DNREC Honors Young Environmentalists, Youth Fishing Tournament Winners at Delaware State Fair

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Governor John Carney with the 2022 DNREC Young Environmentalists: middle school honoree Anna Spence, high school honoree James Haley and elementary school honoree Tao Le Marchand; and Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. DNREC photo.

 

At the Delaware State Fair in Harrington today, Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin honored three Delaware students as DNREC’s Young Environmentalists of the Year for their work to protect, restore or enhance our state’s natural resources, and the three winners of the 2022 Youth Fishing Tournament.

“DNREC’s Young Environmentalist awards are an annual reminder of how today’s young people are stepping up to take leadership roles in caring for our natural resources and advocating for the health of our environment. Today, we recognize three of these young Delawareans who are already making a difference today to help ensure a better tomorrow,” said Secretary Garvin. “We also recognize the three young anglers who caught the most fish in this year’s Youth Fishing Tournament, a conservation-minded event to introduce children to the joy of catching – and releasing – fish.”

Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards:

  • Elementary School:
    Tao Le Marchand, age 10, of Newark, who goes by Ty, is passionate about endangered species. He created his own foundation, Foxtrot, raised $400 for the Wolf Sanctuary of PA and advocated for wolves to be returned to the federal endangered species list by lobbying the White House. Ty also is active in North Star Elementary School’s Earth Club and plans to study zoology toward a career in wildlife conservation.
  • Middle School:
    Anna Spence, age 13, of Harrington, noticed Styrofoam cups strewn around the cafeteria and playground at Lake Forest Central Elementary. She created a presentation that she shared with her principal and superintendent, successfully advocating for change: replace Styrofoam with paper cups, which decompose much faster than Styrofoam.
  • High School:
    James Haley, age 15, of Bethany Beach, planned and executed his Eagle Scout environmental community service project with the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, leading a team to perform GPS mapping of submerged aquatic vegetation in tributaries of the Inland Bays. For four days this spring, James and the team mapped local tributaries and accrued 146 team hours of environmental community service. This mapping data will help restore and expand beds of seagrass in the Inland Bays, providing habitat for crustaceans and fish. James also earned the Scouts BSA 50th Anniversary Environmental Protection Agency Award and merit badges in the areas of animal studies, outdoor activities, earth science, and public health.

Now in its 29th year, DNREC’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards program recognizes Delaware students whose actions have helped protect, restore or enhance our natural resources by initiating an innovative project, practicing environmental stewardship, increasing public awareness or demonstrating environmental ethics. More information about the program can be found at de.gov/YoungEnvironmentalists.

2022 Youth Fishing Tournament Winners:

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Governor John Carney with the 2022 Youth Fishing Tournament winners: Sussex County winner Brody Spencer, Kent County winner Dominic Webb, New Castle County and statewide winner Onna Crowley; Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long; and DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Saveikis. DNREC photo.
DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Governor John Carney with the 2022 Youth Fishing Tournament winners: Sussex County winner Brody Spencer, Kent County winner Dominic Webb, New Castle County and statewide winner Onna Crowley; Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long; and DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Saveikis. DNREC photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2022 Youth Fishing Tournament winners honored were:

  • Statewide and New Castle County winner Onna Crowley, age 13, of Clayton, took top honors by catching 18.8 pounds of fish in Lums Pond, including the biggest fish of the day statewide, a 12.1-pound carp.
  • Sussex County winner Brody Spencer, age 10, of Dagsboro, came in second place statewide, catching 7.19 pounds of fish at Ingrams Pond.
  • Kent County winner Dominic Webb, age 10, of Clayton took third place statewide, catching 5.25 pounds of fish at the Akridge Scout Reservation pond.

Established by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and sponsored by the Delaware Natural Resources Police, the tournament introduces youth to the sport of fishing and teaches the catch-and-release approach to conservation. The 36th annual Youth Fishing Tournament was held June 4 at three locations, one in each county: Ingrams Pond in Sussex County, Akridge Scout Reservation in Kent County, and Lums Pond in New Castle County. More information about the annual tournament is available at de.gov/yft.

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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Delaware Natural Resources Police Youth Fishing Tournament Winners Announced

Statewide Youth Fishing Tournament winner Onna Crowley, center, with OFC Callie Crouse, left, and Sr. Cpl. Adam Rourk, right, caught 18.8 pounds of fish from Lums Pond.

 

Tournament Marks 36th Year of Introducing Youth to Sport of Fishing

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control today announced the winners of the Delaware Natural Resources Police’s 36th annual Youth Fishing Tournament, held Saturday, June 4. After remotely-reported catch-and-release competitions the last two years due to the pandemic, the tournament returned with on-site tournament weighmasters at three locations across the state attended by more than 200 youth anglers: Ingrams Pond in Sussex County, Akridge Scout Reservation in Kent County, and Lums Pond in New Castle County.

Tournament participants ages 4 through 15 weighed their catches as they competed for the title of overall state winner along with trying to land each county’s top catch and age group titles. The overall winner and champion this year was Onna Crowley, age 13, of Clayton, who caught 18.80 pounds of fish at Lums Pond, including the biggest fish caught of the day, a 12.1-pound carp.

This year’s county winners and the overall statewide winner will be invited to a special trophy presentation on Governor’s Day at the 2022 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 – Myracle White, 2.29 pounds
Second place – Claire Baron, 2.23 pounds
Third place – Michael Hopkins, 0.93 pounds

Ages 8 through 11:
First place – Gabriel Alfaro, 12.14 pounds
Second place – Ace Ginevan, 3.32 pounds
Third place – Ava Ginevan, 1.36 pounds

Ages 12 through 15:
First place – Russell Reed, 7.92 pounds
Second place – Tyler Harvell, 2.82 pounds
Third place – Cody Wiseman, 2.55 pounds

Kent County Winners

At Akridge Scout Reservation, Dominic Webb was the day’s overall winner with a total of 5.25 pounds of fish. Other Kent County winners were:

Ages 4 through 7:
First place – Kohen Marvel, 2.60 pounds
Second place – Hunter Hickman, 2.09 pounds
Third place – Virginia Wallace, 2.00 pounds

Ages 8 through 11:
First place – Collin Meisinger, 4.45 pounds
Second place – Cole Smith, 2.56 pounds
Third place – Matthew DeCarlo, 2.02 pounds

Ages 12 through 15:
First place – Kirra Noble, 4.37 pounds
Second place – Evan Knutsen, 3.69 pounds
Third place – Gianna Velazquez, 3.11 pounds

Sussex County Winners

At Ingram’s Pond in Sussex County, Brody Spencer was the day’s overall winner with a total of 7.19 pounds of fish. Other Sussex County winners were:

Ages 4 through 7:
First place – Tristen Wertz, 3.17 pounds
Second place – Caden Timmons, 1.76 pounds
Third place – Lexi Briggs, 0.76 pounds

Ages 8 through 11:
First place – John Timmons, 2.29 pounds
Second place – Owen Laux, 1.91 pounds
Third place – Zachary Thompson, 1.59 pounds

Ages 12 through 15:
First place – Landon Elliot, 0.26 pounds

The Youth Fishing Tournament was established to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. More information on the Youth Fishing Tournament can be found at de.gov/yft.

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 DNREC 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 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


DNREC Honors Young Environmentalists, Volunteer of the Year, Youth Fishing Winner at Delaware State Fair

Governor John Carney (right) and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin congratulate DNREC’s High School Young Environmentalist of the Year, Julia Rial of Sussex Academy /DNREC photo

At the Delaware State Fair in Harrington yesterday evening, Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin honored three dedicated Delaware students as DNREC’s Young Environmentalists of the Year for their work to protect, restore or enhance our state’s natural resources, along with a DNREC Volunteer of the Year and this year’s winner of the annual Youth Fishing Tournament.

“Every Delawarean, no matter their age, can have an impact in protecting and conserving our natural resources, while also raising awareness for environmental stewardship. At ages 9, 11 and 18, these three young people have taken a stand as environmental advocates who are already making a difference today for a better tomorrow,” said Secretary Garvin of the 2021 class of Young Environmentalists. “Today, we also recognize a volunteer who has had a long-term impact on DNREC’s Emergency Response mission, and a young angler who caught the biggest fish in this year’s Youth Fishing Tournament, a conservation-minded event to introduce children to the joy of catching – and releasing – a fish.”

DNREC's 2021 Young Environmentalists, left to right, Maggie Wieber, Julia Rial and Rowan Smith
DNREC’s 2021 Young Environmentalists, left to right, Maggie Wieber, Julia Rial and Rowan Smith

Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards:

  • Elementary School:
    Rowan Smith, age 9, of Dover, independently formed a plant club in her third grade class at Banneker Elementary and uses her recess time to lead nature walks and plant investigations, sharing plant facts she has learned from avidly reading and researching Delaware plants.
  • Middle School:
    Maggie Wieber, age 11, is very active as a third-year member in Kent County’s Peach Blossom 4-H Club, taking on projects involving wildlife, woodworking and community service. Upon learning of a need for bat boxes at Killens Pond and Trap Pond state parks, Maggie researched plans, solicited funds from the Delaware 4-H Foundation to buy materials, developed kits with pre-cut parts and enlisted eight fellow 4-H members to construct 10 boxes, which were donated to the two parks to provide nesting areas for these important insect-eaters.
  • High School:
    Julia Rial, age 18, of Lewes, has planned beach cleanups in Sussex County, organized tree plantings and made videos at James Farm in Ocean View and founded the Delaware Youth Chapter of Extinction Rebellion with her friend Jade Carter to work in her community on environmental issues and sustainability. In February, for the Shepard’s Office in Georgetown, an organization that helps homeless and needy people, Julia and Jade gathered a dozen volunteers and organized a “sustainable free market” that collected five truckloads of usable goods, keeping the items out of landfills; the event also included hot lunches for 100 needy people donated by local businesses.

DNREC Volunteer of the Year Richard Morris with Governor Carney
DNREC Volunteer of the Year Richard Morris with Governor Carney

Now in its 28th year, DNREC’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards program recognizes Delaware students whose actions have helped protect, restore or enhance our natural resources by initiating an innovative project, practicing environmental stewardship, increasing public awareness or demonstrating environmental ethics. For more information, visit dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/young-environmentalists.

DNREC Volunteer of the Year Award:

New Castle County resident Richard Morris received DNREC’s Volunteer of the Year Award. As a volunteer firefighter with the Belvedere Fire Company, which partners with the DNREC Emergency Response team, for more than 15 years and 2,250 hours Morris has served as the primary keeper and driver of DNREC’s Hazmat 30, a bright red 60-foot, 60,000-pound emergency vehicle nicknamed “The Beast.” In 2019 alone, Morris drove the Beast to more than 50 hazardous incident calls.

“Not only does he get the Beast safely to the location, Richard is an active participant upon arrival, directing operations until DNREC staff arrives, including deploying oil dry containment booms, setting up recovery systems and operating the Beast’s Safety Vac System,” said DNREC Emergency Response Chief Jamie Bethard. “He also has the biggest heart, and without his tireless dedication and commitment, pollution incidents in New Castle County would last significantly longer and be more costly to remediate.”

2021 Youth Fishing Tournament Winner:

Kane Messina, age 9, of Millsboro, received this year’s top trophy for catching a 21-inch bass in the 35th annual Youth Fishing Tournament held June 5. Established by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and sponsored by the Delaware Natural Resources Police, the tournament introduces youth to the sport of fishing and teaches the catch-and-release approach to conservation.

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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Youth Fishing Tournament Results Announced

Young anglers statewide submitted their biggest catches for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s 35th annual Youth Fishing Tournament, held June 5 at more than 30 public freshwater fishing ponds as a fish-on-your-own, semi-virtual event for children ages four through 15.

Tournament participants measured and submitted the length of their catches through the Fishing Chaos app to compete for the title of overall state winner with the biggest fish. The title went to Kane Messina of Millsboro, who caught a bass measuring 21 inches long. Big fish results also included:

  • Largest largemouth bass:
    • First place: 21 inches long, Kane Messina, Millsboro
    • Second place: 16.5 inches long, Evie Whaley, Bridgeville
    • Third place: 16.25 inches long, Cohen Betts, Milton
  • Largest chain pickerel: first place, 17.5 inches long, Wesley Whitt, Seaford
  • Largest yellow perch:
    • First place: 11 inches long, John Timmons, Georgetown
    • Second place: 7 inches long, Michael Hopkins, New Castle
    • Third place: 5.75 inches long, Austin Alderman, Middletown
  • Largest sunfish:
    • First place: 9.25 inches long, Brinley Douglas, Middletown
    • Second place: 9 inches, Brielle Douglas, Middletown
    • Third place, tie: 8 inches long, Cole Smith, Magnolia; John Timmons, Georgetown; and Colton Wegner, Cave Creek, Ariz.
  • Largest catfish: first place, 8 inches long, Michael Hopkins, New Castle

Winners will each receive a trophy in the near future.

The tournament was established by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and is sponsored by the Delaware Natural Resources Police to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation, which is encouraged for all participants.

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 DNREC 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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Young Anglers Invited to Enter Semi-virtual Youth Fishing Tournament

Annual Free Fishing Days Designated for June 5 and 6

Families are invited to bring their kids out to try casting a line for a big fish in freshwater public ponds throughout the state when the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control holds its 35th annual Youth Fishing Tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 5, 2021. The tournament is free of charge and will be held rain or shine.

This year, the tournament will be held at more than 30 public freshwater fishing ponds as a fish-on-your-own, semi-virtual event for children age 4 to 15. Participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and should bring their own fishing equipment.

The tournament was established by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and is sponsored by the Delaware Natural Resources Police to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation, which is encouraged for all participants.

All preregistered participants will receive prizes. Prizes for the longest fish in each species category will be awarded in three age groups: 4 to 7, 8 to 11 and 12 to 15. Trophies will be awarded to participants who catch the longest fish in each age group, regardless of species.

To participate for prizes, young anglers must fish at one of the tournament’s designated freshwater fishing ponds, and parents or guardians must submit a registration form by noon, Tuesday, June 1.

Catch measurements should be submitted using the free Chaos fishing app, by including a photo of the fish on a Delaware fishing ruler or other ruler or tape measure with readable numbers to show the length of the catch. The app is downloadable by clicking login/register in the top right corner of the tournament web page and searching tournaments for Delaware Natural Resources Police. Creating an account on the app in advance of the tournament day is recommended, with more app user information available on YouTube.

The tournament is part of Delaware’s observance of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 5 to 13, which also includes DNREC’s annual designation of free fishing days for June 5 and 6 this year, when anyone may fish in Delaware waters without a fishing license. Anglers age 16 and over fishing without a fishing license during the free fishing days require a free Fishermen Information Network (FIN) number, available at license agents statewide and online at epermitting.dnrec.delaware.gov/get-a-fin. For more fishing information, visit the 2021 Delaware Fishing Guide.

Tournament participants and accompanying adults, along with anglers on free fishing days, are required to follow COVID-19 outdoor health and safety guidelines in effect the day of the tournament. Anglers and families must also follow all local rules and regulations at their chosen fishing site.

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 DNREC 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 @DelawareDNREC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

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