that included a 9.6-pound carp, the largest fish caught in this year’s tournament.
Other big fish included a 1.9 pound largemouth bass caught at the Akridge Scout Reservation by Kent County winner Kirra Noble of Frederica and a 0.71 pound largemouth bass caught at Ingrams Pond by Camrin Croney of Ocean View. The smallest fish of the day at each location were caught by: Morgan Stonebraker, with a 0.004 pound killifish from Lums Pond; Lyla Hughes, with a 0.04 pound bluegill from the Akridge Scout Reservation pond; and Cohen Betts, with a 0.02 pound bluegill from Ingrams Pond.
This year’s county winners and the overall statewide winner will be invited to a special trophy presentation on Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 25, at the 2019 Delaware State Fair in Harrington.
New Castle County winners
Other New Castle County winners at Lums Pond, by age group and total weight of fish caught, were: Ages 4 through 7
First place – Wesley Jones, age 7, of Wyoming, 13.35 pounds
Second place – Landon Gonzalez, age 6, of Newark, 4.58 pounds
Third place – Mikey Hopkins, age 4, of New Castle, 1.09 pounds Ages 8 through 11
First place – Tyler Trzonkowski, age 10, of Middletown, 2.62 pounds
Second place – Jonathon Pollock, age 11, of Middletown, 2.37 pounds
Third place – Jacob Halter, age 10, of Townsend, 1.84 pounds Ages 12 through 15
First place – Sean Jones, age 12, of Wyoming, 5.72 pounds
Second place – Foster Wilkins, age 14, of Landenberg, Pa., 4.12 pounds
Third place – Jenaya Vann, age 14, of Bear, 3.41 pounds
Kent County winners
At the Akridge Scout Reservation pond, Kirra Noble, age 9, of Frederica, was the day’s overall winner with a total of 8.02 pounds of fish. Other Kent County winners were: Ages 4 through 7
First place – Wyatt Meisinger, age 6, of Dover, 1.12 pounds
Second place – Brielle Douglas, age 7, of Middletown, 0.75 pounds
Third place – Collin Meisinger, age 5, of Dover, 0.65 pounds Ages 8 through 11
First place – Elyse Fuller, age 11, of Camden, 2.13 pounds
Second place – Hayley Walgren, age 11, of Dover, 1.79 pounds
Third place – Amanda Lee, age 10, of Milford, 1.31 pounds Ages 12 through 15
First place – Ethan Wong, age 15, of Frederica, 4.62 pounds
Second place – Dominic Garcia, age 14 of Smyrna, 4.52 pounds
Third place – Garrett Payne, age 14, of Dover, 4.28 pounds
Sussex County winners
At Ingrams Pond, Luke Hitchens, age 12, of Dagsboro, was the day’s overall winner with a total of 5.39 pounds of fish. Other Sussex County winners were:
Ages 4 through 7
First place – John Timmons V, age 7, of Georgetown, 3.94 pounds
Second place – Landon Cathell, age 7, of Laurel, 1.53 pounds
Third place – Colton Perdue, age 6, of Selbyville, 1.41 pounds Ages 8 through 11
First place – Cohen Betts, age 9, of Milton, 2.41 pounds
Second place – Tyler Tranfaglia, age 11, of Dagsboro, 2.02 pounds
Third place – Madison Culley, age 8, of Laurel, 1.80 pounds Ages 12 through 15
First place – Camrin Croney, age 13, of Ocean View, 2.82 pounds
Second place – Ava Puddicombe, age 12, of Laurel, 2.23 pounds
Third place – Carmela Marzullo, age 13, of Georgetown, 0.42 pounds
Tournament winners received trophies and prizes, and all participants received prizes. This year’s tournament sponsors and supporters included statewide donor Cabela’s, and the following donors listed by county:
New Castle County – Almars Outboards, Betts Garage, and Reynolds Auto Collision
Kent County – Dover Walmart, Camden Walmart, Harrington Food Lion, Milford Food Lion, Williamsville Country Store, and Haass’ Family Butcher Shop
Sussex County – Rick’s Bait and Tackle, BJ’s, Giant Food, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Dewey Beach Lions Club, Funland, Hook ’em and Cook ’em Bait and Tackle, Jungle Jim’s, Lewes Harbour Marina, Lingo Marine, Old Inlet Bait and Tackle, Ice House Bait and Tackle, Shorts Marine, The Lead Pot, White Water Mountain, and A1 Sanitation
The Youth Fishing Tournament was established to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. The tournament, held annually in June, is open to youth ages 4 through 15. For more information on the Youth Fishing Tournament, please call 302-739-9913 or visit Youth Fishing Tournament.
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. 150
Governor’s 2019 Agricultural and Urban Conservation Award winners honored today
DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin congratulates Kent County Agricultural Award honoree Alfred Moor Jr. of Smyrna, with his granddaughter-in-law Hallie Moor, great-grandson Everett Moor, and Gail Montgomery.
Delaware Association of Conservation Districts also honors Legislator of the Year
DOVER – The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village was the setting for today’s annual Governor’s Agricultural and Urban Conservation Awards. Governor John Carney, along with DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Delaware Association of Conservation Districts President Edwin Alexander, and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Kasey Taylor, led a ceremony recognizing this year’s honorees and signed a proclamation officially designating April 28-May 4 as Soil and Water Stewardship Week in Delaware under the theme, “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper.”
“Today’s honorees have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to improving the environment, and on behalf of Delawareans, I thank each of them for their dedication and for their time, effort, and investment to implement model conservation practices,” said Governor Carney. “I also want to thank all of the Conservation District supervisors and employees for the many and various contributions they make to improve the quality of life in Delaware.”
“Much of the work we do at DNREC is accomplished through partnerships with Delaware’s three conservation districts and USDA-NRCS, and these awards highlight the beneficial outcomes of these relationships,” said Secretary Garvin. “This year’s honorees are outstanding and diverse examples of how we can learn from the success of others and can all be better environmental stewards by taking thoughtful and important actions to protect and enhance our water and air quality.”
This year’s Conservation Award winners are:
NEW CASTLE COUNTY
AGRICULTURAL: Colonial School District Penn Farm, New Castle
Now in its seventh year, the Colonial School District’s Penn Farm provides real-world life experiences to more than 300 students each year in the areas of field scale crop production, production gardening, animal husbandry, agri-business marketing, environmental best practices, and food safety skills. The farming operation includes nutrient and irrigation management, soil health tillage practices, on-farm and farm market sales, and retail management experiences. The Penn Farm’s 4-acre operation produces nearly 20,000 pounds of produce annually, with approximately half going to the school lunch program and half to the local community, local farm markets, and 40 local members of Community Supported Agriculture. The Penn Farm is Delaware’s prototype farm-to-school program, and demonstrates the benefits collaboration between the school district and students, families, local communities and supporting businesses. Partners include the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Delaware State University, Delaware Cooperative Extension, Trustees of New Castle Common, Foodbank of Delaware, Delaware Greenways and New Castle County.
URBAN: New Castle County Department of Public Works, for the Westwoods Stormwater Management Pond Upgrade, near Hockessin
The Westwoods stormwater management pond failed following a severe storm in July 2017. The storm washed away a 24-inch corrugated metal pipe, resulting in the collapse of a 200-foot earthen embankment that covered the pipe, leaving an open channel emptying into a tributary of Mill Creek. New Castle County’s annual stormwater amnesty program provides $1.5 million in assistance each year to retrofit and perform major repairs on residential development stormwater facilities, which helps improve water quality. NCC’s Department of Public Works contracted with New Castle Conservation District to reengineer and design the upgrade project; NCCD also provided construction inspection, permit acquisition, and construction management services when bid prices for construction of the pond upgrade project’s original design exceeded the county’s budget. The pond upgrade project restored the functions of the stormwater management pond as well as the accompanying benefits of water quality improvement and better sediment control.
AGRICULTURAL: Alfred Moor Jr., Smyrna
Alfred Moor Jr., and his son Alfred Moor III, own and operate a 6,000-acre farm near Smyrna, which over the years has included grain and dairy production, as well as a harness horse operation. An active Kent Conservation District cooperator since 1976, Alfred Moor Jr. was a responsible land steward long before it became normal operating procedure for today’s agricultural operations, by implementing state-of-the-art waste storage and nutrient management systems and installing drainage practices to ensure proper water quality and management. His life-long commitment to using conservation measures on the lands under his care has contributed to good soil health, a sustained environment, and continued integrity of the land. Mr. Moor Jr. has also served as the tax ditch manager for the Mt. Friendship Tax Ditch for 43 years, representing nearby landowners, ensuring proper ditch maintenance, and improving management and quality of waters entering the Delaware River and Bay.
URBAN: Nick Alessandro, Diamond State Pole Buildings, Felton
The Diamond State Pole Building project at 7288 South DuPont Highway just south of Woodside overcame challenging site conditions through the use of permeable asphalt and bio retention. Due to the high groundwater table at this location, and the presence of environmentally-sensitive areas surrounding the site, traditional stormwater management practices were ruled out by the owner’s engineering firm, The Pelsa Company of Newark. Permeable asphalt allows stormwater runoff to pass through into a stone bed under the parking lot. Three sections of permeable asphalt were installed in the parking spaces, with traditional asphalt used in the drive aisles for project longevity. As the first use of permeable asphalt approved by the Kent Conservation District, this project will serve as an example of the cost-effectiveness and applicability of the material, and will encourage its use on other challenging sites where traditional stormwater approaches may not be an option.
AGRICULTURAL: Richard Carlisle, Pine Breeze Farms, near Bridgeville/Greenwood
Richard Carlisle of Pine Breeze Farms, and his wife Kathy farm 1,120 acres in western Sussex County near Bridgeville and Greenwood, all within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Carlisle has long supported and participated in the Sussex Conservation District’s Soil Health Initiative and Cover Crop Program or the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service’s cover crop programs. He was instrumental in the purchase, implementation, and ongoing updates of the District’s air seeder, which he has used to establish his cover crops early to improve water quality and soil health. To address irrigation water management and improve efficiency, Pine Breeze Farms has installed new wells and pumps, and replaced aging center pivot systems and an old diesel irrigation motor with an electric motor. The farm has also improved nutrient management, using “smart soil sampling” technology and GPS yield maps to locate deficiencies in vital nutrients and help determine efficient use of fertilizers. Richard also serves as a tax ditch commissioner and officer on the Jones Mill and Jones Branch tax ditches, and worked with the District to develop a tax ditch conservation plan with a maintenance schedule and recommendations for implementing water quality best management practices.
URBAN: Town of Laurel and Laurel Redevelopment Corporation for Tidewater Park
Constructed in spring 2018, Tidewater Park brings green infrastructure improvements and stormwater management to the Town of Laurel’s waterfront area through a constructed wetland adjoining Broad Creek that was planted with native aquatic plants, and with a footbridge over the wetland connected to an existing walkway. Environmental benefits from the project include reduction of nutrients, enhancement of water quality, creation of native fish habitat, and the addition of native urban tree canopy, as well as providing stormwater management for 2.23 acres of impervious surfaces. Tidewater Park is the first phase of “The Ramble,” a redevelopment plan that incorporates the town’s waterfront into a mixed-use-based community, with the goal of enhancing the creek’s natural features while drawing tourism and businesses to create a small-town environment that is a great place to live, work, and play. Partners for implementation of Tidewater Park include the Town of Laurel, Laurel Redevelopment Corporation, Foresite Associates, DNREC, University of Delaware and the Sussex Conservation District.
Delaware Association of Conservation Districts’ Legislator of the Year
The Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD) also recognized State Representative Gerald Brady, 4th District, as the 2018 Legislator of the Year, an annual award given for outstanding service, loyalty and devotion to conservation efforts in Delaware. As a former Wilmington City Councilman from 1996-2006 and a Wilmington native who served 35 years in the Delaware Army National Guard, Rep. Brady shares a firm belief in government’s responsibility to provide sufficient infrastructure and protected resources for future generations. He was also the recent recipient of the Delaware Recreation and Parks Society’s Legislator of the Year.
Delaware’s Conservation Districts, one in each county, are a unique governmental unit working within DNREC. Their mission is to provide technical and financial assistance to help Delawareans conserve and improve their local natural resources, including solving land, water and related resource problems; developing conservation programs to solve them; enlisting and coordinating help from public and private sources to accomplish these goals; and increasing awareness of the inter-relationship between human activities and the natural environment. Delaware’s district supervisors have a statewide organization, the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD), a voluntary, non-profit alliance that provides a forum for discussion and coordination among the Conservation Districts.
Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
Vol. 49, No. 110
Charter School of Wilmington wins championship in 2019 Delaware Envirothon
First Place in the 2019 Delaware Envirothon: Wilmington Team A, left to right: Victoria Deng, Udeerna Tippabhatla, Darren Wu, Shan Yu, and Shriya Boyapati. DNREC photo.
DOVER – Charter School of Wilmington Team A is the winner of the 2019 Delaware Envirothon competition held April 11 at Delaware State University’s Outreach and Research Center near Smyrna. This is the school’s 20th win in the event’s 24-year history, including an unbroken winning streak since 2002. Charter School of Wilmington Team C finished second and Charter School of Wilmington Team B placed third in the Envirothon competition.
The Envirothon is a Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD) program with sponsorship and staff support from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. This year’s 17 competing Envirothon teams from eight high schools and one 4-H club statewide – Calvary Christian Academy, Charter School of Wilmington, Delaware Military Academy, Dover High School, Middletown High School, Newark Charter School, Polytech High School, Sussex Tech High School and Peach Blossom 4-H Club – worked hard all school year to prepare for the event.
Each team answered questions, reviewed specimens and took measurements in topics dealing with aquatic ecology, soils/land-use, wildlife, forestry, air quality and the current environmental issue of “Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge and Technology to Feed the World.” Teams also had to give a seven-to-10-minute oral presentation of a scenario based on the current environmental issue. After more than three hours of testing, Charter School of Wilmington Team A was crowned the 2019 state champion. They will now represent Delaware at the National Conservation Foundation International Envirothon held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in late July.
Each member of the winning team earned a $500 scholarship from the Delaware Envirothon and other prizes. The winning team will also receive an award plaque for their school. The second through seventh place teams received more than $2,400 in special team awards and cash prizes. Special cash awards for the top three teams in Air Quality, Forestry, and Soils were provided by DNREC Division of Air Quality, the Delaware Forestry Association, and the Pocomoke Chapter – Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Prizes in the form of gift cards and ribbons were awarded to the top seven teams. The official results are as follows: First place: Charter School of Wilmington Team A Second place: Charter School of Wilmington Team C Third place: Charter School of Wilmington Team B Fourth place: Peach Blossom 4-H Club Fifth place: Middletown High School Sixth place: Delaware Military Academy Seventh place: Newark Charter School
Since its inception, the Delaware Envirothon has awarded $60,000 in scholarships to 120 students (these numbers are updated from last year’s release). It is hosted by the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD), which is a voluntary, non-profit association that coordinates conservation efforts statewide to focus on natural resource issues identified by Delaware’s three local districts.
For more information about the Delaware Envirothon, please visit www.delawareenvirothon.org or contact Rick Mickowski at 302-832-3100 ext. 113.
Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 49, No. 95
DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces 2018 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest winners
First-place winner in the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife 2018 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest “The Fish of the 10,000 Casts,” taken by Israel Mora of Wilmington, of his son Bryan holding a muskellunge caught in the Brandywine River
DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that Israel Mora of Wilmington has been chosen as first-place winner of the 2018 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest. The winning photo – titled “The Fish of the 10,000 Casts,” and featuring Mora’s son Bryan holding a muskellunge caught from the Brandywine River – will be featured on the cover of the 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide, with four other winning photos displayed inside the guide.
The other contest winners are:
Second place: “My First Fish” by Guinn Paxton of Seaford for his photo of wife and granddaughter on the Nanticoke River.
Honorable mention: “Mase Man Reeling in the Big One” by Dana Bourdon of Wilmington for her photo of son Mason on Trap Pond.
Honorable mention: “My First Catch” by Kira Foos of Lewes for her photo of son Ethan on Killens Pond.
Honorable mention: “The Kindness of a Stranger” by Rebecca Snow of Dover for her photo showing a stranger helping her son Declan reel in a fish at Bellevue State Park.
Three judges – Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis and division staff amateur photographers Kerri Yandrich and Rebecca Hoover – selected the top five entries. Judges were looking for well composed photos that best portrayed this year’s contest theme, ‘“REEL’ Good Time.”
“Our fishing photo contest encourages anglers of all ages to experience and enjoy Delaware’s great outdoors, especially children, who are our current generation of conservationists,” DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin said. “These photos portray anglers enjoying the great sport of fishing, and we hope they inspire others to do the same. We encourage other Delaware photographers to enter next year’s contest to capture the angling experience.”
Details for the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2019 Fishing Photo Contest will be announced in April.