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Water Quality Monitoring Project Sheds New Light on Pollution Problems

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, Del. — A new research effort by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is offering deeper insight into the true state of water quality in the most polluted areas of the Bays.

The blue devices seen here are sondes.

Continuous monitoring devices called “sondes” are part of a new network of sensors that collect water quality data every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, at five locations in the Inland Bays watershed. The establishment of this network is part of the Center’s recently updated Environmental Monitoring Plan for Delaware’s Inland Bays, which aims to track the status and trends of key environmental indicators to gauge the health of the Bays, their tributaries, and the fish and shellfish that depend on them. Expanding water quality monitoring efforts is a key recommendation of the plan, which will help scientists learn more about the true state of water quality and environmental conditions in the Inland Bays. That knowledge will help inform management decisions while also educating the public and providing scientific support for the resources and policies needed to restore the Bays.

“Long-term monitoring is key to not only understanding the health of our Bays, but also to evaluating the effectiveness of the many investments that have been directed at improving water quality and habitats,” said the Center’s Science & Restoration Coordinator Dr. Marianne Walch. “The Environmental Monitoring Plan is intended to guide future research and increase the integration and efficiency of monitoring efforts across organizations involved in collecting data.”

In addition to expanded water quality monitoring efforts, the Center’s plan also outlines the need for studies of baygrasses (which is a good indicator of water quality), identifying emerging contaminants, tracking sea-level rise impacts, oyster growth, shoreline and marsh changes, and much more.

The Center is already gaining insight from continuously collected water quality data. During several recent fish kills reported in Rehoboth and Indian River Bays, the Center’s monitoring devices recorded extremely low oxygen levels in multiple areas of the Bays— indicating that the unhealthy conditions and the resulting death of marine life (over a million menhaden in June alone) are neither isolated nor uncommon this time of year.

This fish kill was reported in mid-June 2021 in a canal off Rehoboth Bay, near Arnell Creek. 

“Despite the millions of dollars that have been put into management actions, water quality in many parts of our Bays is not improving,” said Dr. Walch, particularly of the data collected from portions of the Indian River. “Data collected monthly or bimonthly by the state of Delaware does not reveal the full picture of what is actually happening in polluted areas. That points out the importance of the Center’s work to collect and share high-frequency data.”

Intense algae blooms, which are driven by nutrient pollution from agricultural and urban runoff, are common in the Bays this time of year. They also lead to low levels of dissolved oxygen, which fish and shellfish need to survive.

The Center’s sondes serve as continuous eyes on the Bays, collecting data on dissolved oxygen levels, salinity, water clarity, pH and temperature from sites in the Indian River, Pepper Creek and Guinea Creek. 

Data shows that between June 1, 2020, and October 1, 2020, oxygen levels in the upper Indian River failed to meet the state’s water quality standard for dissolved oxygen on 75% of mornings. On five occasions, dissolved oxygen levels remained below the healthy limit for eight hours or longer.  Similar conditions are being observed in summer 2021.

The Center has partnered with the University of Delaware on this project, with plans to install additional stations in 2021 and 2022.

This new research effort is featured in the Spring/Summer 2021 edition of the Inland Bays Journal, a free, seasonal publication that highlights the Center’s projects and accomplishments. The Journal is mailed to anyone who signs up for the Center’s mailing list at inlandbays.org/mailing.

Nutrient pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus remains the greatest threat to water quality in the Bays. The Center is currently working on the five-year update to its State of the Inland Bays report, which will provide the latest information on how the Bays are faring. Stay tuned for more information on the next State of the Bays report!

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Learn more at inlandbays.org

Be Part of the Solution to Pollution in the Inland Bays Aug. 28

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, Del. Volunteers with boats are needed to help the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays to remove debris from the Bays during the Annual Inland Bays Clean Up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28.

The effort will focus on the shores along Rehoboth and Indian River Bays by boat, while the Delaware Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway groups will be coordinating cleanups on land. The water-based cleanup, which has been organized by the Center since the early 2000s, is supported by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

Previous cleanup efforts have netted thousands of pounds of trash, including plastic bottles and bags, tires, cans, wrappers, fishing gear, and docking lumber. Trash in local waterways can be harmful to both Bay users and a variety of coastal and aquatic life including birds, fish, and mammals such as dolphins.  

The Center is in need of boat captains with power boats to collect and transport debris. Boat captains interested in volunteering should contact Program Manager Bob Collins at 302-226-8105 ext. 711 or at jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

Non-boat owners will also be needed to help with the trash collection on the water, as well as unloading what’s collected into a dumpster on land. Volunteers can register for the 2021 Clean Up online at tinyurl.com/InlandBaysCleanUp. Advance registration is required so that the Center can reserve adequate space on the boats.

Volunteers will be assigned to specific cleanup locations on the day of the event at the launch point: Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp, located at the end of Long Neck Road in Millsboro. 

Volunteers should be prepared for the weather (including cooler, breezy conditions on the water) and should dress for dirty and wet conditions. Work gloves are recommended and closed-toe shoes are required. Those who have access to lifejackets should bring one, as they are required onboard any boat used during the cleanup. Lifejackets will be provided as needed. Volunteers also should plan to bring their own water and snacks or lunch as refreshments will not be provided. 

Each volunteer must sign a waiver to participate (which will be available the day-of). This event is not recommended for children under 12, and participants under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

The Center will be following the CDC and state guidelines regarding COVID-19.

DNREC is once again lending support through its Delaware Natural Resources Police. Sponsors include the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, Dewey Beach Lions Club, GFL Environmental/Waste Industries of Delaware, state Senator Ernie Lopez and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s Community Cleanup Initiative.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Learn more at inlandbays.org

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.

For more information, please contact Program Manager Bob Collins at 302-226-8105 ext. 711 or by email at communications@inlandbays.org. 

Learn How the Center for the Inland Bays, State are Working to Restore Oysters in the Inland Bays on Aug. 5, 2021

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, Del. — The public is invited to join the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ upcoming Citizens Advisory Committee – Citizens Café on Thursday, August 5, to learn about oysters, aquaculture and shellfish restoration efforts in the Inland Bays.

The meeting will be held at the Center’s office at 39375 Inlet Road in Delaware Seashore State Park starting at 6 p.m. The meeting will also be available virtually through Zoom. Pre-registration is required (for both in-person and virtual attendees) by signing up at tinyurl.com/AugustCAC.

American oysters are an iconic species along the East Coast, one that was once plentiful in Delaware waters. But historically, diseases and water quality problems have all but eliminated them from the Inland Bays. Now, thanks to multiple restoration efforts and programs, oysters are once again growing in the Bays.

Experts from the Center and the state will share the latest information on the challenges and success of growing oysters in the Bays, and explain why oysters are so important to these valuable coastal ecosystems.

Zina Hense, an environmental scientist with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, will explore the history of shellfish aquaculture in the Inland Bays and the current status of the Inland Bays’ Shellfish Aquaculture Program.

On a smaller scale, the Center has been working since 2003 with local residents to raise small amounts of oysters along docks and bulkheads in the Inland Bays through its Oyster Gardening Program. Project Manager Nivette Pérez-Pérez will give an overview of the program, what it takes to become a gardener and why oyster gardening is important to the health of the Bays.

Oysters are not only important for water quality because they filter water as they feed, but they also fuse together and form structures that provide habitat for valuable species like blue crabs and flounder, she explained.

“Oysters are an iconic species and an intrinsic part of the story of the Bays, one that we lost and are trying to bring back,” Pérez-Pérez said. “The Oyster Gardening Program and our gardeners are giving them a head start by taking care of them when they are most vulnerable.”

The Center is actively recruiting people to participate in the Oyster Gardening Program, in an effort to expand the program to every corner of the Inland Bays. To learn more or to sign up, go to inlandbays.org/oyster-gardening.

More details about the Citizens Advisory Committee and the August 5 meeting can be found online at inlandbays.org/citizens-advisor.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

The Citizen Advisory Committee’s key role is to bring public concerns related to the protection of the Inland Bays and the watershed to the attention of the Center’s Board of Directors. Quarterly Citizen Café meetings offer the public a chance to engage with the Committee and Center representatives and learn more about the Inland Bays watershed. 

For more information, please contact Lisa Swanger at 302-226-8105 ext. 703 or lswanger@inlandbays.org, or visit us online at inlandbays.org.

Microplastics, Water Monitoring Highlighted at Upcoming Center for the Inland Bays Science Committee Meeting

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, Del. — The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays invites the public to learn about microplastics research and water quality reporting in the Inland Bays at an upcoming virtual Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, July 30.

STAC meetings are a fantastic opportunity for residents to learn about local environmental issues and ask questions about the latest research in the Inland Bays. This committee provides objective, science-driven advice and guidance to the Center’s Board of Directors and other cooperating agencies with interests in the Inland Bays. 

David Wolanski, an environmental scientist with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), and Bill Richardson with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will first discuss how water quality monitoring data are collected and reported in Delaware, and how that information is used to inform management decisions and regulations at both the state and federal level. In every even-numbered year, the state must report water quality conditions to the EPA, information that can then be used to guide water management programs.

“It’s very important that data used by the State to guide important management decisions accurately reflects the water quality conditions in the Bays and their tributaries,” said Dr. Walch. “At this meeting, we’ll be discussing how Center scientists and STAC members can best support DNREC with improved monitoring programs.”

Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Associate Professor at the University of Delaware, and laboratory technician Taylor Hoffman will present their findings from five years of studying microplastics in the Delaware Bay, tidal creeks and the Inland Bays. They’ll also provide insight into the ultimate fate of these tiny pollutants, and how they move in local waterways.

This image shows a mix of microplastics found in Delaware waterways. Photo courtesy of Dr. Jonathan Cohen.

“Delaware is proving to be an important case study for microplastics research in coastal environments,” Dr. Cohen said. “We have a mixture of rural and urban land use, which is helping to isolate pathways of debris into waterways. Once in the water, many questions remain as to how microplastics are transported through coastal systems and ultimately to the ocean, and how biota are affected. Work in Delaware is helping to resolve these.”

In addition, Kelly Somers, a scientist with EPA Region 3, will share insight on microplastics pollution and its potential for human health and environmental impacts. Studies in the Chesapeake Bay are helping scientists develop “ecological risk assessments” on the effects of microplastics. Those assessments are intended to help scientists uniformly classify and document impacts while developing a science-based strategy to address the problem.

The public and members of the media are encouraged to attend the Zoom meeting at https://udel.zoom.us/j/98410695414 and enter the passcode “science.” To join by phone, dial 646-876-9923 and enter the meeting ID “984 1069 5414.”

A draft agenda, as well as additional information about the committee and past meetings, can be found on the Center’s website at inlandbays.org/stac.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Learn more at inlandbays.org.

Become an Oyster Gardener to Help Delaware’s Inland Bays!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, Del. — The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is now recruiting interested individuals for its Oyster Gardening Program, a restoration effort that brings scientists and residents together to restore local American oysters in the Inland Bays.

This program began in 2003, and works with residents to raise small amounts of oysters in the waters of the Inland Bays surrounding their docks and bulkheads. The Center offers the training, guidance and supplies needed, while participants care for the oysters for about one year. The Center then collects the 1-year-old oysters for use in various restoration or research projects throughout the Inland Bays (these oysters ARE NOT intended for consumption). 

“The Center’s Oyster Gardening Program is an excellent example of how partnerships between local environmental organizations and residents can lead to positive impacts in the natural areas that we all love and enjoy,” said Nivette Pérez-Pérez, the Center’s Project Manager. 

Oysters have the unique power to improve water quality as they eat. By filtering algae and other particles from the water, they also remove excess nutrients that pollute our Bays. One adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water each day! As they grow, oysters solidly attach to each other, creating reefs that serve as shelter and spawning areas for organisms like blue crabs and recreationally important fish like summer flounder and black sea bass.

To be an Oyster Gardener, volunteers should be able to lift about 25 pounds, own or have access to a private, waterfront property on tidal waters (such as canals, creeks, or Bays) and possess basic computer skills. Gardeners are required to periodically clean the oysters and record all time spent using a simple online log. To learn more about the program, go to inlandbays.org/oyster-gardening.

Oysters and gear will be available to new gardeners in early July. A $50 annual program membership donation is requested in order to help cover the cost for oyster sets, spat, training and program maintenance. 

To apply to be an Oyster Gardener, please fill out an application at www.inlandbays.org/oystergardener

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

$200,000 Longwood Foundation Grant to Help Transform the James Farm Ecological Preserve  

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, Del. – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is thrilled to announce the recent award of a $200,000 grant from the Longwood Foundation, which will bring the Center one step closer to creating a regionally significant environmental education experience at the James Farm Ecological Preserve. 

The reimagining of the Campus area will be as unique and appealing as the natural wonder of the Preserve itself. Illustration by David D. Quillin.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Longwood trustees for realizing the importance of the James Farm and choosing to support it at such a high level,” said Chris Bason, the Center’s Executive Director. “Their rigorous application process challenged us to think critically about the potential impact of our efforts and how best to maximize that impact for the benefit of our community. We and our fellow nonprofits are fortunate to have a foundation like Longwood investing so significantly in the quality of life and future of Delaware.”

A transformation of the 150-acre nature preserve near Ocean View has been years in the making. Additional planned upgrades include realigning the existing trail system to both adapt to sea level rise and create a more naturally immersive visitor experience, installing interpretive signs to educate visitors about the Preserve’s ecosystems and history and new maintenance facilities that will provide storage and workshop space to better care for the Preserve and support the Center’s environmental restoration efforts watershed-wide.

This additional funding from Longwood will jump start the next round of improvements, which will expand environmental education opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, support growing visitation to the Preserve and allow the Center to better fulfill its mission through outreach to a wider, more diverse audience.

The project is a joint effort between the Center and Sussex County, with the County committing nearly $300,000 toward the improvements. They, along with George & Lynch, also contributed in-kind services for the ADA-compliant restroom recently installed at the Preserve. The property is owned by Sussex County and managed by the Center.

Work on the education building (pictured) and maintenance facilities will begin early next year with full project completion anticipated in later summer 2022. Illustration by David D. Quillin.

Planned improvements are part of the second phase of the Center’s Master Plan for the Preserve, which also includes the construction of a three-season education building that will bolster environmental learning experiences and offer shelter from the elements. 

The Master Plan for the Preserve was developed with collective input from stakeholders, residents and visitors in an effort to address needs related to the physical restoration and management of the property, while also considering emerging issues such as sea level rise.

When the Preserve was initially developed in 1998, facilities were not built to accommodate the rapid population growth Sussex County is undergoing. With only primitive shelter and facilities, disruptions to outdoor learning experiences are unavoidable when bad weather hits.

In 2020, as more people found themselves seeking solace in the outdoors, the Preserve received almost 40,000 unique visits, marking a nearly 300% increase from 2012 visitation estimates. Over the past five years, more and more visitors have been learning about the unique offerings found along the banks of Indian River Bay. With its natural collection of diverse coastal ecosystems like freshwater wetlands, salt marshes and maritime forests, the Preserve showcases the magnificent beauty of the Delmarva Peninsula and supports osprey, shorebirds, horseshoe crabs and a plethora of other wildlife.

The Preserve’s brand new restroom facility arriving on site. Installation was supported by in-kind services from Sussex County and George & Lynch.

The Preserve also offers critical environmental education to underserved local students. The “Day on the Bay” program, which has served more than 19,000 students with fully immersive, curriculum-aligned STEM education since it was established 20 years ago, will benefit tremendously from the planned improvements. The new education building will not only allow for more students and continued programming in inclement weather, but will also create an immersive learning experience so that students can foster a meaningful connection with the outdoors.

Fundraising for the project continues through the Lessons in Nature capital campaign. A portion of proceeds from the Center’s annual Decked Out! fundraiser on September 30, 2021, at Big Chill Beach Club will support the planned improvements at the Preserve. Those interested in supporting the project are encouraged to contact the Center.

Implementation of the first phase of the James Farm Master Plan began in fall 2018 and included expanded parking facilities to increase capacity while safely accommodating increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic, designated school bus parking for safe student transport and a multi-purpose event lawn for open space recreation and community events. 

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Center staff at the Preserve, contact Development Coordinator Anna Short at 302-226-8105 ext. 702 or ashort@inlandbays.org

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What IS Environmental Justice? Explore the Basics and Solutions at the Center’s Upcoming Webinar with National Advocate Michele Roberts

Thursday, June 17th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, DE – The public is invited to join the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and guest speaker Michele Roberts, the National Co-Coordinator at the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA), to learn about local and national environmental justice issues and how people can get involved. The webinar will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23.

You’ve likely heard the term environmental justice before, but do you know what it means? And do you know what you can do to support the efforts to bring justice to communities unfairly facing environmental challenges? Ms. Roberts, a Wilmington, Delaware, native and long-time advocate for local communities overburdened by pollution, will explore the basics of environmental justice issues and offer some insight on how people can get more involved in the solutions.

“People are living in a constant state of stress. Stress and anxiety because of the fact that each and every day of their lives they are wondering ‘when might the next explosion be?’… These are not accidents. These are incidents, because most often times these (disasters) could have been prevented,” Michele Roberts says. “Today in our society, the way that regulation is set up, (is that) for certain people it is OK to be at risk. We need to change that and now is the time to make that happen.”

For over 25 years, Michele Roberts has provided capacity support, organizing, and technical assistance on the connections between chemicals management, oil and gas extraction, energy systems, and toxics exposure and legacy. Michele is the co-author of Who’s In Danger: Race, Poverty and Chemical Disasters and Life at the Fenceline: Understanding Cumulative Health Hazards in Environmental Justice Communities, a demographic analysis of vulnerability zones surrounding Risk Management Plan (RMP) facilities. She also co-authored Environmental Justice for Delaware: Mitigating Toxic Pollution in New Castle County Communities

Michele Roberts now resides in Washington, D.C., and was recently appointed to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council under the Biden Administration. She has co-authored numerous other analyses, reports, commentaries, been published countless times in the press for her work, co-founded the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, created Arts Slams @ SsAMS, and is the environmental justice and environmental producer on Pacifica 89.3FM radio’s weekly “The On the Ground Show: Voices of Resistance.” 

This free event, which will be held on Zoom, is brought to you by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign. At the end of the webinar, there will be a live question and answer session.

The public and the press are invited to join the meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81457681342.

This event is part of a larger Water Warrior workshop series that is hosted by the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign, a statewide outreach and education effort focused on securing additional dedicated funding for clean water. The goal of this workshop series is to encourage citizens of Delaware to take an active role in protecting water quality in their state. Learn more about the campaign and other workshops at cleanwaterdelaware.org.

 

Event Details

WHAT: What IS Environmental Justice? webinar

WHO: Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice Campaign, and Michele Roberts with the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA)

WHERE: Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81457681342

WHEN: 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 23, 2021

WHY: Environmental justice is much more than a buzzword. The public can benefit from learning more about what environmental justice means, and what solutions are available for communities overburdened by pollution and industry.

MEDIA CONTACT: Maddy Goss, communications specialist, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays | communications@inlandbays.org or 302-858-7795

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Learn more at inlandbays.org

EJHA is a national network of grassroots environmental and economic justice organizations and advocates in communities that are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals from legacy contamination, ongoing exposure to polluting facilities and health-harming chemicals in household products. Learn more at EJ4all.org.

Collaborations Create Innovative Forest Wetland Project Near Frankford

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

Frankford, Del. — A project to add native wetland vegetation that will restore natural habitat and improve water quality is taking root this month in Sussex County.

Environmental Concern, Inc., an environmental contractor based in Maryland, is completing the final plantings at an innovative restoration project along Burbage Road near Frankford, with some assistance from volunteers. The site includes two constructed freshwater wetlands that cover just under 2 acres, a nearly 2-acre native meadow habitat and about 7 acres of native hardwood forest on County owned-land.

An aerial view of the project gives a birds eye view of the newly installed wetland plants.

The project is a cooperative effort among the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Sussex County government and the Sussex Conservation District (SCD). The property, which covers a total of 20 acres next to Blackwater Creek, a tributary of Little Assawoman Bay, will no longer be used as fertilized cropland.

“We are honored to work with the Center for the Inland Bays on the design and construction of the Burbage Road water quality improvement project,” said SCD District Coordinator David Baird. “This project will provide an ideal habitat for native and migratory wildlife while improving the Inland Bays water quality by filtering nutrients and sediment.”

Sussex County, which owns the property and funded the effort, hopes to apply the restoration efforts to a stormwater credit program that is now under development.

Keenan Kramer, a restoration staff member with Environmental Concern, plants switchgrass along the edge of the wetland pond at the project site.

“The County appreciates our continued relationship with the Center for the Inland Bays, and this project highlights the benefits of our partnership,” said County Administrator Todd F. Lawson. “By restoring the County’s property to its natural condition, these efforts will have exponential benefits to the water quality and health of the upper reaches of the Indian River and the Inland Bays overall.”

As the vegetation takes root, the new habitats are expected to help fight climate change by capturing about 8.7 million pounds of atmospheric carbon over the next 20 years. The project also will stop about 170 pounds of nitrogen and four pounds of phosphorus pollution from reaching nearby waterways every year.

“We’re not just reforesting. We’re creating a more cohesive space for wildlife,” said Zachary Garmoe, the Center’s science technician. “Right now, there are thousands of tiny trees in tubes that 10 years from now will be a forest that will also help improve water quality and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.”

To learn more about the Center’s restoration work, go to inlandbays.org.


The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

For more information or to arrange a site visit, contact Communications Specialist Maddy Goss at communications@inlandbays.org or at 302-858-7795.

Plants installed at the Burbage Road project site include switchgrass, a perennial grass.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Donates $15,000 to improvements at the James Farm Ecological Preserve

Monday, May 17th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, Del. — The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is thrilled to announce a generous donation and partnership with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Beer & Benevolence program that will benefit future generations of Delawareans and visitors.

On Saturday, May 15, Dogfish Head released “Pontoon Lagoon,” a limited-edition gose-style ale brewed in collaboration with the Center, and presented the nonprofit organization with a $15,000 donation toward its Lessons in Nature capital campaign. The campaign supports a grand re-envisioning of the James Farm Ecological Preserve near Ocean View that will make the recreational and educational opportunities offered at the 150-acre oasis more easily accessible to diverse audiences for generations to come.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Beer & Benevolence program presented a $15,000 donation to the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays on Saturday, May 15. Shown are (left to right) Center board members Ken Sigvardson; Center supporter Bob Ragan; Development Coordinator Anna Short; Mark Carter, Dogfish’s Beer & Benevolence Director; Center Board of Directors Chair Susie Ball; Board members John Grandy, Nicole Bailey Ashton, and Pat Ragan; and the Center’s Executive Director Chris Bason.



“To say that we are thrilled by Dogfish Head’s support of this campaign would be an understatement,” said Anna Short, the Center’s Development Coordinator. “We are just so incredibly grateful for their partnership on our efforts at the Preserve—and for the delicious beer that they’ve brewed to honor the Bays and the work we do here at the Center!”

Pontoon Lagoon is a gose-style ale made with prickly pear, hand-harvested pickleweed, and local Henlopen Sea Salt. A portion of sales proceeds benefit the Center for the Inland Bays. Photo courtesy of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.



Made with prickly pear, hand-harvested pickleweed, and local Henlopen Sea Salt, Pontoon Lagoon is available in 4pk/16oz cans at Dogfish Head’s Off-Centered EmPOURium in downtown Rehoboth Beach while supplies last. A portion of proceeds from sales of the beer will benefit the Center for the Inland Bays.

“Dogfish Head began its journey here in beautiful coastal Delaware, and we realize that the Inland Bays are an integral part of what makes this area so alluring,” said Mark Carter, Dogfish’s Beer & Benevolence Director. “We are fortunate to have many non-profits in our community doing amazing work on many fronts, and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is literally often knee-deep in the marsh working to preserve and protect our environment for us locals, our visitors, and for generations to come. We are proud to support their efforts, and we are stoked to cheers a beer with them that will help them further their mission.”

Since its inception, Dogfish Head’s philanthropic Beer & Benevolence program has focused on giving back to the coastal Delaware community through creative collaborations with nonprofit organizations. With its Beer & Benevolence program, Dogfish Head endeavors to foster community, nourish artistic advancement and cultivate environmental stewardship, and partners with local nonprofits that share those same ideals. Learn more at dogfish.com/beer-and-benevolence.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Learn more at inlandbays.org

This aerial view shows that the reimagining of the campus area will be as unique and appealing as the Preserve itself. Structural designs hold true to the agricultural heritage of the property and the region, making it a truly special place for Sussex County.

Water Contamination Issues to be Explored at Center for the Inland Bays Science Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, DE — The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays invites the public to learn about the impacts of legacy and emerging contaminants, wastewater planning and continuous water quality monitoring in the Inland Bays at an upcoming virtual Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, April 23.

STAC meetings are a fantastic opportunity for residents to learn about local environmental issues and ask questions about the latest research in the Inland Bays. This committee provides objective, science-driven advice and guidance to the Center’s Board of Directors and other cooperating agencies with interests in the Inland Bays. 

Dr. Miling Li, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware’s School of Marine Science and Policy, will talk about her current Delaware-based research on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment. These manmade chemicals have been used in a wide range of industries for decades, and there is now evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Li, who studies global and local environmental issues related to ecosystems and public health, will also discuss her work related to heavy metals found lingering in various ecosystems.

Michelle Schmidt, the Center’s Watershed Coordinator, and Dr. Marianne Walch, the Center’s Science & Restoration Coordinator, will moderate a discussion on how to track the amount of nutrient pollution that enters the Bays from treated wastewater that is applied to the land. Treated wastewater from public and private wastewater treatment facilities is frequently applied through spray irrigation to agricultural fields, or is put directly into the soil through rapid infiltration basins. While additional pollutant removal occurs in the ground, some pollutants still remain in the water that will eventually make its way to nearby waterways such as creeks and bays. The ultimate goal is to create a “nutrient budget” for wastewater discharges in the Inland Bays watershed that will help decision makers protect the health of the Bays.

“We no longer have any direct discharges of wastewater (point sources) into the Inland Bays, which is great news,” said Dr. Walch. “But we do have increasing amounts of wastewater applied to the land because of the growing populations of people and chickens in our area. We need to understand how much of the nutrients in this wastewater are reaching the Inland Bays so that these discharges can be managed properly now and in the future.”

In addition, Andrew McGowan, an environmental scientist at the Center, will join Dr. Walch to discuss a new continuous water quality monitoring network that is being installed in the Inland Bays. Dissolved oxygen data collected last year from the upper Indian River will be presented. This network, which has started with a handful of monitoring stations that collect water quality data every 30 minutes, is a high priority action in the Inland Bays Environmental Monitoring Plan. Additional stations are planned for 2021, and the STAC will be asked for input on future expansion plans and funding.

The public and members of the media are encouraged to attend the Zoom meeting at https://udel.zoom.us/j/92329988767 and enter the passcode “science.” To join by phone, dial 646-876-9923 and enter the meeting ID “966 0476 1476.”

A draft agenda, as well as additional information about the committee and past meetings, can be found on the Center’s website at inlandbays.org/stac

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Learn more at inlandbays.org

For more information, please contact Dr. Marianne Walch at 302-226-8105 x705 or science@inlandbays.org

Inland Bays Science Surveys Seeking Volunteers for Spring 2021

Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is gearing up for the 2021 survey season by hosting trainings for volunteer participants this March.

Every year, the Center hosts several volunteer-driven surveys to collect data on important species, such as fish and blue crabs, as indicators of the health of their coastal environments. That information in turn can help scientists and decision-makers identify and effectively plan restoration and conservation efforts.

“Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Center, and we rely on them to conduct these important surveys,” said the Center’s Project Manager Nivette Pérez-Pérez. “The surveys are a great way for people to learn more about the natural habitats of our Bays, and the volunteers find it rewarding to play such an important role in local science and restoration efforts.”

In March, the Center will train volunteers how to participate in two of its six citizen science surveys, an Osprey Survey and the Shorezone Fish & Blue Crab Survey, as well as training participants interested in the Center’s James Farm Ecological Preserve Docent Program.

The Osprey Survey is new to the Center this year, and aims to track the nesting activity of adult ospreys in the Bays. Ospreys are important indicators of the health of the Bays because they are at the top of the food chain. In a process called biomagnification, the birds ingest pollutants that may accumulate in the fish that they eat. 

Researchers have been tracking data on the number of active osprey nests around the Bays since the 1990s, but previous surveys to track active osprey nests stopped several years ago. Because osprey activity is such an important indicator of the health of the Bays—an indicator that is used in the Center’s five-year State of the Bays report—the Center has decided to create a new, volunteer-based survey this year.

Since 2011, the Center’s Shorezone Fish & Blue Crab Survey has collected data on fish populations at 16 shoreline sites in the Inland Bays watershed. With more than 100 species of fish known to use the Bays, data collected through this long-term survey can help scientists track changes in populations of the smaller and juvenile fish that inhabit marshes and intertidal areas.

The James Farm Docent Program plays a key role in educating visitors of the Preserve as they immerse themselves in a variety of beautiful habitats. Docents are trained to greet visitors, answer questions, and offer resources to the public, such as information on the history and mission of the Preserve. The James Farm Ecological Preserve is a 150-acre property on the Indian River Bay near Ocean View that is owned by Sussex County and managed by the Center.

This year, all survey trainings will be held online through Zoom. Pre-registration is required, and all volunteers must fill out a volunteer application and waiver, both of which are available online at inlandbays.org/volunteer.

The Osprey Survey virtual training will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 9. Interested volunteers can register at tinyurl.com/OspreySurvey. To learn more about the survey, go to inlandbays.org/ospreysurvey.

The training for the James Farm Docent Program will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 24. Interested volunteers can register at tinyurl.com/JamesFarmDocent. To learn more about the program, go to inlandbays.org/james-farm-docent-program.

The training for the Shorezone Fish & Blue Crab Survey will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 31. Interested volunteers can register at tinyurl.com/CenterFishSurvey. To learn more about the survey, go to inlandbays.org/fishsurvey.

Additional trainings for the Center’s Volunteer Horseshoe Crab Survey, Diamondback Terrapin Survey and Reforestation Survey will be held in April, and more information will be shared on those programs at a later date.

To learn more or to participate in the Center’s volunteer programs, go to inlandbays.org/volunteer.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Learn more about the Center’s work at inlandbays.org.

For more information, please contact Nivette Pérez-Pérez at nperezperez@inlandbays.org or Communications Specialist Maddy Goss at 302-858-7795 or communications@inlandbays.org.

Congress Moves to Invest in the Nation’s Estuaries

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

Congress reauthorizes the National Estuary Program to recover and grow coastal economies and ensure resilient coastal communities

Sen. Tom Carper at Read Avenue

U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del. and a strong supporter of the Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act, (right) recently visited the Center’s living shoreline project at Read Avenue in Dewey Beach. The project, which also includes unique stormwater elements and an offshore oyster reef, restored marsh habitats and has reduced flooding in the area.

Rehoboth Beach, Del. – Congress has reaffirmed its support and strong commitment to the National Estuary Program, a time-tested, non-regulatory program that enables communities to restore and protect the bays and estuaries they call home. The First State’s Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, two of 28 “estuaries of national significance,” will benefit directly from the Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act recently approved by Congress. 

The Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act was signed into law January 13, 2021, after receiving strong bipartisan support. The Act reaffirms support for the work of the National Estuary Program (NEP), and nearly doubles the annual authorized funding limit to $50 million. Under the new law, each NEP could receive as much as $1 million annually. It was strongly supported by Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Representative Lisa Blunt-Rochester.

“National Estuary Programs are critical to making coastal communities more resilient, particularly in the face of climate change and sea-level rise. In the First State, the Center for Inland Bays and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary are leaders in fortifying our communities while restoring habitat and conserving ecosystems,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, soon-to-be chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee in the Senate. “Our nation’s estuaries are also economic drivers, and Delaware’s vibrant estuaries are no exception. Protecting them is a win-win, and our National Estuary Programs are wonderful partners in these efforts.”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary work with communities at the local level in the Inland Bays and Delaware River Watershed to protect coastal resources essential for tourism, commerce, storm protection, clean water and marine-based food industries such as fisheries and aquaculture. Increasing threats from pollution, harmful algal blooms, climate change and risks to biodiversity threaten the vitality of estuaries across the country, including the Delaware Estuary and Delaware’s three Inland Bays: the Assawoman, Indian River and Rehoboth Bays.

“These actions demonstrate a clear recognition by Congress of the economic and environmental value of our nation’s estuaries and coasts,” said Lexie Bell, chair of the Association of National Estuary Programs, a national nonprofit established in 1995 to bring NEPs together for collaboration and shared learning.

“Estuaries nurture a vast array of marine life, filter pollutants from rivers before they reach the sea, and are the natural infrastructure that protects human communities from floods and storms,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the original sponsor of the bill introduced in July 2019. “As extreme weather events increasingly threaten these nurseries of the sea, I’m very proud this important legislation was signed into law, so these critical waterways will continue to be protected.”

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Delaware’s Sen. Carper were instrumental in securing passage of the bill, and are long-time champions of estuaries and coastal protection.

“In addition to funding research, the National Estuary Program ensures that the management plans governing nationally significant estuaries consider the effects of increasing and recurring extreme weather events and develop and implement appropriate adaptation strategies,” said Chris Bason, Executive Director of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. 

“We are greatly appreciative of the strong support from our Senators and Representatives for the important work being done in our estuaries through our program and in collaboration with so many partners across sectors,” said Kathy Klein, Executive Director of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. 

Partnership for the Delaware Estuary scientists count and measure oysters near a living shoreline site at Mispillion Harbor in Delaware. From left, Shellfish Specialist Matt Gentry, Wetland Coordinator LeeAnn Haaf and Restoration Program Manager Josh Moody, Ph.D.

Last year, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays successfully worked to restore 863 linear feet of shoreline and preserve 690 acres of open space with partners from Sussex County government, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Town of Dewey Beach, the Delaware Botanic Gardens and more. The Center also launched new programs, including a Diamondback terrapin survey and a baygrass monitoring project, expanded water monitoring efforts and held more than two dozen virtual outreach and education programs. Learn more about the Center’s work at inlandbays.org.

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary in 2020 recycled more than 17,000 pounds of oyster shell for use in restoration projects, held 60-plus virtual programs during the Delaware River Festival, installed a dozen new groundwater monitoring wells and studied over 22,000 stems of cordgrass to track saltwater intrusion impacts. In three years, it reinforced 1,300 feet of living shoreline in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with recycled oyster shells. Go to delawareestuary.org to learn more about the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s work.

ANEP Fact Sheet 2021

Recent Grant Awards Will Transform the James Farm Ecological Preserve

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

The reimagining of the Campus area will be as unique and appealing as the natural wonder of the Preserve itself. Structural designs hold true to the agricultural heritage of the property and the region, making it a truly special place for Sussex County.

Ocean View – The recent award of three major grants totaling $220,000 is setting in motion the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ reimagining of one of Sussex County’s most beloved public treasures: The James Farm Ecological Preserve.

Plans to transform the 150-acre nature preserve near Ocean View are years in the making. Grant awards of $100,000 from the Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program, $100,000 from Crystal Trust, and $20,000 from The Starrett Foundation will deliver upgrades to the Preserve’s trail system and expand environmental education opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

In addition to these grants, Sussex County has committed nearly $300,000 toward this project, which is being realized through a cooperative partnership with the County and the Center. The Preserve is owned by Sussex County and managed by the Center.

“Sussex County is renowned for its picturesque beauty and environmental importance to Delaware and the mid-Atlantic region. The James Farm is a testament to that, and the ideal place to showcase nature at work,” Sussex County Council President Michael H. Vincent said. “Through this partnership with the Center for the Inland Bays, and with the financial support of the County and these generous benefactors, our residents and visitors alike will be able to better enjoy all that the James Farm Ecological Preserve has to offer, and hopefully expand their understanding of the natural wonder that surrounds us every day.”

This generous funding will support the implementation of the second phase of the Center’s Master Plan for the Preserve, which includes the construction of a new, three-season education building to enhance visitors’ learning experience while offering shelter from the elements.

A three-season education building (roof not shown) is the gem of planned improvements to the Preserve. It will be used for the “Day on the Bay” program, volunteer trainings, intergenerational education and community events. Architectural design by Kimley-Horn and David D. Quillin.

Additional upgrades will include realignment of the existing trail system to improve visitor experience and adapt to sea level rise, installation of interpretive signs to educate visitors about the Preserve’s ecosystems, permanent and ADA-compliant restrooms, and new maintenance facilities that will provide storage and workshop space to better care for the Preserve while supporting the Center’s restoration efforts elsewhere in the watershed.

The Master Plan for the Preserve was developed with collective input from stakeholders, residents and visitors in an effort to address needs related to the physical restoration, improvement and management of the property, while also considering emerging issues such as sea-level rise.

“We envision a regionally important outdoor education site that has facilities that match the beauty of the Preserve’s diverse ecosystems,” said the Center’s Executive Director Chris Bason. “The Master Plan will protect this one-of-a-kind amenity while greatly increasing our capacity to educate a growing number of visitors about the Inland Bays. Safe, immersive experiences in nature and quality environmental education are essential to realizing a new generation of residents dedicated to caring for these incredible ecological and economic assets.”

Currently, the Preserve offers only primitive shelter and facilities, which can mean disruptions to outdoor learning experiences when bad weather hits. When the Preserve was initially developed in 1998, facilities were not built to accommodate the rapid population growth Sussex County is undergoing.

In 2020, as more people found themselves seeking solace in the outdoors, visitation at the Preserve markedly increased with nearly 40,000 visitors, a nearly 400% increase since 2012 visitation estimates. Over the past five years, more and more visitors have been learning about the unique offerings of this slice of serenity nestled along the banks of Indian River Bay. With its natural collection of diverse coastal ecosystems like freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, and maritime forests, the Preserve supports osprey, shorebirds, horseshoe crabs and a plethora of other wildlife while showcasing the magnificent beauty of the Delmarva peninsula, all in one place.

A student of the Day on the Bay program records her observations on a sample collected from Indian River Bay. The new education building will provide more suitable workspace for students, as well as shelter from the elements during inclement weather.

The Preserve also offers critical environmental education to underserved local students. The “Day on the Bay” program, which has served more than 19,000 students with fully-immersive, curriculum-aligned STEM education since it was established 20 years ago, will benefit tremendously from the planned improvements. The new education building will not only allow for more students and continued programming in inclement weather, but will also create an immersive learning experience so that students can foster a meaningful connection with the outdoors.

Fundraising for the project continues through the Center’s Lessons in Nature capital campaign. The campaign is set to launch its public debut in spring 2021 and seeks to raise the rest of the funding needed by the end of the year. A unique naming opportunity for the education building is available and those interested in supporting the project are encouraged to contact the Center.

“Being the stewards of this Preserve is an honor,” Bason said. “Having the responsibility to teach others about the amazing waters of the Bays — what lives in them, how they work, how they can be a source of life and danger — that is an awesome responsibility and something that we want to be able to share with so many more people.”

Implementation of the first phase of the James Farm Master Plan began in fall 2018 and included expanded parking facilities to increase capacity while safely accommodating increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic, designated school bus parking for safe student transport, and a multi-purpose event lawn for open space recreation and community events.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Center staff at the Preserve, contact Development Coordinator Anna Short at 302-226-8105 ext. 102 or ashort@inlandbays.org. For more about the Center, go to inlandbays.org.

Center for the Inland Bays and State Climatologist to Dive in to Local Climate Change Tools, Solutions

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Rehoboth Beach, DE — The challenges of climate change in coastal Delaware, as well as solutions and tools to better understand the impacts, will be the focus of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ upcoming Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) – Citizens Café.

The public is invited to join the Citizens Café virtually through Zoom at 6 p.m. on  Thursday, January 14.

Delaware is at the forefront of climate change impacts, with the lowest average elevation in the nation and sea level rise rates measuring at more than twice the global average. The state has seen a temperature increase of about 0.2 degrees per decade since record-keeping began in 1895, which has also meant a longer growing season as the first and last frosts of the year are delayed.

Dr. Daniel Leathers (left) and Kevin Brinson check the internal mechanism of the rain gage at the Newark Delaware Environmental Observing System site.

Guest speaker Dr. Daniel Leathers will explore the tools that the Center for Environmental Monitoring (CEMA) has available to better understand and monitor climate change in Delaware’s coastal environment. Dr. Leathers serves as CEMA’s Director and as Delaware’s State Climatologist, and also is a professor in the University of Delaware’s Department of Geography, Director of the Meteorology/Climatology Program, and is the Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS).

“Sea-level rise and other impacts of a changing climate will greatly affect our state,” says Dr. Leathers. “Monitoring climate and building environmentally relevant decision support tools for its residents is of great importance in understanding and limiting the consequences of a changing climate.”

Dr. Leathers also has served as the Chair of the Department of Geography and as Deputy Dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. His major research interests include understanding the role of snow cover in the global climate system and environmental monitoring. He earned a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy at Lycoming College, an M.S. in Meteorology from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in Geography from Penn State.

Michelle Schmidt, Watershed Coordinator at the Center, will join the conversation to share updates on the role climate change plays in the Center’s draft revised Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). The CCMP documents goals and activities that the Center and its partners agreed to address based on scientific data and input from key stakeholders and the community. The Center uses the CCMP to direct and carry out activities that protect and enhance the Inland Bays. The original CCMP was created in 1995 and updated in 2012, and a revised version is now nearly complete.

The Citizens Café will take place virtually on Zoom and pre-registration is required by signing up at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAudOitrj4pHNC8YYaIFpWnlNryGn2I_JpX.

More details about CAC and the January 14 meeting can be found online at www.inlandbays.org/about/committees/citizens-advisor.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

The CAC’s key role is to bring public concerns related to the protection of the Inland Bays and its watershed to the attention of the Center’s Board of Directors. Quarterly meetings (Cafés) offer the public a chance to engage with CAC and Center representatives and learn more about the Inland Bays watershed. 

For more information, please contact Lisa Swanger, Outreach & Education Coordinator, at 302-226-8105 x103 or lswanger@inlandbays.org, or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Honors Supporters with “Friend of the Bays” Awards

Friday, December 4th, 2020

Rehoboth Beach, DE – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is proud to announce this year’s recipients of the “Friend of the Bays” Awards, an honor given to individuals, volunteers and businesses for their support, partnership and volunteering excellence.

On Thursday, Dec. 3, the Center awarded Delmarva Power, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Regional Fish & Wildlife Manager Rob Gano and volunteer Jodi McLaughlin as the 2020 “Friend of the Bays” awardees.

Delmarva Power is a unit of Exelon Corporation that provides safe and reliable energy service to about 532,000 electric customers in Delaware and Maryland and about 136,000 natural gas customers in northern Delaware. The company, represented by Senior Public Affairs Manager Jim Smith, earned this year’s “Friend of the Bays” Business Award for supporting local environmental efforts, especially the preservation and restoration of the Inland Bays. 

“Whether helping the Center restore wild shellfish populations in the Bays or investing in the environmental education and recreation that the James Farm Ecological Preserve offers, Jim Smith and his team at Delmarva Power have proved themselves to be Friends of the Bays many times over,” said Anna Short, the Center’s Development Coordinator.

Rob Gano was presented with the Partner Award for his many years as a friend to the Center. The Center’s Executive Director, Chris Bason, outlined how Rob has helped preserve and restore habitat throughout the Bays, including his recent work with the Center at the Piney Point Tract of the Assawoman Wildlife Area along the Indian River.

“Rob’s responsibilities managing an increasingly popular and ecologically dynamic wildlife area are always growing, yet every time we come to him, he welcomes us with a smile and finds a way to protect and restore more fish and wildlife habitat,” Chris said. “He cares about people and wildlife very much: Rob is one in a million.”

Last, but certainly not least, the 2020 “Friend of the Bays” Volunteer Award was presented to Jodi McLaughlin for her invaluable help at the James Farm Ecological Preserve, maintaining and fixing osprey nests and participating in the Center’s oyster gardening program.

“The Center’s volunteers serve as stewards of our mission to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed,” said Nivette Pérez-Pérez, Project Manager at the Center. “It’s passionate people like Jodi who motivate us to move forward with their contagious excitement for the natural beauty of the Bays.”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

For more information call Nivette Pérez-Pérez at (302) 226-8105 ext. 109, send an email to nperezpereze@inlandbays.org or communications@inlandbays.org, or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

 

Drive in Style with a New Horseshoe Crab License Plate

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

Delaware – Few things are more idyllically Delaware than specialty license plates and horseshoe crabs. Delawareans can embrace their First State heritage and support a good environmental cause by purchasing a license plate featuring our very own living fossil.

The new environmental license plate featuring a coastal scene and Limulus polyphemus, better known as the American horseshoe crab, is now available to purchase through the Delaware Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles online or in-person at DMV locations throughout the state. 

The plates are $50 (one-time fee) and make for an affordable holiday gift for yourself or loved one that keeps on giving as 70% of the proceeds directly support the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE). Both organizations conduct scientific research and surveys in the Delaware Bay and the Delaware Inland Bays, critical habitats for horseshoe crabs and the shorebirds that rely on their eggs each spring.

Delaware is fortunate to be the home of two National Estuary Programs (NEP) that are both non-profit organizations: The Center for the Inland Bays based in Rehoboth Beach, and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary whose headquarters are in Wilmington. There are 28 NEPs across the country. The NEP is a nationwide program that’s designed to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance.

The iconic lighthouse license plate, which also benefits the Center and PDE, is still available for purchase, as well.

For more information about purchasing the plate, go to dmv.de.gov.

To request interviews or additional photos, please contact either Maddy Goss, Communications Specialist at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, at 302-858-7795 or mgoss@inlandbays.org or Kate Layton, Communications Coordinator at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, at 302-655-4990 ext. 113 or klayton@delawareestuary.org.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays works to preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed. Partnership for the Delaware Estuary works with partners in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to connect people, science and nature for a healthy Delaware River and Bay.

For more information about the Center, go to inlandbays.org. For more information about the Partnership, go to delawareestuary.org.

Sussex County Nonprofits Partner on Delaware’s Latest Living Shoreline

Monday, November 9th, 2020

Dagsboro, Delaware – Delaware’s latest living shoreline project is taking root along the banks of Pepper Creek thanks to a partnership between the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

At the Gardens, near Dagsboro, a section of shoreline was receding due to erosion and sea level rise, issues that threaten many shorelines and waterways in the Inland Bays and lead to increased flood risk. The nearby marsh was being drowned out by the intruding saltwater, evidenced by the gray-trunked trees that had fallen along the creek’s edge.

This project built on an innovative conceptual design developed by Karen Steenhoudt as she pursued her master’s degree in landscape architecture at Temple University. The Center and the Gardens worked with contractor Sovereign Consulting Inc. and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to build a living shoreline almost exclusively with materials found on site.

“The innovative use of the natural, woody materials that were already on site at the Botanic Gardens allowed us to create a really strong, protective, but attractive project that blends in with the landscape,” said Dr. Marianne Walch, the Center’s Science and Restoration Coordinator. “And it was installed almost entirely by volunteers. Living shorelines have been demonstrated to be just as protective, and in some cases more protective, against erosion than hard-armoring methods. And they are much more environmentally friendly.”

Living shorelines are effective alternatives to other shoreline stabilization methods like bulkheads or riprap, which can actually harm habitat by interrupting the ecological connection between the water and land. They use both natural and nature-based materials to dampen and absorb the energy from wind and waves, protecting the shoreline from erosion while also enhancing coastal habitat. Natural materials used in living shoreline designs can include vegetation, coir fiber logs, wooden logs and branches, oyster castles or bagged shells.

Logs and branches collected from the nearby woodlands provided the materials needed for an “anchored branch toe,” a naturally sourced structure built along the low-tide line that helps break up wave energy approaching the shore. Native plants such as marsh grasses, Northern spicebush and highbush blueberries were planted in the compromised wetland and upland areas where they will provide vital habitat and food for local wildlife and pollinators.

A majority of the project was completed by volunteers, who spent multiple hot, humid summer days lugging the logs and securing them in the creek’s bottom.

The living shoreline also features a viewing platform that offers a 90-degree view of the project so that residents, students, businesses, contractors and decision-makers can see first-hand how natural infrastructure could fit into their own landscaping plans and shoreline needs.

“Especially here in Sussex County where we’re seeing so much development along the tidal creeks and the Inland Bays, we want to show people how they can implement the technologies and techniques to protect these vital resources for everyone,” said Dr. Brian Trader, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Horticulture at the Gardens.

This project stabilizes over 300 feet of eroding shoreline, restores about 10,000 square feet of tidal wetlands and will remove close to 20 pounds of nutrient pollution each year from Pepper Creek. The project marks the Center’s sixth living shoreline demonstration site in the Inland Bays. 

To request on-site interviews or additional photos, please contact either Brent Baker, Director of Communications at the Delaware Botanic Gardens, at 508-277-1750 or bakercom@verizon.net or Maddy Goss, Communications Specialist at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, at 302-858-7795 or mgoss@inlandbays.org.

Inland Bays “Get Out!” campaign raises over $20,000

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

Rehoboth Beach, DE – Last month, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays called on supporters to get outside and do something they love while helping the Center raise money for its projects and programs through its inaugural Get Out for the Bays! campaign. On Sept. 29, Get Out! achieved its fundraising goal and by the close of the campaign, raised nearly $23,000.

“This is an incredible accomplishment and we are so grateful for all the fundraisers and donors who believed in this effort,” said Anna Short, the Center’s Development Coordinator. “Get Out for the Bays! wouldn’t have happened without them.”

Get Out for the Bays! started as an alternative to Decked Out, the Center’s annual fundraising event. Rather than risk the health of supporters by hosting an in-person event, the Center thought it best to plan something that would improve their health by encouraging them to get their recommended dose of time spent outdoors, which can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, enhance immune systems and lessen anxiety. 

Fourteen fundraisers, including Board members, staff and volunteers, rose to the challenge and set goals to hike and bike hundreds of miles, play over 1,000 pickleball games, stand quietly scanning the landscape for local birds and sharpen their nature photography skills. While doing some of their favorite outdoor activities, they called on their friends and family to support their efforts and the mission of the Center by donating. The campaign was also supported through matching donations by corporate partners, including Delmarva Power: An Exelon Company.

The funds will support water quality and habitat restoration projects, reforestation, youth education, wetlands protections and more. 

“When we first hatched this idea, we weren’t sure what to expect,” Short said. “The response we received was overwhelmingly positive and folks had a lot of fun. It’s definitely something that we’re considering for next year, so please keep an eye out!”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.  For more information, please contact Anna Short at ashort@inlandbays.org or (302) 226-8105 x 102, or visit us online at inlandbays.org.

Help Fight Plastic Pollution in the Inland Bays on June 8th!

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

Indian River Inlet –  The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is seeking volunteers and participants with boats for the 15th Annual Inland Bays Clean Up! This event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 8th and will focus on the shores along Rehoboth and Indian River Bays, leaving from Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp.

Last year’s event drew 54 volunteers who collected 2140 pounds of plastic bottles, tires, cans, wrappers, docking lumber, and derelict crab pots. Such debris in the Inland Bays can be harmful to Bay users and marine life. And although most visitors to the Inland Bays are mindful with their trash, the waters of the Bays still routinely wash up forgotten items, careless litter, and storm debris.

Participants can register for the event online at https://ibcleanup2019.eventbrite.com.  Advance registration is requested, as a light lunch and a reusable water bottle will be provided to participants. Additional boats are still needed!

Location assignments will take place on the day of the event at the launch point: Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp, located at the very end of Long Neck Road in Millsboro. Volunteers should be prepared for the weather (including cooler, breezy conditions on the water) and should dress for dirty and wet conditions. Work gloves are recommended and closed-toe shoes are required. Those who have access to lifejackets should bring one, as they are required onboard any boat used during the cleanup. Otherwise, lifejackets will be provided.

Each volunteer must sign a waiver to participate (available day-of). Waivers can be completed online in advance at the time of registration. This event is not recommended for children under 10 and participants under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) once again is lending support through the Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section, along with the Division of Parks & Recreation. Sponsors include Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, Division of Parks and Recreation, Dewey Beach Lions Club, Waste Industries USA, Inc., Senator Ernie Lopez and the DSWA Community Cleanup Initiative.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, and their watershed.

For more information call Amy Barra at (302) 226-8105 x 103, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org , or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Perdue AgriRecycle Donation Helps Bring Life to New James Farm Preserve Lawn

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Ocean View, DE – A new event lawn at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View hosted the 2019 Native Plant Sale and Green Living Expo on May 4, thanks in part to compost derived from poultry. Perdue AgriRecycle donated 80 cubic yards of compost to the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays for the installation of a new event lawn at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View. The event lawn is part of the implementation of the James Farm Master Plan, a community-developed initiative designed to protect the Preserve’s diverse collection of ecosystems, while safely accommodating and educating a growing number of visitors.

The compost provided by Perdue AgriRecycle was a critical component in completing the event lawn, which will provide an open, flexible, and easily accessible space for outdoor recreation and community events at the Preserve. Through a practice known as subsoiling, the Center will be able to maintain lush, healthy grass without the use of synthetic fertilizers that leach excess nutrients into the Bays.

“Compost is an excellent soil amendment for horticultural purposes,” said Bob Collins, Program Manager for the Center for the Inland Bays. “In addition to adding nutrients, it helps retain soil tilth and moisture and maintains beneficial microbial populations. This will be particularly helpful at the James Farm Ecological Preserve, where sandy soils make surviving summer drought and foot traffic difficult.”

The microSTART Premium Compost provided by Perdue AgriRecycle is a new product which is made by converting poultry byproducts and fresh forestry products into organic fertilizers that are listed by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) and meet the requirements of the USDA/NOP (National Organic Program). While there is no single solution to declining soil and water quality, microSTART Premium Compost reduces the impact of the poultry industry by providing a stable organic product that keeps nutrients from leaching and provides rich organic matter to improve soil qualities.

Because excess nitrogen and phosphorus are a major source of pollution to our Inland Bays, the use of this compost adds the necessary nutrients in an organic, low-concentration, and slow-release form that is an alternative to the annual application of high nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers.

“The microSTART product is consistent, making spreading and rototilling easy, and it has a pleasant earthy aroma,” said Collins. “At the James Farm, we take a low-input approach to promote bay-healthy techniques and we believe this product will help us grow quality turf without degrading our water quality.”

The Center would like to thank Perdue AgriRecycle for their generosity and partnership on this exciting project. The event lawn is a feature of the Preserve’s new gateway area, which was the primary focus of Phase 1 of the James Farm Master Plan. Phase 2 will involve much-needed updates to the Preserve’s campus area, which hosts the James Farm Education Program for middle school students in the watershed. Fundraising for Phase 2 is now underway. For more information about subsoiling and other bay-friendly landscaping practices, or to contribute to the James Farm Master Plan, visit www.inlandbays.org or call 302-226-8105.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

 

For more information call Amy Barra at (302) 226-8105 x 103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org, or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Green Living Gets Easier with a Native Plant Sale And Green Living Expo on May 4!

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Ocean View, DE — Head to the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View for the 15th Annual Native Plant Sale — now featuring a Green Living Expo — on Saturday, May 4th! From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., visitors can find a wide selection of native flowers, trees, shrubs, and grasses and explore some intriguing green-living goods. Then stick around for tours, demonstrations, gardening tips, food, and a chance to explore the latest updates to the Preserve!

This annual rite of spring is organized by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and sponsored by Coastal Plant Care, Ernst Seeds, and Inland Bays Garden Center!

A variety of local plant nurseries will be offering plants native to the area including Envirotech, Inland Bays Garden Center, Roots Landscaping and Garden Center, and Sussex Landscaping, LLC. Native plants are adapted to the soil and elements of southern Delaware, making them easier to maintain, requiring less water and fertilizer (a common source of nutrient pollution in our Inland Bays). They also provide important resources for pollinators like honey bees and butterflies, as well as native birds like ruby-throated hummingbirds, eastern bluebirds, northern cardinals, and black-capped chickadees!

Although the sale does not begin until 9:00 a.m., early birds can pass the time with a FREE 8:00 a.m. bird tour of the Preserve, led by our friends at Sussex Bird Club!

Some of the attending vendors and tables will include Good Earth Market, Annie’s Acre Apiary, Tall Oak Trading Company, Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice, Delaware Nature Society, UD Cooperative Extension, Energize Delaware, Sussex Master Gardeners, DE Solid Waste Authority, Insects by Dr. Dennis Bartow, and more! Once again, the Good Earth Market will offer snacks and lunch throughout the day.

The James Farm preserve is located at 30048 Cedar Neck Rd in Ocean View, DE. This is a rain or shine event. Many vendors are cash-only so please plan accordingly.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.


For more information call Amy Barra at (302) 226-8105 x 103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org, or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

 

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Speak Up! April 15 Workshop Explains How to Craft an Effective Letter to the Editor

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Rehoboth Beach, DE –  The public is invited to a free workshop to learn how to craft an effective Letter to the Editor, to be held on April 15 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach.

This FREE event is brought to you by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign along with co-hosts: Sussex Health and Environmental Network and the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project.

Do you have a concern and want to be heard by your friends, neighbors, and legislators? We’ll teach you how to write an effective Letter to the Editor: an opinion piece that can be submitted for print in local newspapers. Publisher of the Cape Gazette, Dennis Forney, will also be on hand to answer your questions about the newspaper industry and give tips on getting your Letter to the Editor in the paper!

“Some of our supporters have expressed that they feel their voices are being drowned out by people with larger platforms, more influence, and more tech knowledge,” explains Katie Young, workshop facilitator and Communications Specialist for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. “We want to reintroduce people to the basics! A thoughtful and well-composed Letter to the Editor can still be a great way to cut through the noise.”

Participants should register at www.LTEworkshop19.eventbrite.com. South Coastal Library is located at 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach, Delaware 19930.

This event is part of a larger Water Warrior Workshop series that is hosted statewide by the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign, a statewide outreach, and education effort focused on securing additional funding for clean water. The goal of this workshop series is to encourage citizens of Delaware to take an active role in protecting water quality in their state. Learn more about the campaign and other workshops at www.cleanwaterdelaware.org.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

For more information call Amy Barra at (302) 226-8105 x 103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org, or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Planting Trees: Simple, Sustainable, and Significant to our Watershed

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Rehoboth Beach, DE –  Join the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays to plant 5,800 seedlings this spring at Assawoman Wildlife Area in Frankford or the Sussex Landfill site in Lewes, projects that will restore wildlife habitat and improve water quality in our local Inland Bays!

Over one-hundred volunteers are needed for each planting event! The planting at Assawoman Wildlife Area will take place on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 at a site located off of Double Bridges Road in Frankford, across from the Ocean Farm and Clearwater Villages communities.  Then the following weekend, on Saturday, April 6, a planting will occur at the Sussex County Landfill #3 Buffer Site in Lewes, just off of Dorman Road near Lochwood.

Since the time of European development, forestland on coastal Delaware has declined as agriculture increased and development began to take over. Between 1992 to 2012 alone, eastern Sussex County lost over 14 square miles of upland forest, further intensifying the negative impacts of human influence on wildlife and water quality.

These impacts include a loss of habitat for native wildlife like songbirds, deer, and turkeys, as well as an increase in nutrient pollution to our creeks, rivers, and bays. Excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen can have harmful effects on commercially-important species like blue crabs and rockfish by creating “dead zones” or areas that don’t have enough oxygen in the water to support aquatic life.

By converting agricultural land to forestland, these projects will  reduce approximately 400lbs of phosphorus and 10lbs of nitrogen from entering our water each year. As the forests grow, the trees will store also carbon; a vital process called carbon sequestration that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and mitigates climate change.

In addition, the planting will create almost 5 acres of interior forest habitat. Many neotropical migratory songbirds such as Eastern Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat, and American Redstart, depend on these corridors for nesting, feeding and raising their young.

For addresses, parking information and to RSVP, please visit our Eventbrite pages:

Assawoman Wildlife Area (March 19 and 30):
www.awaplanting2019.eventbrite.com

Sussex County Landfill #3 Buffer Site (April 6):
www.sussexcountytreeplanting.eventbrite.com

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

For more information call Amy Barra at (302) 226-8105 x 103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org, or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Local Students and Restaurants Step Up for the Bays!

Monday, March 11th, 2019

Ocean View, DE – Local students and restaurants have started 2019 on the right foot! Representatives from Chesapeake & Maine, SoDel Concepts, C.A.P.E. for Tomorrow, and Sussex Technical High School have spent their new year volunteering time and energy to prepare oyster shells that will be used to restore shorelines and reintroduce the American Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) to the waters of Delaware’s Inland Bays.

On January 7th, Chesapeake & Maine bagged over 7.7 tons of spent oyster shell and on February 5th, SoDel Concepts (the parent company behind Bluecoast, Catch 54, Fish On) also bagged approximately 7.7 tons! Both of these restaurants are doing double duty as well: both bagging the shell and providing it as participating restaurants in the Center’s “Don’t Chuck Your Schucks” program.

Volunteers from Chesapeake & Maine pose for a photo after a long day of work on January 7th.


“Our oyster and clam shell recycling program was formalized in 2014 and now collects from over 20 local restaurants.” according to Bob Collins, Program Manager for the Center. “These restaurants are able to give back to their community in a unique way.” In 2018 alone, the program collected just under 4,000 bushels of empty shell!

Local students have been involved in this effort too! C.A.P.E. for Tomorrow (a Cape Henlopen High School club that promotes compassion for animals and protecting the environment) joined the effort as well as students from Sussex Technical High School who traveled from Georgetown to bag shell as part of their Environmental Tech Area field trip on the topic of oyster recycling. Together, the school groups bagged an impressive 14 tons of shells! In addition to their volunteer labor, C.A.P.E for Tomorrow students graciously donated $200 to the Center from their winter fundraiser funds!

Nate Linton from C.A.P.E. for Tomorrow tosses a completed bag on top of the ever-growing pile of bags destined for reforestation projects.

The Don’t Chuck Your Shucks and shell bagging projects are two different steps in the same initiative. When you visit a participating restaurant and order oysters or clams, restaurant staff will separate your discarded shell into a shell specific receptacle. Once collected, the shell is allowed to “cure” in the sun for a minimum of six months and then bagged for use in bay-friendly restoration projects. One such project is the Read Avenue Living Shoreline planned for Dewey Beach.

Moving forward, the Center will be hosting bagging events for local organizations and corporate groups. “This continued support allows us to install living shorelines (a technique of shoreline stabilization engineered using natural materials) and even create test oyster reefs to determine best tactics for enhancing native oyster populations in the Inland Bays,” says Center Project Manager, Victoria Spice.

When asked why they would want to volunteer on their day off or pass up a shift at the restaurant to bag oyster and clam shells, Chesapeake & Maine General Manager Justine Leaman explained: “Dogfish thrives on being part of local initiatives that help better our community and environment. It’s incredible to see oyster shells leave our restaurant as waste and be re-purposed for the better. After all, the better the Bays are, the better business is!”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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Volunteers Reforest James Farm Preserve in Ocean View

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Ocean View, DE —This fall, volunteers from the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), and the Coastal Gardeners Club planted trees to improve wildlife habitat at the James Farm Ecological Preserve.

Between 1992 to 2012, the Inland Bays watershed lost 14 miles square miles of forests. This vital habitat for wildlife has been largely replaced with developments, a change that also adds adds to roads and rooftops that contribute to stormwater runoff.

This loss of forests also affects populations of wildlife that rely on them for nesting, feeding and breeding, including amphibians, turtles, wild turkeys — and native songbirds!

“This project is particularly important for species that rely on lush, interior forest habitat (unfragmented forest area surrounded by more forest) like the Eastern Towhee, Yellow Breasted Chat and American Redstart,” said Victoria Spice, the Center’s Restoration Project Manager. “It is our hope that this project will enable the Preserve to better support the creatures that we all love to see and hear when out in nature.”

Twenty-two volunteers worked together to dig holes, move compost, mulch and plant fifteen-foot native hardwood trees to extend and improve the Preserve’s forest in what was once a pasture. In addition to diversifying the existing forest, this fuller canopy will also serve as a shaded picnic area for visitors to enjoy the Preserve.

This improvement is part of Phase I of the James Farm Master Plan, a project expected to be completed by Spring 2019. Created in 2014, this Plan includes several Phases of updates that will help accommodate the growing needs of the Preserve, while protecting its natural resources and enhancing educational opportunities. Right now, the Center is working to raise funds for the second phase, including repair and realignment of the trail system, construction new educational facilities, and improvements to storage areas.

For information about the James Farm Master Plan and how you can get involved, visit us online at www.inlandbays.org/JamesFarm.

Funding for this planting project was provided by the Delaware Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program, whose goal is to enhance and promote the proper stewardship of Delaware’s urban forest resources.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Katie Young at (302) 226-8105 x 109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org , or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Applauds Sussex County Council For Protecting Tidal Wetlands and Tributary Streams

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Sussex County, DE — An ordinance just passed by the Sussex County Council will protect the County’s tidal wetlands and tidal tributary streams by subtracting their acreage from a development’s buildable area.

“We have to ask ourselves if we are mining out the beauty and heritage of the County we all know and love,” said bill sponsor, Councilman I.G. Burton III. “Addressing the density of development in our most critically environmentally-sensitive areas is a small step towards preserving and protecting our environment.”

The previous trend of high-density development near these sensitive areas was putting people right in the path of floodwaters.


Until now, the County’s calculation for a development’s “gross buildable area” has been calculated using the total acreage of a development site, even when this acreage includes unbuildable and ecologically-important areas like wetlands and streams. This practice has effectively concentrated dense development on areas too near the County’s most sensitive wetlands and waterways.

The new ordinance, passed by the County Council on December 4, will calculate permitted density based on total acreage, unless that acreage includes a state tidal wetland or tidal tributary stream. In that case the total acreage will be determined by subtracting out the acreage of these newly protected areas. The ordinance was amended after the public hearing and council discussions, removing language that would have offered the same protections for perennial non-tidal rivers and streams, and non-tidal wetlands.

The Center conducts research on tidal wetlands. Here, Environmental Scientist Andrew McGowan is measuring elevation levels.

Citing the new ordinance as a balance between quality of life and property rights, Councilman Burton explained, “The interesting thing is that the environment protects our property values and we should do whatever we can to protect the environment.”

Areas with high density development and impervious surfaces such as roads, parking lots, and rooftops, are more vulnerable to stormwater runoff (a source of pollutants to local waterways) and flooding from storms and sea level rise. The previous trend of high-density development near these sensitive areas was leaving community members right in the path of this flooding: putting their homes and lives at risk. With less dense development, the protected tidal wetlands can help mitigate flooding events, acting as sponges for rain, storm surge, and floodwaters.

“The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays would like to thank the Sussex County Council and the supporters that advocated for this ordinance, as well as Councilman Burton for his dedication to protecting our County’s environment,” said Chris Bason, Executive Director the the Center. “While we would have liked to see non-wetlands and perennial non-tidal river and streams included in this ordinance, this new protection of tidal wetlands is still an important improvement that has the power to protect water quality, sensitive natural habitats, and even human lives.”

More information is available at https://sussexcountyde.gov/ordinance-relating-calculation-permitted-density. 

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Breaks Ground on James Farm Preserve Improvements

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Ocean View, DE
 — On November 16, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays broke ground to implement the James Farm Ecological Preserve Master Plan, a community-developed initiative designed to protect the Preserve’s diverse collection of ecosystems, while safely accommodating and educating a growing number of visitors. 
 
“In 1992, the Preserve was donated to Sussex County by the late Mary Lighthipe, (a descendant of the James family) in memory of her son, Harold,” explains Bob Collins, the Center’s Program Manager. “She specified that the property be kept natural and used for educational purposes. This Master Plan will ensure her vision remains a reality for generations to come.”
 

In 2014, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, which manages the Preserve for Sussex County, created a Master Plan that accommodates the growing needs of the Preserve, while protecting its natural resources and enhancing the educational opportunities that are offered there. Overall upgrades to the site will include restrooms and parking, a safe entry and exit area to Cedar Neck road, storage facilities for equipment and educational programs, trail improvements, interpretive signage, and provisions for special events.
 

November’s groundbreaking marks the very beginning of the plan’s implementation. These Phase One improvements include a new parking area that can hold 27 cars and safely accommodate the buses that bring local students for the Center’s environmental educational programs each fall and spring.  A new event lawn completes Phase One: an improvement that will allow for the Center to hold community-friendly events like concerts and the annual native plant sale.

View of the entrance area to be improved. Photo provided by Vickie York Realty.


The James Farm Master Plan covers the next 20 years of management to preserve its special natural lands and lights the way for future generations to safely enjoy this ecological treasure. The Center is now working to raise funds for the second phase of the Plan that includes repair and realignment of the trail system, construction new educational facilities, and improvements to storage areas for the Center’s projects to restore the Inland Bays.  For information about the James Farm Master Plan and how you can get involved, visit www.inlandbays.org/JamesFarm.
 
Phase One of the Master Plan is being generously funded by Outdoor, Recreation, Parks and Trails (ORPT) Program Grants from the Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund, the Sussex County Council, Community Transportation Funds of Senator Gerald Hocker and Representative Ron Gray, a Sussex County Councilmatic Grant from Councilperson George Cole, State of Delaware Grant in Aid, Bunting and Murray Construction Corporation, and by numerous private donations from the Center’s many supporters. The Center would like to extend a huge “thank you” to these financial supporters, Sussex County Council, and to those community members who visit and support the Center and the James Farm Ecological Preserve.
 
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them. 

The James Farm Master Plan includes site planning concepts to accommodate increased visitation while protecting natural resources and enhancing the educational opportunities at the Preserve.

 
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Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Honors Recipients with “Friend of the Bays” Awards

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Ocean View, DE – On Friday, November 16, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays presented three “Friend of the Bays” awards to Sussex County Council, Waste Industries, and John Austin (posthumously), for their support, partnership and volunteering excellence benefitting Delaware’s three Inland Bays.

Patti Deptula (recently retired Sussex County employee in charge of special projects), Chris Bason (Exec. Director at DE Inland Bays), Gina Jennings (Finance Director), George B. Cole (County Council), Irwin G. Burton (County Council), Todd F. Lawson (Sussex County Administrator)

Sussex County Council was presented with the “Friend of the Bays” Partner Award for their long-term excellence in implementing the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Inland Bays.  Center Director, Chris Bason, highlighted the Council’s successful long-term initiative to provide central sewerage that converted 29,000 septic systems to sewer over a period of 30 years.

“We’re very proud to be presenting this award to our partners at Sussex County Council,” Bason explained. “Their perseverance in providing wastewater treatment is  integral to improving the health of our Inland Bays. The Council’s support for the James Farm Ecological Preserve each year also helps to educate the next generation of children about the importance of protecting the Bays.   

Bryan Kastor and Kristy Chmelski of Waste Industries were the 2018
recipients of the “Friend of the Bays” Business Award. For several years, Waste Industries has been a generous partner of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.

Bryan Castor (Waste Industries), Bob Collins (Program Manager at DE Inland Bays), Kristy Chmelski (Waste Industries)

Not only have they financially supported Center projects such as the Inland Bays Cleanup, but they have consistently participated in and provided services for Center events. Upon accepting the award, Bryan Kastor told the audience that he credits outdoor experiences as a child for his passion for the Bays and for outdoor recreation.

Last but certainly not least, the 2018 “Friend of the Bays” Volunteer Award was presented to Martha Austin in honor of her late husband John Austin.

John was well-known in the community for his dedication to protecting Delaware’s environmental treasures. John was a fierce advocate for the Inland Bays.

“John was a tireless fighter for clean water in Sussex County. His work continues.”said the Center’s Board Chair, Dr. Susie Ball.

Karen Collins (daughter of John Austin), Dr. Susie Ball (DE Inland Bays Board Chair), and Martha Austin (wife of John Austin)

“He was a long-standing member of our Citizens Advisory Committee — to which he was a major contributor through communication about sources of pollution to the Inland Bays.”


The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

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Center for the Inland Bays Recommends Mitigation of Mountaire Pollution

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Rehoboth Beach – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays has released a series of recommendations related to wastewater permit violations at the Mountaire poultry processing facility on the Indian River.  The recommendations follow a presentation in April of findings that the facility has a history of chronic permit violations and lax enforcement that contributed to pollution of ground and surface waters.  The recommendations also follow the release in June of a consent decree between Mountaire and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), which has been challenged by local residents in Delaware Superior Court.  

A Committee of the Center’s Board of Directors helped to develop the recommendations that include pollution remediation, regulation and permitting, environmental monitoring, and public information.  While the recommendations were developed before the consent decree was released, they remain relevant today.

Among the recommendations are a full accounting of pollution released from the facility in excess of its permitted limits extending back to at least 2009.  Also included is a recommendation that Mountaire prevent twice that amount of pollution from entering surface waters through new pollution control practices.  The consent decree between Mountaire and DNREC would require an amount of pollution twice as much as released over permitted limits to be cleaned up. However, it only seeks this beginning from July 31 of 2017, the date that a wastewater permit was issued just weeks before the facility’s wastewater system failed.

The Center also recommends that the facility’s water supply wells be relocated to intercept the most polluted groundwaters for treatment by the facility’s wastewater system.  The consent decree also contains this action. However, per the decree, well relocation would only be required after a new wastewater treatment system is constructed, which could take years.  This will allow highly-contaminated groundwater to continue leaching from the aquifer into Swan Creek and Indian River.

Other recommendations call for Mountaire to monitor the quality of water in Swan Creek and support additional monitoring of Indian River.  Existing monitoring of the river during the summers of 2017 and 2018 showed some of its worst-ever recorded water quality, with extremely-dense algae blooms and dissolved oxygen levels regularly falling to near zero.  

The recommendations also call for regular reports to the public on the pollution levels in the wastewater that continues to be disposed of at the facility.  Requests from the Center to DNREC for additional information about pollution levels and the proposed cleanup were not met. Chris Bason, Executive Director for the Center for the Inland Bays, said “Clean drinking water and a healthy Indian River are extremely important to the health of our community and economy.  We recognize the ongoing legal proceedings between DNREC and Mountaire, and we encourage important information concerning water resources to be made public.”

The Center’s recommendations also call for:

  • An evaluation of the failure by regulatory agencies to prevent permit violations and achieve permit compliance at the facility.
  • DNREC to address the violations of the facility’s Coastal Zone Act Permit
  • DNREC to maintain complete and up to date records for wastewater facilities on its public online information system.
  • Sellers of homes with private drinking water wells to disclose the level of nitrate in the water prior to sale of the home.

The Center intends to advocate for the implementation of these recommendations and to continue informing the public about the water quality and importance of the Inland Bays.  To read the full report including findings and recommendations, visit the Center’s website at www.inlandbays.org/mountaire-contamination-report/

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their Watershed.

For more information call Chris Bason at 226-8105×104, send an email to chrisbason@inlandbays.org or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

 

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Sewers Spell Success for Sussex County

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

An overabundance of bacteria pollution in the Bays can cause swimmers to experience gastrointestinal issues or infection.

Sussex County, DE — In Sussex County, over 29,000 septic systems have been switched to central sewerage over the last 30 years, a change that will improve the long-term health of the county’s waterways.

It’s no secret that the population in Sussex County has swelled in the past decades, a change that has concentrated many new homes along sensitive waterways. Along with this influx of people comes the need to safely and adequately treat an increasing amount of waste.

Onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems, commonly called septic systems, are a large source of nutrient pollution to the Inland Bays. Conventional septic systems are only built to last between 12-20 years and many of the on-site septic systems in the Inland Bays watershed are close to or exceeding their lifespan. As these systems begin to age, the potential for failure increases and they can leach nitrogen, phosphorus — and even harmful bacteria — into the groundwater which flows the Bays. Half of the 26 monitoring stations in the Inland Bays do not meet the standard for nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. Excess nutrients from runoff cause an overabundance of algae and murky water, which depletes oxygen killing fish and seagrass and reduces essential fish habitat. An overabundance of bacteria pollution in the Bays can cause swimmers to experience gastrointestinal issues or infection. Summer samples show that most tributary sites exceed the safe swimming standard for bacteria more than 75% of the time, demonstrating that these areas are frequently unsafe for recreation.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays aims to reduce this problem by implementing a Pollution Control Strategy (PCS) which calls for the conversion of onsite septic systems to central sewers that are more effective at treating pollution and more reliable.  Sussex County’s recently approved budget includes over $40 million dedicated to sewer improvement and expansion projects. The County will spend $21 million to upgrade 713 homes located along Herring Creek, a tributary that drains into Rehoboth Bay. In total, the County is working on upgrading 1,536 homes and has plans to upgrade an additional 373 homes. One future project will upgrade 120 homes in Joy Beach, costing approximately $5.5 million.

Project partner and County Engineer, Hans Medlarz, explains: “Sussex County proudly carries forward the long-standing tradition of providing central sewer service to the region to improve the water quality of the Inland Bays .” Connecting houses to central sewer will reduce nitrogen loads to local waterways by over one million pounds per year. That’s the nitrogen-removal equivalent of 100 thousand bags of 10-10-10 fertilizer, a common source of nitrogen pollution that harms the Inland Bays.

Between 2011 and 2016, the equivalent number of 6,813 single family homes were connected to central sewer, and the PCS goal for septic conversion was far surpassed.


The Center would like to extend a special thank you to Sussex County, who has been integral in making these changes. The Inland Bays are a treasure to Sussex County and provide outdoor recreation opportunities, jobs, and scenic beauty. Sussex County will continue to fund projects that convert on-site septic systems to central sewer in the coming years and is currently working on six new sewer projects.

Thank you, Sussex County, for helping us to protect the Bays!

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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No Tricks, All Trees…Planted at Assawoman Wildlife Area

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Ocean View, DE — The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife, and volunteers came together on Saturday, October 20th to plant 325 trees at Sassafras Landing in the Assawoman Wildlife Area.

Throughout the morning, 37 volunteers of all ages planted trees, showed off their costumes, designed their own recycled bird feeders, discovered the origins of some spooky skulls, played games, and explored why forests are so important for better water quality and as wildlife habitat.

Between 1992 and 2012, the Inland Bays watershed lost 14 square miles of ecologically-important forested areas. Not only does this harm the wildlife that depends on these forests (native birds, foxes, turtles, etc.), it also negatively affects the water quality of our creeks, rivers, and Bays.

Center Restoration Project Manager, Victoria Spice (right), helps Jaxon Vanderhook plant a tree as mom, Sheena, supervises.

 

“When we replace forests with homes, roads, businesses, or parking lots, we are creating more impervious “hardened” surfaces for rainwater to pick up pollutants and wash them into our waterways,” explains Victoria Spice, the Center’s Restoration Project Manager. “But if we allow forests to grow and thrive, they can help reduce stormwater runoff and can even absorb and filter the rain, allowing it to enter our groundwater — where much of our drinking water comes from.” This reforestation project alone will reduce nitrogen by 59.5 lbs per year and phosphorus by 1.4 lbs per year, create four acres of rich interior forest habitat, and sequester 6.9 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years.

This project was a partnership between the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife and furthers the Center’s Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy goal to establish forested waterway buffers in the Inland Bays watershed, the Delaware Inland Bays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan’s goals to provide forested buffers that reduce nutrient loading to the bays, and the 2015-2025 Delaware Wildlife Action Plan that calls for re-establishment of coastal plain forest habitats lost to fragmentation that can enhance and protect both biodiversity and water quality.

Additional plantings will take place this Spring between March and April. Part of the Center’s Watershed Reforestation Plan, two additional reforestation projects we will take place on Double Bridges Road in the Assawoman Wildlife Area and within a buffer property at the Sussex County Landfill. For more information, or to get your large group involved, please contact Victoria Spice at vspice@inlandbays.org.

Quinton Ashman, Bryanna Lisiewski, Sedona Ashman, Sue Sigvardson, Mrs. Delaware Earth, Bob Collins, Maeva Colona, and Avery, Addison, and Eugene Isaac pose in their costumes.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

 

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Explore Mathematical Models of the Inland Bays at this Friday’s STAC Meeting!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Lewes, DE — The public is invited to attend the next Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting on Friday, October 26, 2018, from 9:00 am – noon at the DNREC Lewes Field Facility on 901 Pilottown Road in Lewes, DE.

At this meeting, the focus will be on development of mathematical models of the Inland Bays to make predictions about the results of pollution inputs. Dr. Jeremy Testa of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science will discuss the use of ecosystem models to explore the long-term impacts of nutrient pollution on bay water quality. Dr. Joseph Zhang of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will present his work on a new modeling approach to study water movement and pollution problems in estuaries such as the Inland Bays.

“Models are important tools to help scientists and decision makers better understand how bay waters change in response to things such as pollution and climate change,” says Dr. Marianne Walch, the Center’s Science & Restoration Coordinator. They can also be used to predict which management decisions and practices will provide maximum water quality benefit.”

The agenda also includes input from the STAC on updates to the Center’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, and a discussion of priority research needs for the Inland Bays.

STAC meetings are a great opportunity to hear presentations about the local environment, and a chance to ask questions about the latest research being conducted on the Inland Bays. This Committee provides objective advice and guidance to the Center’s Board of Directors and other cooperating agencies that have interests in Delaware’s Inland Bays. A draft agenda and additional information about the Committee and past meetings can be found on the CIB website and at www.inlandbays.org/stac.

Kids Head Outside for Hands-On Education with Help from a Green Grants Award!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Ocean View, DE —  The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, with the help of a Green Grants award from the Delaware Nature Society and Delmarva Power, will bring the classroom outside for local students this fall, through the James Farm Education Program!
 
Started in 1999 as a partnership with the Indian River School District, the James Farm Middle School Education Program offers outdoor, hands-on learning opportunities for local students. Essential funding for the Fall 2018 semester is generously provided by a “Green Grants” award from Delaware Nature Society and Delmarva Power. Grants and private donations like these are critical to the continuation and expansion of this program. 
 
The James Farm Middle School Education Program, managed by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, serves approximately 1,000 students from the Indian River School District each year. For some of these students, this is their first visit to the bays located right in their “backyard!” 
 
“Experiencing the unaltered forests, meadows, and sandy bayside beaches at the James Farm is a great experience for students,” explains Amy Barra, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Center. “For them, the program is often inspirational as well as educational. It’s a chance to see science in action!” 
 

Education takes place in the field.

 
The James Farm program is an ‘extension activity’ that is aligned with the school’s science curriculum. After learning concepts in the classroom, students head out to the James Farm Ecological Preserve to participate in hands-on activities, conducting many of the experiments done by professional and citizen scientists. In addition to students from Indian River School District, this fall the program is expanding to also include students from The Jefferson School, who will visit the site to learn about animals that rely on the Inland Bays habitat.
 
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them. 
 
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Trick or Tree-t with us on Saturday, October 20th!

Monday, October 8th, 2018

Ocean View, DE — The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife are coming together for a Halloween-themed tree planting event to be held on Saturday, October 20th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Assawoman Wildlife Area.

Stop by to plant trees and add to a beautiful forested area at Sassafras Landing, then hangout with us to explore why forests are so important, and to celebrate Halloween! Bring your own paper milk carton and learn how to turn it into a festive owl-shaped bird feeder. Get decked out in your best costume and compete in our costume contest. Stop by the photo booth and take some spooky selfies! Trick or Tree-t at each activity station, making crafts, learning, and picking up candy as you go! This is a free event but we ask that you please RSVP at treet.eventbrite.com.

Why are we planting trees? Between 1992 to 2012, the Inland Bays watershed has lost 14 square miles of its important forested areas. Not only does this cause problems for the wildlife that depend on these forests (native birds, foxes, turtles, etc.), it also negatively affects the water quality of our creeks, rivers, and Bays.

“When we replace forests with homes, roads, businesses, or parking lots, we are creating more impervious “hardened” surfaces for rainwater to pick up pollutants and wash them into our waterways,” explains Victoria Spice, the Center’s Restoration Project Manager.  “But if we allow forests to grow and thrive, they can help reduce stormwater runoff and can even absorb and filter the rain, allowing it to enter our groundwater — where much of our drinking water comes from.”

This is YOUR chance to give back to the beautiful lands and waters of southeastern Delaware in a fun and festive way! This project is a partnership between the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife and furthers the Center’s Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy goal to establish forested waterway buffers in the Inland Bays watershed, the Delaware Inland Bays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan’s goals to provide forested buffers that reduce nutrient loading to the bays, and the 2015-2025 Delaware Wildlife Action Plan that calls for re-establishment of coastal plain forest habitats lost to fragmentation that can enhance and protect both biodiversity and water quality.

The planting will take place within Assawoman Wildlife Area at Sassafras Landing Rd, Delaware, 19945. This is an all-ages event with additional activities geared towards families with preschool through elementary-aged children. Tools will be available, but we encourage you to bring your own shovel, spade, and gloves if you have them! This is a rain or shine event so please dress for the weather! Free parking is available when you follow the event signage.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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Decked Out 2018 Raises Over $25,000 for the Bays!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
Rehoboth Beach, DE — The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, sponsored, donated, and supported our Decked Out 2018 fundraiser! With YOUR help, we raised over $25,000 to support projects that preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s three Inland Bays: valuable estuaries that support outdoor recreation, vital habitat for wildlife, and a booming local economy! 
 
This annual fundraiser had folks sampling oysters from Hammerheads and 99 Sea Level, sipping on Dogfish Head beer, and enjoying orange crushes made by The Starboard. Guest auctioneer, Nicole Edenedo (of WRDE – NBC) auctioned off several larger items, including a 3-hour house party with a live performance by The Girlfriends, and a private tour of various breweries, wineries and distilleries with Sun Otter Tours. New this year, renowned local artist, John Donato, painted an exceptional work of art for the live auction, an item that brought in $2,000 alone! 
 

Executive Director, Chris Bason said that Decked Out is one of the best events on the Bays, with support from  “Decked Out brings together people from environmental groups, area businesses, local and state government representatives and residents; all people who love and want to support the bays. We’re thrilled to have more sponsors this year than we’ve ever had before, and we’re excited to continue working to protect the bays with the support of so many people behind us”. 

Lauryn and Frank Piorko step up to the photo booth!

 
We’d like to extend our gratitude to all of our 2018 sponsors, including our top five contributors: Sovereign Consulting, Inc. (Golden Pearl), Sussex County Council (Golden Pearl), Clean Delaware, Inc. (Watershed Warriors), Coastal Tented Events (Watershed Warriors), and Vickie York at the beach Realty (Watershed Warriors). Patronizing any of these businesses or seeing any of these people around town? Be sure to give them a great big “thank you” for supporting our Bays!
 
Additional sponsors for Decked Out 2018 included Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), Dogfish Head, George & Barbara Junkin, Ken & Susan Sigvardson, Raymond F. Book & Associates, Rich Weissman & Patti Drago, RK&K, Town of South Bethany, Delmarva Power, an Exelon Company, Ashton Group at the Beach, Barbara & John Sears, Cardno, Deepwater Wind, LLC / SkipJack Offshore Energy, Delaware Sea Grant, Heather’s Home Works, Hot Steam Carpet Clean, John Schneider & Susan Moerschel, L&W Insurance, NRG Indian River Power Plant, Pegasus Foundation, Susie Ball & Susan Delaney, Sussex County Conservation District, Tidewater Utilities, Inc., Carl M. Freeman Companies, Funland, Delaware Nature Society, Diamond State Financial Group and Nick Vali (Wealth Manager), and Select Financial Group. 
 
Couldn’t make this year’s event? Stay in touch with us to get the inside scoop on upcoming events and next year’s “Black Pearl” event celebrating the Center’s 25th anniversary! You can follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/DEInlandBays, Twitter, Instagram (@deinlandbays) and Youtube — or bookmark our website at www.inlandbays.org
 
Next up: Art lovers can join us at Gallery One for an art exhibition on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.! This exhibition will feature scenes on canvas that are inspired by the James Farm Ecological Preserve: an oasis of natural land that sits on the southern end of Indian River Bay in Ocean View. Proceeds from sales of these works will support improvements that allow the Preserve to better educate and accommodate future visitors. Gallery One is located at 32 Atlantic Ave #A Ocean View, DE 19970.
 
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.
 
For more information call Amy Barra at 226-8105×103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org
 
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New Reforestation Plan Will Combat Effects of Urbanization/Pollution

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Rehoboth Beach — The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ new Watershed Reforestation Plan identifies and envisions water quality improvement projects that benefit the Inland Bays and create valuable partnerships in conservation efforts.

In recent years, land use has changed dramatically for the Inland Bays watershed (an area of land covering most of eastern Sussex County that drains into the Inland Bays). Farms and forests are rapidly being replaced by developments which grew by 25 square miles from 1992 to 2012.

“We need to address these water quality issues in a strategic and cost-effective manner,” explained the Center’s Watershed Coordinator, Michelle Schmidt. “This new Watershed Reforestation Plan is our guide for this endeavor and has helped us to identify reforestation sites, approach landowners, and build valuable partnerships that help us to achieve mutual goals.”

Over the past five years, the Center has worked hard to implement several reforestation projects to mitigate these problems and to achieve the goals of the Center’s 2012 Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP) Addendum and 2008 Pollution Control Strategy (which has an ambitious goal of creating 3,246 acres of riparian forested buffer).

In 2015, the Center partnered with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife to reforest 70 acres of former agricultural land at the Marion R. Okie Preserve at Poplar Thicket. The following year, in 2016, the Center partnered with The Nature Conservancy to reforest 22 acres of the 557-acre Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve on Indian River. Finally, over the course of four years beginning in 2014, the Angola Neck Reforestation Project saw the planting of nearly 38 acres of state-owned and managed agricultural lands in Angola Neck. This project created a forested corridor from Love Creek into other wetland areas located further inland in order to enhance water quality and wildlife habitat for songbirds like Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Parula, and American Redstart.

The Center initiated the development of a Watershed Reforestation Plan in 2016. This plan identifies and conceptualizes priority cropland reforestation projects that are the most cost-effective measures for water quality improvements and result in the highest quality conservation improvements. A Watershed Reforestation Model was developed to identify and rank all agricultural parcels in the Inland Bays watershed as candidates for reforestation or other Best Management Practices based on specific criteria, including the proximity to first order streams and already protected areas.

Currently, the Center is reaching out to landowners of the top ranking project sites to gauge interest and create partnerships. From there, reforestation concept designs will be developed and used, turning to The Reforestation Management Plan as a guide.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

 

Letter to the Editor: Delaware Chose Clean Water for 2019

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

by Amy Barra

On behalf of the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays would like to thank Governor John Carney and Delaware State Legislature for their efforts that secured $10 million for open space preservation, $10 million for farmland preservation, and $10 million for investments for clean water in Delaware’s budget for fiscal year 2019!

Providing funding for clean water may help Delawareans avoid a water related state of emergency, like the one that Florida is experiencing right now. Seven counties in Florida are suffering from toxic algae outbreaks, which negatively impact the water quality. Growing up, I regularly visited two of these impacted counties, as both sets of grandparents had resettled in Florida for it’s warmer climate and abundance of water. I remember looking forward to paddling through the waters of the estuary, or visiting their boats docked along the canals, but if I were to visit today these areas would be choked with mats of toxic algae.This is a fate that I hope Delaware can avoid by being proactive about the water quality.  

The $10 million for clean water in the Bond bill may be a drop in the bucket when compared to the annual deficit of $100 million needed to address our water quality needs. But it is a step in the right direction, and it is my hope is that this funding will inspire further action to secure dedicated funding for clean water projects.

Research on ribbed mussel habitat restoration to be presented at next meeting of the Center for the Inland Bays Science Committee

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays invites the public to attend the next Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) meeting on Friday, July 27, 2018, from 9:00am – noon at the DNREC Lewes Field Facility on 901 Pilottown Road in Lewes, DE.

At this meeting, Dr. Joshua Moody of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary will present his work on ecosystem services provided by the ribbed mussels found in tidal salt marshes throughout the Inland Bays.  Among these important services is removal of excess nitrogen that pollutes bay waters and can cause algae blooms and low oxygen levels that harm fish and shellfish.

“High concentrations of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus is the biggest problem currently facing the Inland Bays,” says Dr. Marianne Walch, the Center’s Science & Restoration Coordinator. “Dr. Moody’s research will help us understand how enhancement of mussel populations in living shoreline and wetland restoration projects can help maximize their water quality benefits.”

The agenda also includes a presentation by Dr. William Ritter of the University of Delaware about technologies for treating food processing wastewater, and discussion of a report released by the Center for the Inland Bays board that includes data regarding pollution at the Mountaire facility in Millsboro.

STAC meetings are a great opportunity to hear presentations about the local environment, and a chance to ask questions about the latest research being conducted on the Inland Bays. This Committee provides objective advice and guidance to the Center’s Board of Directors and other cooperating agencies that have interests in Delaware’s Inland Bays. A draft agenda and additional information about the Committee and past meetings can be found on the CIB website and at www.inlandbays.org/stac.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

Delaware Chooses Clean Water for 2019

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

On behalf of the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays would like to thank Governor John Carney and Delaware State Legislature for their efforts that secured $10 million for open space preservation, $10 million for farmland preservation, and $10 million for investments for clean water in Delaware’s budget for fiscal year 2019!

Clean water is essential to everyone, impacting our everyday lives through the food we eat; the streams, rivers, lakes and bays near our homes; our health; and our economy. Unfortunately, 90 percent of Delaware’s waterways are polluted,100 miles of Delaware’s waters have fish consumption advisories, and Delaware faces an annual deficit of $100 million to address our water quality needs. Fortunately, the future of our water just got a little bit brighter.

Each year, the governor and state legislature have the task of passing their Bond Bill for the upcoming fiscal year that designates funding for capital improvements such as road repairs, building maintenance, and land preservation. On the final day of legislative session, Governor John Carney and the Delaware State Legislature passed a bill that includes $30 million combined for open space preservation, farmland preservation, and investments in clean water! This exceeded the original proposed $26 million combined and is the most conservation funding that Delaware has received in over a decade!

While putting money toward clean water is obviously a win for Delaware’s waterways, the inclusion of millions for open space and farmland preservation is also important to the cause. The preservation of open spaces protects areas that absorb flood waters and filter stormwater runoff before it lands in our waterways. Such parks and forests also offer relief to the pressure that increased development puts on our water infrastructure and natural resources — especially in fast-growing Sussex County.

The new fiscal year officially began on July 1 which means that Delawareans can expect to see this money put to use within the year. Projects funded throughout the state could include improvements to wastewater systems, flood reduction initiatives, innovative toxic removal technologies, and investments in drinking water quality.

This could not have been achieved without those who spoke up for clean water throughout the state. Whether you rallied in front of Legislative Hall earlier this month, advocated for funding in front of the House Natural Resources Committee, or promoted clean water during the Bond Bill Committee process, you made a difference! But it is important to keep working towards this clean water goal. While this infusion of funding for Delaware’s waterways is exciting, more is still needed.

“The funding we’ve received for this year is a big step in the right direction and we’re grateful for the support.” explains Executive Director of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Chris Bason, “But we’re still falling short of the $100 million needed annually for clean water projects throughout the state. It is important that we continue to work towards a long-term and sustainable funding solution for Delaware’s water needs.”

Once again, on behalf of the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, thank you Governor Carney, Delaware State Legislature, and clean water supporters for their hard work and dedication to this cause. Let’s keep moving in a positive direction!

The Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign is a statewide outreach and education effort focused on securing additional funding for clean water. The campaign supports additional funding going towards improvement to wastewater systems, flood reduction initiatives, restoration of our natural resources like wetlands, innovative toxic removal technologies and investments in drinking water. Learn more about the campaign at www.cleanwaterdelaware.org..

DNREC EF Project Priorities and Intended Use Plans are listed online at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/environmental-finance/revolving-fund/

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Center from the Inland Bays Seeks Feedback on Plan to Manage the Inland Bays

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays needs your help! The Center will host a public forum on the evening of Monday, July 23rd at the Indian River Senior Center in Millsboro to share updates and collect public feedback on the management plan for the future of the Inland Bays.

The updated Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) will direct the activities that protect and enhance the Inland Bays for the next five years, through 2023. It outlines goals and activities that the Center and its partners take on in order to improve the Inland Bays and surrounding watershed. These goals are based on scientific data and input from key stakeholders in the community — people like YOU!

The public forum will be held on Monday, July 23rd from 6:00PM-8:00PM at the Indian River Senior Center located at 214 Irons Ave, Millsboro, DE 19966.

Have questions? Please contact us at mschmidt@inlandbays.org.


The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit National Estuary Program established in 1994, that works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays,the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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Attend the Best Bayside Party of the Year on August 2nd!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018
Rehoboth Beach, DE — On the evening of Thursday, August 2nd from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., join the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays for the 11th Annual Decked Out fundraiser, featuring friends, fun, and food — and raising money to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s three Inland Bays! The event will be held at the Center’s Headquarters at 39375 Inlet Road, Rehoboth Beach, DE.
 
“Summer’s here, and the time is right for Decked Out – one of the area’s most spectacular evenings on the Inland Bays,” said Chris Bason, Executive Director of the Center. “This year we are excited to have local artist John Donato on deck, who will do a “live” custom painting which will be on the auction block. Don’t miss your chance to bid on this one-of-a-kind piece. John is an amazing artist who cares about the Bays and is dedicated to the Center’s mission”.
 
Down some fresh oysters, while enjoying light fare from local restaurants, live music, and icy cold beverages while watching the sun set over Indian River Bay! This is a great opportunity to catch up with fellow friends of the Bays, network with other entrepreneurs, and snap up some exciting excursions, opportunities, and unique items in the silent auction! Tickets are just $75 per person and sell out FAST!
 
Get even more bang for your buck with an event sponsorship! Sponsors receive perks like free tickets, engaging event advertising, shout-outs, and an invitation to the exclusive Advance Auction Preview! All proceeds of the evening will be used to support the Center’s work.
 
For sponsorship options and details, visit www.inlandbays.org/deckedout or call Development Coordinator, Mary Knight, at (302) 226-8195 x108.
 
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.
 
For more information call Amy Barra at 226-8105x103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org
 
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New Rehoboth Outfall Means Healthier Inland Bays!

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Rehoboth Beach – On Friday, June 15, officials and members of the community gathered to cut the ribbon and celebrate the completion of the City of Rehoboth Beach’s ocean outfall project. A win for the Inland Bays, this outfall will prevent over 17,000 lbs of nitrogen and 1,000 lbs of phosphorus from entering the Bays each year!

“The completion of this very important project for the City of Rehoboth Beach marks a time in history when future leaders and our informed citizens will reflect on how clean water in the Inland Bays plays such a vital role in their daily lives,” explains City Manager, Sharon Lynn. “I am thankful to all who contributed to the ocean outfall project completion as I can’t think of too many other projects of this magnitude that will be advanced for a more important purpose.”

For decades, wastewater from Rehoboth Beach has degraded Delaware’s Inland Bays, an ecologically sensitive area designated as an “estuary of national significance” by United States Congress. Although the wastewater was treated prior to draining in the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, nitrogen and phosphorus remained in the water.  These nutrients are harmless to humans, but the slowly flushed Inland Bays are extremely sensitive to even small amounts of nutrient pollution.

When concentrated in a small estuary like the Inland Bays and their tributaries, nutrient pollution feeds algae and causes large algal blooms. This slimy excess algae then uses up the dissolved oxygen in the water, leaving too little for fish, shellfish, and other marine species to survive. Examples of this phenomenon are often seen during the summer months in Love Creek, Whites Creek, Shell Landing Cove, off of Rehoboth Bay, and the canals of South Bethany. Once pollutants get in the Bays, they remain there for a long time.

Removing this discharge instantly stops an astonishing 17,000 pounds of nitrogen from being pumped directly into the Rehoboth Bay every year – that’s the equivalent of preventing the use of 3,400 50-lb bags of fertilizer (another source of excess nutrients) from being used on land within the watershed. It will also stop the contribution of over 1,000 pounds of phosphorus each year – removing the equivalent of 2,200 50-lb bags of fertilizer and an amount equal to over 30% of the annual phosphorus load to Rehoboth Bay.

The removal of the discharge will have immediate and significant positive benefits to the water and all the people and creatures that rely on it.  This was the final significant point source of wastewater to the Inland Bays to be addressed from an original 13 point sources. The Allen Harim facility near Millsboro has plans to remove the very last pipe, which discharges a small amount of wastewater to Wharton’s Branch on Indian River.   

Now, Rehoboth’s treated wastewater discharge is being sent one mile out into the ocean where it is quickly  diluted. Studies contracted by the city of Rehoboth Beach have demonstrated that the discharge will be diluted 100:1 within a few hundred feet of the outfall in under 6 minutes. As such, there will be little impact to aquatic life there as a result of the new outfall. Another ocean outfall off Bethany Beach has operated successfully for decades.       

This decision of whether to implement an ocean outfall or to go with a land-based disposal alternative was explored by the City and the State. The outfall was eventually selected as little affordable land was available for the proposed disposal, and land-based disposal would only continue to feed nutrients back into already-polluted estuaries through groundwater.

This project has addressed a major problem facing the City of Rehoboth, and our Inland Bays. By dispersing the City’s wastewater into the well-flushed, wide expanse of the Atlantic, the outfall has created real change for the Inland Bays. We look forward to seeing the progress in the coming weeks, months, and years.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Amy Barra at 226-8105×103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

 

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Dewey Beach Embraces Nature-Based Stormwater Solutions

Thursday, June 21st, 2018
Dewey Beach, DE – This coming fall, new green infrastructure project by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Town of Dewey Beach will soon reduce nuisance flooding and treat polluted stormwater at the northeast corner of Coastal Highway (SR1) and Read Avenue, just outside of the Little Store grocery. 
 
Intense development, a low-lying geography, and sea level rise have made management of stormwater an increasing challenge in Dewey Beach. For this reason, a stormwater treatment project is in the works that will consist of a planted bioretention facility (also known as a stormwater treatment area) and a trench to allow runoff to seep into the ground. 
 
This reservoir will be covered by permeable pavers, creating porous pavement that allows water to seep into and be filtered by the soil beneath. A charcoal-like material, called biochar, will be added to the soil to improve pollution removal from the runoff. The biochar will also enhance the growth of the attractive and functional vegetation planted in the bioretention facility. 
 
Once completed, this new green infrastructure will achieve improved drainage and treatment for a 2.7-acre drainage area, reduce the percentage of impervious surface in the Town, and reduce flooding on Read Avenue. Through the reduction in, and the soil filtration of stormwater, we will also see improvements in the health of Rehoboth Bay. 
 
By controlling nonpoint source nutrient and sediment pollution to the Bay, these retrofits contribute to implementing the Inland Bays Comprehensive Conservation Plan. It will also serve as an important demonstration to both residents and officials of Dewey Beach and other Inland Bays coastal communities of how innovative green infrastructure tactics can improve both flooding issues and water quality, and at the same time enhance the streetscape and be an asset to local businesses and other properties.
 
This project will be engineered by RK&K and will be funded by a Community Water Quality Improvement Grant and funding match from the Town of Dewey Beach. Grant funding comes from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC)’s Water Infrastructure Advisory Council.
 
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research. 
To volunteer or for more information, please contact Bob Collins, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, at 302-226-8105 ext. 111 or by email at jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.
 
 
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One Ton of Plastic Pollution and Assorted Junk Removed from the Inland Bays!

Sunday, June 17th, 2018
Indian River Inlet, DE — On June 9th, 54 energetic volunteers hopped aboard boats and scoured the shores of the Inland Bays, removing a whopping one ton of trash!
 
Organized by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, this event was run with the assistance of DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section, and the Division of Parks & Recreation, with special help from the Coast Guard Station Indian River, and the Dewey Beach Lions Club.
 
All together, 2,140 pounds (1.07 tons) of trash was collected and deposited into a dumpster provided by Waste Industries, Inc., and disposed of via the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s Community Clean-Up Initiative, once again sponsored by State Senator Ernie Lopez. A special thank you to Waste Industries and The Full Circle Project for their generous donation to the Center!
 
“As in past years, we’re seeing a large amount of plastic pollution in the form of soda and water bottles, wrappers, straws, and shotgun shells,” explains organizer Bob Collins. “We’re also seeing larger pieces of trash and debris like old tires, derelict crab pots, and even docking lumber — most of which is probably washed into the Bays during noreasters and hurricanes each year.”
 
Trash in the Inland Bays can be harmful to the health and safety of visitors and marine life, both of which are important to a thriving tourism economy. The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays would like to extend a massive thank you to the many volunteers, organizers, sponsors, and supporters that came out to make our Bays beautiful at this year’s event!
 
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them. 
 
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Raise “Workhorse” Oysters to Help Delaware’s Inland Bays!

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Rehoboth Beach, DE – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays wants YOU for its Oyster Gardening Program: a restoration effort that brings scientists and volunteers together to restore the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) to the waters of Delaware’s Inland Bays.

This program recruits residents of local waterfront properties to raise small amounts of oysters in the waters surrounding their docks and bulkheads. It began in 2003 and is currently a partnership between the Center, Delaware Cultured Seafood and the Town of South Bethany.

“The oysters that our volunteers are raising are are not suitable for human consumption – they’re not bound for the table,” explains Bob Collins, Program Manager for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. “These oysters will live a productive life, acting as water filters and eventually providing a foundation for future natural oyster reefs.”

Because they are filter-feeders, oysters have the unique power to improve water quality as they “eat”, removing tiny one-celled plants (called phytoplankton) and other small particles from the water. One adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water each day! Often considered the building blocks of robust communities of organisms in Bays and oceans, they solidly attach to each other. This creates reefs that serve as shelter and spawning areas for organisms like barnacles, mussels, worms, algae, plankton, fishes and crabs!

The Oyster Gardening process begins with the disease-resistant oyster larvae. At a facility located along the upper Indian River, over one million of these microscopic larvae attach themselves to recycled oyster shells in a natural process known as remote setting. After several weeks, the pinhead-sized oysters are removed from the nursery tank and distributed to the Gardeners who will care for them for a period of one year. The Center then collects the 1-year old oysters and uses them in various restoration or research projects throughout the Inland Bays.

To be an Oyster Gardener, one must be able to lift approximately 25 pounds, have waterfront property, and possess basic computer skills. Gardeners are required to periodically clean the oysters and record all time spent using a simple online log. There will be a training event on June 15, 2018 in Rehoboth Beach which all new Gardeners should plan on attending.

Oysters and gear will be available to new Gardeners in late June or early July. A $50 program donation is requested in order to help cover the cost for oyster sets, spat, training, and program maintenance.

To apply to be an Oyster Gardener, please fill out a short application at www.inlandbays.org/oystergardener.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.

To volunteer or for more information, please contact Bob Collins, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, at 302-226-8105 ext. 111 or by email at jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

 

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Fight Trash Pollution in the Inland Bays on June 9th

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Indian River Inlet –  The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is seeking volunteers and participants with boats for the 13th Annual Inland Bays Clean-Up. This event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 9th and will focus on the shores along Rehoboth and Indian River Bays.

Last year’s event drew 69 volunteers who collected 1,300 pounds of plastic bottles, tires, cans, wrappers, docking lumber, and derelict crab pots. Such debris in the Inland Bays can be harmful to Bay users and marine life. Although most visitors to the Inland Bays are mindful with their trash, the waters of the Bays still routinely wash up forgotten items, careless litter, and storm debris.

Participants can register for the 2018 Clean Up online at www.inlandbayscleanup.eventbrite.com.  Advance registration is requested, as a light lunch and a reusable water bottle will be provided to participants. Additional boats are still needed!

Location assignments will take place on the day of the event at the launch point: Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp, located at the very end of Long Neck Road in Millsboro. Volunteers should be prepared for the weather (including cooler, breezy conditions on the water) and should dress for dirty and wet conditions. Work gloves are recommended and closed-toe shoes are required. Those who have access to lifejackets should bring one, as they are required onboard any boat used during the cleanup. Otherwise, lifejackets will be provided.

Each volunteer must sign a waiver to participate (available day-of). This event is not recommended for children under 10 and participants under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) once again is lending support through the Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section, along with the Division of Parks & Recreation. Sponsors include Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, Division of Parks and Recreation, Dewey Beach Lions Club, Waste Industries USA, Inc., Senator Ernie Lopez and the DSWA Community Cleanup Initiative.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.

For more information, please contact Bob Collins, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, at 302-226-8105 ext. 111 or by email at jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

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Indian River Rally to Inform, Entertain and Inspire on May 10!

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

Ocean View, DE — Celebrate the Indian River with the River Rally at Cupola Park on May 10, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Hosted by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, this FREE family-friendly rally aims to inform, entertain, and inspire the community to celebrate and protect our Indian River!

Beginning at 4:00 p.m., visitors can find out what fish live in the river, check out how oysters help clean the water (live and up close!), watch a fishing demonstration by Delaware Surf Fishing,  grab some food from the food truck, learn how to use a Letter to the Editor to share your thoughts with neighbors and decision makers, and explore booths packed with take-home information! At 5:30 p.m., take a brief break for a Blessing of the River prayer ceremony, led by Herman Jackson of the Nanticoke Tribe.

The Indian River is used for fishing, boating, swimming, and bird-watching by countless residents and visitors each year. Wildlife, too, depend on the river as a source of food and shelter. Cormorants, osprey and great blue herons build nests along its shores, while Weakfish and American eels use it as a nursery for their young.

As part of the Inland Bays watershed, the Indian River also plays a vital role by providing fresh water to the Inland Bays. When freshwater from the Indian River meets salt water from the ocean, it creates an estuary: a delicate habitat that supports populations of crabs, shellfish, fish, and other important marine animals. We rely on the river — it’s time to celebrate it and learn how we can better care for it!

Information and resources will be available from groups including Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Delaware Nature Society, the Delaware SeaGrant, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC’s) Division of Watershed Stewardship, the League of Women Voters, the DNREC Septic Rehabilitation Loan Program, the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, the Sussex Conservation District, and the Sussex Master Gardeners.

Attendees that RSVP at www.inlandbays.org/RiverRally will receive 1 free ticket for a meal at the food truck during the event. Walk-ups will have the option to purchase food from the vendor.

This is a rain or shine event; in the case of inclement weather, the location will be changed to the Indian River Senior Center at 214 Irons Ave, Millsboro, DE 19966.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Amy Barra at 226-8105×103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

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14th Annual Native Plant Sale is “Planting for the Birds” on May 5!

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Ocean View, DE — Head to the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View for the 14th Annual Native Plant Sale on Saturday, May 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Get ready to “plant for the birds” as you choose from a wide selection of native flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses. Then stick around for tours, demonstrations, gardening tips, food, and children’s activities.

This annual rite of spring, sponsored by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, hosts a variety of local plant nurseries offering plants native to the area, including Envirotech Environmental Consulting, Inc., Inland Bays Garden Center, Roots Landscaping and Garden Center, and Sussex Landscaping, LLC.

Native plants are adapted to the soil and elements of southern Delaware, making them easier to maintain, requiring less water and fertilizer. They also provide important food resources for ruby-throated hummingbirds, eastern bluebirds, northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, and other bird species in Delaware!

While the sale begins at 9:00 a.m. sharp, “early birds” can show up at 8:00 a.m. for a guided Bird Tour led by the Sussex Bird Club. Then at 9:30, guests can explore the trails of the James Farm Ecological Preserve with naturalist Dr. Dennis Bartow. Several short seminars will also take places throughout the event, covering topics from DIY Rain Barrels to Beekeeping!

Over at the Junior Gardener’s Tent, kids and parents are invited to help native birds find materials for their nests by making their own Slinky Nest Dispenser. Then they can provide food for those nesting birds with a sunflower seed pod they assemble themselves!

Attending vendors and tables include Wild About Birds, LLC, Annie’s Acre Apiary, Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, the Sussex Bird Club, Sussex Master Gardeners, Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice and Insects with Dr. Dennis Bartow. New this year, we will have live, family-friendly music from Dawg & Dell!

Once again, the Good Earth Market will have breakfast treats and coffee for sale for early birds, and will offer snacks and lunch throughout the day, including organic hotdogs and the Gardening for the Bays traditional sandwich; organic havarti cheese, sprouts, tomato and cucumber.

The James Farm preserve is located at 30048 Cedar Neck Rd in Ocean View, DE. This is a rain or shine event. Most vendors are cash-only so please plan accordingly.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Amy Barra at 226-8105×103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

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South Bethany’s New “Floating Wetlands” to Improve the Health of Local Waterways

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

South Bethany, DE – A new project, a  partnership between the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Town of South Bethany, and the South Bethany Property Owners Association (SBPOA), will reduce the amount of pollutants in stormwater runoff that flows to Little Assawoman Bay.

While the open waters of the bay have generally healthy levels of dissolved oxygen, and lower nutrients, certain areas such as the South Bethany Canals have chronic water quality issues. South Bethany’s iconic canals are characterized by highly turbid waters, high levels of nutrients (resulting in algal blooms), and very low dissolved oxygen concentrations—levels which routinely fall low enough to harm shellfish and other aquatic species.

One of the causes of these problems is stormwater runoff from neighboring land. Much of South Bethany was developed prior to Delaware’s 1990 stormwater regulations and, as a result, contributes excess nutrients, sediment and bacteria to poorly-flushed residential canal systems and—eventually—to Little Assawoman Bay.

To address these problems, floating wetlands will be placed along bulkheads in many of South Bethany’s canals to help treat stormwater runoff from up to 345 acres of surrounding land. Town Manager, Maureen Hartman explains: “Over the years, the Canal Water Quality Committee has been working tirelessly to restore the water quality of the canals. Floating wetlands have been successful in freshwater ponds so we are looking forward to the success of this project.”

The wetlands will help take up nutrients, and the hanging root systems act like filters to help trap suspended sediment that would otherwise cloud the water. If enough wetlands are placed in the canals, the Town hopes to see reduced levels of nutrient pollution, clearer waters, fewer algal blooms, and improved concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Funded by a Community Water Quality Improvement Grant from the Water Infrastructure Advisory Council, this project will be administered by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Program.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays have worked with South Bethany and nearby communities for years to address stormwater issues in the canals by planning and constructing numerous stormwater control projects in the area.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays—the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.


For more information call Amy Barra at (302) 226-8105 x 103, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org.

 

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Center for the Inland Bays to Kick Off Annual Horseshoe Crab Survey on April 5

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

OCEAN VIEW- The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is seeking volunteers to assist with the 2018 Horseshoe Crab Survey! A volunteer orientation program will be held Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm at the CHEER Center, located at 30637 Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.

This citizen science volunteer effort gathers data about horseshoe crab spawning populations at sites on Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay and Little Assawoman Bay. Each survey is conducted at high tide on evenings around the full moon and new moon throughout May and June.

Volunteers are responsible for counting horseshoe crabs, recording data, and carrying equipment between count sites. The orientation program will include an introduction to the survey, safety information, team and equipment assignments, and food!

Attendance at the orientation is highly recommended. Please RSVP online at www.cibhorseshoecrabsurvey.eventbrite.com or by calling (302) 226-8105 x 112. For more information about survey, visit us online at www.inlandbays.org/hcs.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Katie Young at 226-8105×109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

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James Farm Volunteers ”Spring Clean”, Remove 2.75 tons of Debris

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Ocean View, DE- On March 8 th, nine dedicated volunteers with the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays spent 26 hours removing 2.75 tons of assorted debris and trash from the James Farm Ecological Preserve. The Preserve is owned by Sussex County and managed by the Center.

Waste Industries of Millsboro (and its Full Circle program) provided the construction dumpster used during the cleanup, and Senator Gerald Hocker graciously sponsored the Preserve for the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s “Community Clean-Up” initiative.

Just like anybody’s yard, the James Farm needed a good “spring cleaning”. What was collected stemmed from two sources: debris that had washed up into the marshes from the Bays during storms (largely wood and fencing) and, unfortunately, junk left at the site by the rare inconsiderate visitor. 

The James Farm Ecological Preserve serves the residents of and visitors to coastal Delaware and is open all year from dawn to dusk. There is no admission cost. In addition to hosting over 10,000 visits by the general public, and being home to the James Farm Middle School Education Program, the Preserve is also the staging area for many of the Center’s Science and Restoration activities.

Visitors are reminded that the facility is carry-in / carry-out and asks that all visitors respect the wildlife and fellow patrons by keeping dogs leashed and picking up after them. If you would like to volunteer at the Preserve, regular weekly volunteer opportunities including trail maintenance, invasive species control, and facility repair take place every Wednesday at 9:00AM.

For more details, visit www.inlandbays.org/volunteer or send an email to jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them. For more information call Amy Barra at (302) 226-8105 x 103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org ###

2018 Fish Survey Volunteers to Receive Training and Team Assignments March 27

Monday, March 12th, 2018

REHOBOTH BEACH- The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) is seeking volunteers to assist with the 2018 Fish Survey! A volunteer orientation and team assignments program will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 5:00 pm at the Center office located at 39375 Inlet Rd in Rehoboth Beach—next the the Indian River Bridge and Marina.

Since 2011, volunteers have been pulling seine nets, collecting water samples, and recording data at sixteen survey sites along the shores of Rehoboth, Indian River, and Little Assawoman Bays. Each team conducts surveys once per month from April through October. Over time, this citizen science effort will reveal trends in fish populations in the Inland Bays. Attendance at the orientation meeting is highly recommended.

The evening will include an introduction to the survey, safety information, team assignments, and food! Please RSVP online at www. cibfishsurvey.eventbrite.com or by calling (302) 226-8105 x 112. For more information about survey, visit www.inlandbays.org/fishsurvey.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Katie Young at 226-8105 x109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

Local Restaurant Shell Recycling Program Aims to Expand in 2018

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

Rehoboth Beach – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks” shellfish recycling program is gearing up for another tasty season. Fresh off the success of 2017, where the program collected 4000 bushels of shell from 25 restaurants, the Center aims to bring even more local restaurants on board!

A partnership between the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and local restaurants, this program collects discarded oyster shell for use in oyster restoration projects in the Inland Bays!

Residents and visitors can help by visiting one of participating restaurant partners and ordering a dozen (or more) oysters or clams. In addition to treating yourself, you will also be helping to improve aquatic habitat. There is no tastier way to help the Bays! A full list of participating restaurants is available at www.inlandbays.org/shucks

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is in the process implementing a Shellfish Enhancement plan for the Rehoboth, Indian River, and Little Assawoman Bays. This plan will implement projects that make use of the DCYS program’s recycled shell material. These projects include Living Shorelines, Oyster Gardens, and projects that mimic oyster reefs to provide habitat for many species, including finfish.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays—the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them. For more information call Amy Barra at (302) 226-8105 x 103, send an email to abarra@inlandbays.org or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

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DE Center for the Inland Bays Wants to Hear YOUR Concerns 
About the Inland Bays and Surrounding Lands

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Rehoboth Beach, DE – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays needs your help to update a comprehensive plan for managing the Inland Bays. By filling out a brief survey, you can help the Center focus on your community’s concerns relating to the health of the Rehoboth, Indian River, and Little Assawoman Bays and the land surrounding them.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) outlines goals and activities that the Center and its partners agreed to address based on scientific data and input from key stakeholders and the community. The Center uses the CCMP to direct and carry out activities that protect and enhance the Inland Bays for the next five years.

In addition to updating the CCMP, the Center and its partners will also be conducting a Climate Change Vulnerability Analysis. This analysis will identify risks associated with climate change. The analysis will help the Center decide how best to manage those risks to reduce their impact on achieving the objectives and goals in the CCMP.

The survey will be available online through March 31st. To access the survey, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cibccmp

The survey can be taken on your computer, cell phone, or tablet. As a token of our appreciation, each participant who fills out the survey and includes their mailing address will be mailed a Delaware Center for the Inland Bays bumper sticker AND will be entered once into a drawing to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Have questions? Please contact us at mschmidt@inlandbays.org.


For more information call Michelle Schmidt at 226-8105×107, send an email to mschmidt@inlandbays.org or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org.

DE Center for the Inland Bays Announces New Board Chair

Friday, January 26th, 2018

REHOBOTH BEACH – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, a National Estuary Program  based in Rehoboth Beach, welcomes Dr. Susie K. Ball as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. Susie takes over the role from Ms. Joanne Cabry after she stepped down in November following 3 years of dedicated service as Chair.  

The Board of Directors (BOD) directs the activities of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and controls its affairs and funds, including the approval of an annual operating budget. In her resignation letter to the Board, Joanne left the Board with some wise words:

“It is science that will restore the Bays, but it is the staff, volunteers, partnerships, stakeholders and the Board who will get the work done. You have made my role as Chair the past few years an enjoyable one.”

The Center would like to sincerely thank Ms. Cabry for her remarkable dedication over the past 9 years and welcome Dr. Susie Ball to the position.

A graduate of both The City College of New York and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Susie held a medical internship at Temple University, completed her residency at Jefferson Medical college, and boarded in General and Geriatric Psychiatry. Before moving to Delaware in 2012, she worked as Director Geriatric Psychiatry with Crozer Chester Medical Center in Upland, PA, and served on the faculty of Temple Univeristy and the Drexel School of Medicine.

Former Board Chair, Joanne Cabry, presents a volunteer award to Dr. Dennis Bartow at the Center’s 2014 Volunteer Celebration

Susie began her work with the Center as a volunteer, serving as a team leader for the annual Horseshoe Crab surveys and as a presenter with the Center’s many outreach campaigns. In 2013, she was elected Chair of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee: a group of stakeholders charged with bringing issues of public concern to the Board of Directors.

She was elected as Secretary of the Board of Directors in 2014, then as Vice Chair of the Board just this past March. Susie is no stranger to Delaware’s environmental scene; In addition to her current roles, she also serves as Treasurer of the Sussex Bird Club and as Board member and education coordinator for the Friends of Prime Hook. This past fall, she led a 5-week course about the Inland Bays at Osher Lifelong Long Learning Center in Lewes.

“I am honored and excited to be acting Board Chair for the coming year,” she says, “Our estuary and its tributaries are a nursery ground for multiple species of fish, oysters, horseshoe crabs and birds. Without clean water in our Bays these species will struggle to survive. Through science, education and restoration we are working to improve the health of our Bays. I look forward to the year ahead to increase public awareness of our role and to increase private donations to help us with this critical work.”

Meetings of the BOD occur quarterly and are open to the public. Learn more about the Board at www.inlandbays.org/board.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Katie young at 226-8105×109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

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Treat Yourself to Oysters at Local Restaurants this Holiday Season!

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Sussex County – Treat Yourself to Oysters at Local Restaurants this Holiday Season! When you order oysters or clams from a participating restaurant, that shell will be reused in the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks” oyster shell recycling program. With your help, we can achieve the program’s goal of 4,000 bushels in 2017!

A partnership between the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and local restaurants, this program collects discarded oyster shell for use in oyster restoration projects in the Inland Bays.

“Don’t Chuck Your Shucks officially began back in 2014 but has really taken off in the last year,” explains Center Program Coordinator, Bob Collins. “We have some fantastic local restaurants on board and the program has become wildly popular. Local restaurants are enthusiastically participating because they care about the health of the Inland Bays just as much as we do.”

When you visit one of the participating restaurants, the spent shells (shucks) from your plate will be separated from the waste stream and put into special bins. Next, the shell is taken to a collection area where it will sit in the sun and “cure” for a minimum of six months before it is recycled for local habitat restoration projects such as Living Shorelines and Oyster Gardening.

Closing out its 2017 season on a high note, the program is just short of its 4,000-bushel goal – but you can help! Order a dozen (or more) and share the holiday spirit with your friends – and the Inland Bays. A list of participating restaurants is available at www.inlandbays.org/shucks. Be sure to ask your server if they participate in the “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks” shell recycling program.

“All of our restaurant partners are participating because they know that clean Inland Bays contribute to the economic vibrancy of the area,” Collins continues, “The cleaner the waters, the better business is. But most of these partners also value the Bays for quality of life reasons. And they participate in DCYS for that reason as well.”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Katie young at 226-8105×109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

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Little Assawoman Bay Clean-Up 
Removes 1.35 tons of Marine Trash

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Rehoboth Beach – On October 18th, volunteers from Century Engineering, Coastal Kayak and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays participated in an on-water clean-up in Little Assawoman Bay, collecting 1.35 tons of marine trash.

For hours, these dedicated volunteers scoured the marshes and shorelines of Little Assawoman Bay: the smallest and southern-most Bay in Delaware’s Inland Bays watershed. There, they found everything from plastic bottles, aluminum cans and plastic wrappers – to larger pieces like old tires and, overwhelmingly, treated lumber that likely washed into the Bay during flooding events.

All together, 1.35 tons (that’s a whopping 2700 pounds!) was collected and disposed of through the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s Community Clean-Up Initiative. The dumpster used was provided by Waste Industries as part of their Full Circle Project.

Volunteers from Coastal Kayak, Century Engineering, Inc. and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays provided the manual labor for the day. Coastal Kayak is a full service kayak eco-tour, kayak, paddleboard, sailboat and instructional business based in Fenwick Island. Century Engineering, Inc. is a full-service consulting, planning, engineering, surveying and inspection firm with a local branch in Dover, Delaware.

Derelict crab pots were among the debris removed from Little Assawoman Bay. Photo features Jim Bourke of Coastal Kayak and CIB Program Manager, Bob Collins.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays would like to sincerely thank these supporters for their participation, as well as Representative Ron Gray for securing the generous DSWA sponsorship of this event. With these dedicated “friends of the Bays’, Little Assawoman Bay was left a cleaner and safer place for visitors and wildlife alike!

Want to help prevent this trash from getting into our environment? We have a few tips for you! Carry a reusable water bottle, take your own cloth shopping bags to the grocery store, choose to buy products with less packaging, switch to reusable cloth snack bags, and ‘just say no’ to plastic straws, utensils, and balloons!

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

Jenifer Mitchel, a volunteer from Coastal Kayak, carries treated wood off of the boat.

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Volunteers (and Santa) Give Back to the Earth this Holiday Season!

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Lewes, DE – Between December 14 and 16, over 90 volunteers joined the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays to plant trees at the Perry Tract of the Angola Neck Preserve, located between Lewes and Millsboro. Among those that participated were Center volunteers, the Lion Den of Lewes’ Cub Scout Pack 1, students from Cape High School’s “Cape for Tomorrow” environmental club, and even Santa Claus himself!

The combined efforts of these speedy volunteers made this year’s planting a breeze, with just under 12,000 plants arranged on 12 acres of land. This year’s seedlings consisted of a mix of northern bayberry, beach plum, willow oak, hazel alder, and pitch pine – all species that are native to the Inland Bays watershed.

This year’s planting was the final phase of a four-year project that converts 36 total acres to forested land. This Perry Tract is particularly important because of its proximity to Rehoboth Bay and the Cherry Walk Creek tributary. The planting of this former agricultural land will prevent almost 200 pounds of nutrient pollution from reaching the Inland Bays each year, and will create important feeding and nesting habitat for migratory birds for years to come!

Members of Cape Henlopen High School’s “CAPE for Tomorrow” club pose after their morning planting shift!


The Center would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who attended this event, shared the word, and supported this year’s Holiday Planting. Happy Holidays from your friends at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays!

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

Volunteers dig through the snow and into the soft sand to plant a Beach Plum (Prunus maritima)


For more information call Katie Young at (302) 226-8105 x 109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org , or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Giving Back to the Earth One Tree at a Time! Volunteers Needed for Holiday Tree Planting Dec 14/15/16

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Lewes, DE – Get into the holiday spirit and give back to the earth! The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays needs 100+ volunteers to plant trees at the Angola Neck Preserve, located between Lewes and Millsboro, Thursday through Saturday, December 14, 15,  and 16.

“These efforts will create important habitat for birds and native wildlife and will help prevent nutrient pollution to the Bays for years to come,” explains CIB Project Manager, Bob Collins.

The new scrub, shrub and forest areas will benefit migratory songbirds like the Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Parula, American Redstart, and Indigo Bunting. Then, as the forest ages, it will play host to a different set of migratory birds that prefer a more mature forest. This includes Eastern Kingbirds, Acadian Flycatchers, Wood Thrushes and Scarlet Tanagers.

Further benefits of this project include a reduction in nutrient pollution. High levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in water can cause excessive algae growth and poor water quality. The new trees and shrubs will utilize excess nutrients found in the soil, preventing an estimated of 192 pounds of nitrogen and 4.8 pounds of phosphorus from reaching the groundwater and surface water annually.

We need your help! 
To volunteer, sign up at www.inlandbays.org/holiday, or email or call the Center at communications@inlandbays.org or (302) 226-8105 x 109.

New this year – when you join us for a planting shift, we will mail a free postcard to a loved one to show them that you gave back to the earth – in their honor. This is perfect as a Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanza / Festivus gift for the tree-hugger in your life!

Project partners include the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) Community Involvement Advisory Council.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Katie Young at (302) 226-8105 x 109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org , or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Local Town, Business, and Volunteer Honored with “Friend of the Bays” Awards

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Ocean View, DE – On September 22nd, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) presented three “Friend of the Bays” awards to local volunteer, Ab Ream, Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill, and the Town of Dewey Beach for excellence in volunteering, business support, and partnership aiding Delaware’s three Inland Bays.

Ab Ream was presented with the Friend of the Bays Volunteer Award for his work developing the “Oyster Master”, a system the CIB uses to bag recycled oyster shell efficiently. Since implementing this device last year, the CIB has been able produce over 2,000 oyster bags that can be used to stabilize living shorelines and provide a solid base for created oyster reefs.

“I am honored to be able to help such a great organization as the CIB,” explains Ab. “The Oyster Master project was more fun than work for me because of all the great volunteers and CIB staff who helped make it a success.”

Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill was the 2017 recipient of the “Friend of the Bays” Business award. For several years, Gary’s has been a generous partner of the CIB. Not only have they opened their restaurant during the off season to host the CIB’s Christmas Parties, but they have also brought in nearly $13,000 to preserve, protect and restore the Inland Bays through their 2015, 2016, and 2017 Gary’s Dewey Beach Brewfest events. In addition, the restaurant’s co-owner and namesake, Gary Cannon, serves on the CIB’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee which brings Bay-related issues of public concern to the CIB Board of Directors.

Award winner Ab Ream and volunteer Bill Hits bag shell using the Oyster Master device.

Larry Hutson, Bill Hitz, award winner, Ab Ream, and Bob Collins stand by a pile of completed bags and unbagged shell.

Gary Cannon and Holly Ski accept the Outstanding Business Award for Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill.

Last but certainly not least, the 2017 “Friend of the Bays” Partner award was presented to the Town of Dewey Beach for their excellence in implementing the Inland Bays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan over the years. The Town has provided excellent representation to the Center’s Board of Directors and has been a consistent supporter of the Center’s Decked Out summer fundraiser. Most recently, the Town partnered with the CIB to develop a long-term plan to retrofit stormwater controls to reduce flooding in Dewey Beach and improve water quality in the Inland Bays.

“The Center is grateful for our incredible volunteers, local businesses, and partners for their dedication throughout this past year.” says CIB Executive Director, Chris Bason. “We look forward to many years of continued partnership with these true Friends of the Bays.”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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End-of-Summer Events Raise $40,789 for the DE Center for the Inland Bays

Monday, September 25th, 2017


10th Annual Fundraiser Nets $20,789 to Preserve, Protect and Restore Delaware’s Inland Bays

On the evening of Thursday, August 3rd, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) held its 10th Annual Decked Out event. A total of $20,789 was raised to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s three Inland Bays.

Guests enjoyed light fare from local restaurants, slurped salty oysters at an oyster bar, and enjoyed mixed drinks, as they mingled and bid on auction items. The CIB would like to thank the Event, Featured Table, Food, Drink, Dessert, and Auction sponsors for their generosity and dedication in support of the Inland Bays!

 

 

 

 

 

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Tidewater Utilities’ Charity Golf Tournament Raises $20,000 for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays

On August 14, 2017, golfers “tee’d off for the Bays” at the 20th Annual Tidewater Utilities Charity Golf Tournament. Selected from scores of applications and following a judges panel review, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) was selected as the beneficiary of this event, with the money raised earmarked to enhance and expand the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program and Oyster Shell Recycling Program.  

The Oyster Gardening program is a restoration project that employs waterfront property owners to raise small amounts of oysters in the waters that surround their docks and bulkheads. Not safe for human consumption, these oysters are specifically used to improve water quality, protect young spat (baby oysters), crate habitat for other marine species which are the base of the food chain for fish, crabs and other species, and for various research and education purposes.

The CIB’s Oyster Recycling Program, “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks”, is a partnership between the CIB, the Nature Conservancy in Delaware, and 21 local restaurants which collects discarded oyster shell for use in restoration projects in the Inland Bays. These projects include providing stabilization in Living Shorelines and creating a base on which to grow baby oyster spat in the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays would like to sincerely thank everyone that sponsored, attended, and supported this event – and offer a very special “thank you” to Tidewater Utilities, Inc. a Middlesex Water Company Affiliate for selecting the CIB as their 2017 charity recipient!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

Carl M. Freeman Companies & Foundation Donate $7,200 to the James Farm

Monday, August 21st, 2017

On Friday, June 24th, Carl M. Freeman Companies held their 70th Anniversary Summer Kickoff Party, held at Bayside Fenwick Island, and benefiting the James Farm Ecological Preserve. By the end of the evening, a total of $3,600 was raised – and then matched –  by the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, bringing the total for the evening to over $7,200!

For the uninitiated, the James Farm Ecological Preserve is a 150-acre area on the Indian River Bay that consists of freshwater forested wetlands, a coastal plain pond, meadow, saltmarsh, tidal flats, successional forest, and upland forests. It is owned by Sussex County and has been managed by the Delaware Center for Inland Bays (CIB) since 1998.

Each year, over 10,000 visits are made to the Preserve where locals and tourists alike enjoy the trails, beach and bay views, wildlife viewing and community events including the CIB’s annual Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale. In addition, the CIB provides instruction to nearly 1,400 students each school year as part of the James Farm Middle School Education Program, a partnership with Indian River School District.

The money donated is earmarked to help complete a Master Plan, which was developed in 2014 with Oasis Design Group. This update plan addresses the physical restoration, improvement, and management of the property, and takes into account emerging issues such as sea level rise. 

It also addresses the challenges of increased visitation to the Preserve while preserving the land for environmental education and recreation as Mary Lighthipe, the last heir of the James family and donor of the property, intended.  Implementation of the Plan is being supported by a generous grant from Sussex County Council.    

Thank you to Carl M. Freeman Companies and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, as well as everyone who came out to the Summer Kick Off Event at Bayside. This money will help us keep the Preserve accessible and beautiful for all!  

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James Farm Middle School Program Gets Indian River School District Students Outdoors

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Ocean View, DE: The James Farm Middle School Program, a partnership between Indian River School District and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), has just wrapped up it’s 18th year educating local students about water quality, wetlands, and other local ecosystems!

Serving approximately 1,400 students annually, the Program provides a unique experience to area 7th and 8th graders, some of whom have never visited the bays which are located right in their backyard.

At a time when smartphones and tablets increasingly disconnect us from the natural world, this program strives to reconnect students to the world right outside their classrooms. “We are continually encouraged by the enthusiasm of our students, seeing and experiencing first hand what they have discussed in their classrooms,” said James Farm Program teacher, Dennis Bartow. “For many it is their first time experiencing the ecosystems of the Inland Bays and they just love it – so do we!

The James Farm Middle School Education Program is an ‘extension activity’ aligned directly with the school’s science curriculum. After learning concepts in the classroom, students come to the James Farm to put them their knowledge to practice. They take soil samples, measure water quality, and even use a ‘seine net’ to catch and sample fish, crabs, shrimp, and other creatures found in the Indian River Bay.

The CIB, and the James Farm Program teachers are proud of their role in local education. Program teacher, Pat Drizd explains: “We look forward to each new season of teaching at James Farm. After working with the 7th graders in the spring it is great to see them again in the fall (as 8th graders) as they continue their learning experience in the natural world.”

Even though finding adequate funding for such programs can be challenging due to the state budget shortfall and corresponding cuts to school district funding, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is committed to developing sources of funding to support the program’s future. It is our hope that public support for the program will continue, so we can continue to offer this experience to future students.

We also hope that when students leave the James Farm, they continue to explore the outdoors, remembering that they are part of this beautiful, natural world and will become advocates for protecting and restoring the Bays in their own backyard. 

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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Volunteers Clean-Up Over ½ Ton of Trash from Delaware’s Inland Bays

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Indian River Inlet, DE: The 2017 Inland Bays Clean-Up was held on June 10th, organized by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, in conjunction with the DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section, and Division of Parks & Recreation. Leaving from Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp, sixty-nine participants in thirteen boats collected trash from Indian River and Rehoboth Bays.                                                                                    

Volunteers scoured marshes and shorelines, picking up plastic bottles, tires, aluminum cans, plastic wrappers, docking lumber, and other assorted trash. All together, thirteen-hundred pounds of trash was collected and deposited into a dumpster provided by Waste Industries, Inc., and was disposed of via Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s Community Clean-Up Initiative, sponsored by State Senator Ernie Lopez.

Thank you to these groups, as well as the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers for patrolling the area and providing support, and to the Dewey Beach Lions Club who not only helped fund the event, but also provided the volunteers with some well-deserved hotdogs.

Special thanks to Sargent Troy Trimmer and Seasonal Officers Danny Cropper and William Atkins of DFW Enforcement for coordinating use of the boat ramp and safety patrols in the area.

  • Sponsors of the event included:
  • Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
  • Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement
  • Dewey Beach Lions Club
  • Waste Industries
  • Senator Ernie Lopez/ DSWA Community Cleanup Initiative

 

Trash in the Inland Bays can be harmful to the health and safety of bay users who support a thriving and regionally-important boating economy. Over fifty marinas cater to the Bays, and on a busy summer weekend, over 1,100 boats may be underway at one time. Of the approximately 60,000 registered boaters in Delaware, most use the Inland Bays. Thanks to the volunteers, businesses, and agencies that supported this annual event, we can keep the Inland Bays attractive and safe for these bay-users, and contribute positively to the quality of life in Coastal Sussex County.

The Center will start planning soon for next year’s event, as well as organizing activities that clean up trash on our bays year-around. To get involved, please contact Bob Collins at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. He can be reached at 302-226-8105 (ext. 111) or jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

 

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Help ‘Beautify the Bays’ at the Inland Bays Clean-Up on June 10th

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Indian River Inlet –  The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is seeking volunteers and participants with boats for the 12th Annual Inland Bays Clean-Up. This event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 10th and will focus on the shores along Rehoboth and Indian River Bays.

Advance volunteer sign-up is requested, as lunch and a reusable water bottle will be provided to participants. Sign-in and location assignments for the clean-up will take place on the day of the event at the launch point: Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp at the end of Long Neck Road.

Volunteers should be prepared for the weather (including cooler, breezy conditions on the water) and should dress for dirty and wet conditions. Work gloves are recommended and closed-toe shoes are required. Those who have access to lifejackets should bring one, as they are required onboard any boat used during the cleanup. Otherwise, lifejackets will be provided.

Last year’s event drew 75 volunteers who filled a 30-yard dumpster with debris, including soda bottles and cans, tires, derelict crab pots and lumber. This year’s event will focus on recycling.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) once again is lending support through the Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section, along with the Division of Parks & Recreation. Sponsors include Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, Division of Parks and Recreation, Dewey Beach Lions Club, Waste Industries USA, Inc., Senator Ernie Lopez and the DSWA Community Cleanup Initiative.

Each volunteer must sign a waiver to participate (available day-of). This event is not recommended for children under 10 and participants under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research. 

To volunteer or for more information, please contact Bob Collins, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, at 302-226-8105 ext. 111 or by email at jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

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Celebrate Spring at the Native Plant Sale at James Farm May 6th

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Indian River Inlet, DE: Celebrate the return of spring at the 13th Annual “Gardening for the Bays” Native Plant Sale on Saturday, May 6th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View. Come browse from a wide selection of native flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses, and stick around for naturalist tours, demonstrations, gardening tips, a Junior Gardener children’s tent, and more!

Sponsored by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), the event hosts local nurseries selling thousands of native plants which are adapted to the soil, temperature, and elements in Delaware. Native plants are easier to maintain, and require less water and fertilizer – a benefit for both the gardener and for the environment. Participating nurseries include Envirotech, Inland Bays Garden Center, Roots Nursery, and Sussex Landscaping.

Be an early bird at 8:00 a.m. and join the Sussex Bird Club for a special bird walk before the sale begins. Get to know the trails, plants and critters of the James Farm with naturalist walks led by Dr. Tom Lord, at 9:30 a.m. and Dr. Dennis Bartow at 11:00 a.m. Explore the world of pollinators with the Master Gardeners of Sussex County at 10:15 a.m., then visit their booth to chat and learn from their experience with native plants.

Kids (and kids-at-heart) are invited to explore nature with hands-on activities at the Junior Gardener children’s tent, featuring building a pollinator habitat and face painting! At the CIB tent, “Gardening for the Bays” t-shirts, and one-of-a-kind bird and bee houses will be on sale to support the work of the Center to preserve, protect, and restore the Inland Bays.

Once again this year, the Good Earth Market will have breakfast treats and coffee for sale for early birds, and will offer snacks and lunch throughout the day, including organic hotdogs and the Gardening for the Bays traditional sandwich, organic havarti cheese, sprouts, tomato and cucumber.

The James Farm preserve is located at 30048 Cedar Neck Rd in Ocean View, DE.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

For more information call Katie Goerger at 226-8105×109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

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Center for the Inland Bays Seeks Volunteers for Annual Horseshoe Crab Survey

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) seeks volunteers to assist with the 2017 Horseshoe Crab Survey. This citizen science volunteer effort gathers data about horseshoe crab spawning populations at sites on Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay and Little Assawoman Bay.

An orientation program for volunteers will be held on Thursday, April 6 at 5pm at the CIB office located on Inlet Road on the north side of Indian River Inlet. The evening will include an introduction to the survey, safety information, team and equipment assignments, and a light dinner! For more information, or to RSVP for the meeting, contact Andrew McGowan at environment@inlandbays.org or at (302) 226-8105 x112.

The surveys are conducted at high tide on evenings around the full moon and new moon throughout May and June. Volunteers will count the number of horseshoe crabs, record data and carry equipment between count sites.  For more information about the Inland Bays Horseshoe Crab Survey go to www.inlandbays.org/hcs.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.


For more information call Katie Goerger at 226-8105×109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

Center for the Inland Bays Seeks Volunteers for Annual Fish Survey

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) seeks volunteers to assist with the 2017 Inshore Fish Monitoring Program. This all-volunteer effort is studying the fish population of the Inland Bays at sixteen sites around the three Inland Bays and their tributaries.

An orientation program will be held on Thursday, March 30 at 5 pm at the CIB office located on Inlet Road on the north side of Indian River Inlet. The evening will include an introduction to the survey, safety information, team and equipment assignments, and a light dinner! For more information and to RSVP for the meeting, contact Andrew McGowan at environment@inlandbays.org or call (302) 226-8105 x112.

Delaware’s Inland Bays are home to over one hundred species of fish. The Inshore Fish Monitoring Survey is a citizen science program that over time will reveal trends in fish populations in the Inland Bays. 2011 was the first year of this long term study.

There are volunteer opportunities on the fish survey both in and out of the water; pulling seine nets, collecting water samples, recording data and assisting with data management. Each team conducts surveys once per month from April through October.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

More about this project »

For more information call Katie Goerger at 226-8105×109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

This survey has identified 112 species of finfish in the Inland Bays, including this Summer Flounder (2016)

This survey has identified 112 species of finfish in the Inland Bays, including this Summer Flounder (2016)

Local Restaurants Give Back to the Bays through ‘Don’t Chuck Your Shucks’ Shell Recycling Program

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Don’t Chuck Your Shucks, a partnership between the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), the Nature Conservancy in Delaware, and 19 local restaurants is gearing up for a third season. This unique recycling program collects discarded oyster shell for use in oyster restoration projects in the Inland Bays.

The CIB kicked-off its third full season of “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks” with the collection of sixteen bushels of shell from the Georgetown Fire Company’s 80th Oyster Eat, held on February 24th. Last year, Don’t Chuck Your Shucks collected 2,700 bushels of shell, a goal it hopes to exceed by collecting 3,000 bushels in 2017!

The success of this program is made possible by our partner restaurants and the appetites of their patrons, including 99 Sea Level, Bethany Oyster House, Bluecoast Seafood Grill, Catch 54, Chesapeake & Maine, Fish On, George & Sons Seafood Market, Hammerheads Dockside, Henlopen City Oyster House, Hooked, Hooked-up, Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant, Just Hooked, Twining’s Lobster Shanty, Matt’s Fish Camp, Off the Hook, Smitty McGees, The Starboard Raw, and Zoggs Raw Bar & Grill.

When customers order clams or oysters, their discarded shell is diverted from the landfill, collected and “cured” for six months before being put to use. The end product will bagged and used for Living Shoreline stabilization projects, natural oyster reefs in the Bays, and the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program which raises oysters for restoration efforts and provides water quality benefits to small local waterways.

Shell Bagging SoDel

Volunteers from SoDel Concepts Bag Shell on Friday, March 10th.


CIB Project Manager, Bob Collins, explains: “Water-filtering bivalves (like oysters, clams and mussels), require a hard surface on which they can grow – and oyster shell is perfect for this! As a bonus, small aquatic organisms, which serve as a food source for commercially valuable crabs and fish, also use this shell for habitat.” 

In 2016, the CIB hosted several “bagging events” at which volunteers prepared 1,500 bags of shell for use in Bay-friendly projects. It is a great team-building event for organizations, and the CIB is planning several events for the 2017 spring season. Email communications@inlandbays.org for more information on how to get involved.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them


For more information call Katie Goerger at 226-8105×109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org  or, visit our website: www.inlandbays.org

 

Center for Inland Bays and Stockley Center Partner for Clean Water

Friday, February 10th, 2017

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) has partnered with the Delaware Health and Social Service’s Stockley Center on a project to reduce stormwater runoff to Cow Bridge Branch, a stream that runs through Doe Bridge Nature Preserve.

Located near Georgetown, the 315-acre Doe Bridge Nature Preserve is one of the most biologically-unique areas in Delaware. Because of the ecological significance, the campus of the Stockley Center is a priority restoration area for the CIB.

Similar to other developed areas, the impervious cover (hard surfaces) of the Stockley campus generate runoff during storm events. When stormwater runoff moves over land, it picks up and carries pollutants from lawns, streets, and industrial facilities into nearby waterways.

Because Cow Bridge Branch stream drains into Indian River through Millsboro Pond, pollutants that enter the water upstream will eventually enter Indian River and the Inland Bays.

In July 2016, the CIB was awarded a Community Water Quality Improvement Grant to convert a failed stormwater pond at Stockely to a bioretention facility: an area planted with native plants and engineered to capture and filter rainwater. Unlike a traditional stormwater pond which holds the water—providing minimal water quality benefits – this retention area allows water to slowly soak into the ground where the plants, soil and mulch capture and filter pollution. 

“The original stormwater pond, built in 2000, was ineffective and allowed sediment and nutrient-laden runoff to enter the Cow Bridge Branch directly – without treatment,” explains Chris Bason, Executive Director of CIB. “Untreated stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution to the Inland Bays.” 

Previously, this eroded hillslope allowed sediment and nutrients to run directly into the failing stormwater pond below.JPG

Previously, this eroded hillslope allowed sediment and nutrients to run directly into the failing stormwater pond below.

 

Construction was completed in December 2016, and the bioretention area will be planted in May 2017. Once complete, the project will result in a keep 2 pounds of phosphorus, 17 pounds of nitrogen, and 514 pounds of sediment from entering the stream each year.

 

Stormwater can now funnel easily into the retention area where it will slowly soak into the ground, filtered by the plants added in May 2017

Stormwater can now funnel easily into the retention area where it will slowly soak into the ground, filtered by the plants added in May 2017

 

This is the second restoration project that the CIB and the Stockley Center have partnered on in recent years. The first project completed in 2014, restored the headwater channel of Cow Bridge from a closely mowed grassy area to a natural channel lined by a buffer of native trees, grasses, shrubs, and wild flowers. This restoration slows the flow of water and filters the runoff before it enters Cow Bridge.  CIB hopes to continue to restore the natural habitats and quality of water along this stream in the future.

 

Learn more about this project »     

 

Farewell, Sally

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

FarewellSally

After twelve years, Sally Boswell, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the CIB, has resigned from her position and will be pursuing new opportunities.

2014 Native Plant Sale 3 May 2014 DHB 0112Sally began her work with the CIB in the fall of 2004 as an instructor for the CIB’s James Farm Middle School Education program after teaching the previous school year at the partner program at Ingram Pond Outdoor Education Center, run by Indian River School District. While teaching at James Farm, she was invited to apply for the Education and Outreach Coordinator position. Sally initially worked under contract for the CIB – joining the staff full-time in January 2005.

“When I accepted this position twelve years ago this month, it was not just a job, but became the defining relationship I had with my new home in coastal Delaware–where I could bring my skills and experience and my lifelong passion for the environment together for a purpose I believed in. I have loved this work and I am proud of my contributions and for the relationships I have formed for the Bays.” 

Sally’s achievements really speak for themselves. Months after her arrival, she held the first Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale, creating what has blossomed into an exciting annual event that brings together the CIB, local garden centers, and members of the community – for the Bays.

“It has been a joy to work with Sally.” said Pat Drizd, the CIB’s Volunteer Coordinator and Sally’s first hire back in 2005. “Together we’ve created a high-quality education program at the James Farm, built up the Center’s Volunteers for the Bays program, and really grown the Native Plant Sale into something that the community looks forward to every year.”  

Sally also established many of the CIB’s outreach programs, including 1000 Rain Gardens for the Bays, the Schoolyard Habitat partnership with Indian River School District, and, working with our Citizens Advisory Committee, the Your Creek initiative.

Sally has left her mark with the many publications on which she has served as idea-generator, writer, and managing editor. In her first months with the CIB, she re-designed the Inland Bays Journal, developed the case statement for the capital campaign that helped the CIB move to the excellent building we’re in today, and re-developed the website.

2012 James Farm BBQ 29 Sept 2012 DHB 0005IMG_3824

 

During her time as Education & Outreach Coordinator, Sally has worked on scores of publications and exhibits, including Inland Bays Journals, Annual Reports, State of the Inland Bays Reports, brochures, postcards, fact sheets, and more.

“I will miss my colleagues, our volunteers, our teaching staff at James Farm and the many people I have worked with ‘for the bays,’ but I look forward to crossing paths with many of you on future projects!” 

 

Reforestation at Angola Neck and Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserves Reduce Nutrient Pollution and Create Interior Forest Habitat

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
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Jan Thompson (Volunteer), Steve Maternick (CIB Development Coordinator), Ab Ream (volunteer), Bob Collins (CIB Program Manager), Peggy Hepburn (volunteer), Maria Chervenak (Volunteer), SANTA, Steve Brtiz (volunteer), Larry Hutson (volunteer) pose after a full day at Bullseye-Ferry Landing.


Rehoboth Beach, DE –
 This week, volunteers teamed up with the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), The Nature Conservancy in Delaware, and DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, to reforest areas of Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve near Millsboro and the Perry Tract at Angola Neck Preserve near Lewes.

“Reforesting these 37 total acres is a win for native wildlife, local residents, and our Inland Bays,” says CIB Project Manager, Bob Collins. “This was an opportunity to improve water quality for anyone who enjoys fishing, swimming, and boating in the Inland Bays, as well as create some much-needed habitat for native wildlife.”

Nutrient pollution remains the greatest threat to good water quality in the Inland Bays. High levels of nitrogen and phosphorus (from fertilizers, human wastewater, and runoff from developed lands), can cause algal blooms which lead to murky water, low oxygen levels, and the disappearance of bay grasses.

Now these fields will no longer be fertilized, and the trees can help remove some of the nutrient pollution in the soil and groundwater, preventing it from reaching local creeks or rivers – and eventually the Inland Bays.

It is estimated that both projects together will result in a pollution reduction of 15 pounds of phosphorus and 592 pounds of nitrogen to the Bays annually. In comparison to another method of achieving nutrient reduction – converting septic systems to central sewer – this project will have an impact equivalent to removing 55 small septic systems from the watershed.

In addition to the benefits of pollution reduction, the reforestation of the 22-acre Bullseye Ferry Landing Preserve, and 15-acre Perry Tract at Angola Neck Preserve will also be of benefit to native wildlife by creating more ‘interior forested habitat’.

According to the current Delaware Wildlife Action Plan, 43% of Delaware’s forestland is expected to be developed by 2050. But when an area is fragmented by development, forests are carved into ever smaller pieces, creating less-productive “edge habitat” next to roads, fields and developed areas.

“This can cause a shift in the species that can live and thrive in the Inland Bays watershed,” explains Dr. Marianne Walch, Science Coordinator for the CIB. “As we lose interior habitat, we see fewer species that rely on it – like the Delmarva fox squirrel, the Cope’s gray tree frog, and songbirds including the wood thrush, scarlet tanager, and yellow-throated warbler.”

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Steve Maternick (CIB Development Coordinator), Chris Bason (CIB Executive Director), Bob Collins (CIB Program Manager), Sarah Cooksey (Director of Conservation Programs at the Nature Conservancy of Delaware), Mr. Austin “Pete” Okie (Donor of the Bullseye Ferry Landing Preserve reforested land), Natasha Whetzel (Land Steward for the Nature Conservancy of Delaware) – at the Bullseye Ferry Planting Site on Tuesday, December 20th.

By reforesting cropland adjacent to other forested areas, the projects are reducing the amount of edge habitat and creating a good chunk of interior habitat: 31 acres at Bullseye Ferry Landing Preserve and 6.26 acres at the Perry Tract at Angola Neck Preserve. This will give some interior-forest dwelling species the space they need to survive.

According to CIB Executive Director, Chris Bason, this project couldn’t have happened without partnerships. “I’m thrilled that we could partner with the The Nature Conservancy in Delaware and DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation. They, together with many dedicated volunteers and staff, have worked tirelessly make these projects happen – and they are making a real difference.”

The Nature Conservancy in Delaware owns and manages Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve, and DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation owns and manages Angola Neck Preserve.  Funding for these projects is provided through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Community Environmental Project Fund, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Nonpoint Source Program grant, and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.


For more information call Katie Goerger at (302) 226-8105 x 109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org , or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

Volunteers Wanted for Reforestation Tree Plantings at Angola Neck and Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserves

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) is seeking volunteers to assist with two reforestation projects, planting trees at Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve (December 20 and 21) and the Perry Tract at Angola Neck Preserve (December 22 and 23), from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

“Converting these areas from cropland to forests will not only help reduce the nutrient loads into the Inland Bays, but will also create some much-needed habitat for native birds and wildlife,” explains CIB Project Manager, Bob Collins.

High levels of nitrogen and phosphorus can cause excessive algae growth which leads to poor water quality. Now, these once routinely-fertilized areas will be spared the application of nutrients and can even slow and absorb stormwater runoff from other agricultural lands and developed areas. The new trees and shrubs can then utilize the nutrients in the soil, preventing them from reaching the groundwater – and eventually the Inland Bays.

It is estimated that the 22-acre Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve project will result in a pollution reduction of 352 pounds of nitrogen and 8.8 pounds of phosphorus annually. The 15-acre Angola Neck Preserve project will result in a reduction of 240 pounds of nitrogen and 6 pounds of phosphorus annually.

Both projects will also provide nesting and foraging habitat for birds and native wildlife, particularly at Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve where the plantings will add to surrounding forest and create a larger contiguous forested area. Such natural spaces are particularly important in a watershed that is segmented by roads and development.

Native trees and shrubs will offer shelter and nesting areas for migratory songbirds including the Eastern Towhee, Yellow-breasted Chat, and American Redstart, and will create invaluable habitat for Wild turkey and Bald eagles.

To volunteer, email communications@inlandbays.org with your preferred volunteer day or call (302) 226-8105 x 109. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the CIB, visit www.inlandbays.org/volunteer.

Project partners include The Nature Conservancy in Delaware (owner and manager of Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve), and DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation (owner and manager of Angola Neck Preserve).  

Funding is provided through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Community Environmental Project Fund, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Nonpoint Source Program grant, and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.


For more information call Katie Goerger at (302) 226-8105 x 109, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org , or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

‘Don’t Chuck Your Shucks’ Oyster Shell Recycling Program Collects 2,000 Bushels for Inland Bays Restoration

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

 

Rehoboth Beach, DE –  Eighteen local restaurants and their oyster-eating patrons helped the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ (CIB) collect over 2,000 bushels of oyster shell this season, surpassing it’s 2016 goal. ‘Don’t Chuck Your Shucks,’ a shell recycling program, is a partnership between the CIB, The Nature Conservancy, and local restaurants, and is part of a larger effort to restore oysters to the Inland Bays.

“We joined the program because of its benefits to the Inland Bays.” said Henlopen City Oyster House owner, Chris Bisaha, “We also generate less trash now. From that standpoint, it’s a big help to us.”

web_chris-bisaha-of-henlopen-city-oyster-house-a-dcys-participant

Chris Bisaha of Henlopen City Oyster House poses behind the oyster bar.

Oysters are collected and "cured" for use in restoration projects.

Oysters are collected and “cured” for use in restoration projects.

While the benefits of live oysters to improve water quality are well-known, the oyster shells themselves are a highly valuable resource. The shell will be used in a variety of projects, including living shorelines and the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program.

“We are grateful for the participation of so many incredible local restaurants, and for the customers that frequent them”, says CIB Program Coordinator, Bob Collins. “The more oysters that are ordered, the more we can do to protect and restore our bays!”

Participating restaurants include 99 Sea Level, Bethany Oyster House, Bluecoast Seafood Grill, Catch 54, Chesapeake & Maine, Claddagh On The Shore, George & Sons Seafood Market, Hammerheads Dockside, Henlopen City Oyster House, Hooked Ocean City, Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar, Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant, Just Hooked, The Lobster Shanty, Off the Hook, Smitty McGee’s Raw Bar & Restaurant, Starboard Raw, and Zoggs Raw Bar & Grill.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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Steve Maternick Named Development Coordinator at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Rehoboth Beach, DE – The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Steven R. Maternick to the position of Development Coordinator to direct philanthropic programs in support of the mission of the CIB: preserving, protecting and restoring the Inland Bays.

“As an experienced professional fund raiser and leader of various not-for-profit organizations over the past 30 years, Steve is going to be a great asset to our organization.” said Chris Bason, CIB Executive Director.”

Steve comes to the CIB from the Foundation for Hackettstown Medical Center where he was Chief Development Officer for seventeen years, raising over $10 million, primarily for capital improvement projects.

“I’m very excited to be joining such an inspiring organization and to be working towards preserving Delaware’s magnificent Inland Bays,” he said. “I look forward to working with all of our dedicated volunteers, board members, and the very capable staff of the CIB.”

Born and raised in Baltimore, Steve grew up as an active member of the Boy Scouts of America, an organization he joined professionally after graduating from Towson State University with a degree in Biology. Over sixteen years, he served as District Executive in the Baltimore Area Council, Senior District Executive for the Transatlantic Council, and Program Director, Field Director and Executive Director in New Jersey.

Following his career with the Boy Scouts, Steve served two years as Executive Director of the Hackettstown Area Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey. 

No stranger to Sussex County, Steve and his wife Darlene have been vacationing in the Bethany Beach area since 1987.  In 2010, they purchased a home near Ocean View and are excited to be moving to the area full-time where Steve looks forward to going to the beach, exploring the Inland Bays, gardening, reading and volunteering his time to assist the local community.

Steve Maternick can be contacted via email at development@inlandbays.org or by phone at (302) 226-8105 x 108.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays–the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.
For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org  or go to our website at inlandbays.org

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CIB’s ‘Decked Out!’ Event Nets $22,926 to Preserve, Protect and Restore Delaware’s Inland Bays

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Rehoboth Beach, DE: At sunset on Thursday, August 4th, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) held its 9th Annual Decked Out! event. A total of $22,926 was raised to support research and restoration on Delaware’s three Inland Bays.

“I would like to sincerely thank this year’s sponsors, donors, attendees, volunteers, and staff for helping to make this year’s event our greatest yet!” announced CIB Executive Director, Chris Bason. “By working together we raised essential resources needed to preserve, protect, and restore our Bays.”

Guests enjoyed food, drinks, company, and steel drum music as the sun set over the Indian River Bay. Silent and live auctions punctuated the evening. Donated auction items included local art, gift cards, fishing trips, specialty gift baskets, and a private wine tasting.

A light dinner was served courtesy of generous local restaurants. A raw oyster bar was provided by Hammerhead’s Dockside, with all shells collected and recycled for the CIB’s “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks Program.” The CIB would like to thank the Event, Featured Table, Food, Drink, Dessert, and Auction sponsors for their generosity in support of the Inland Bays.

Event sponsors included Sussex County Council, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), RK&K Engineering, and Kevin & Heidi Gilmore.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research. 

For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org  or visit us online at www.inlandbays.org.

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Streamlined Permitting for Living Shorelines is a Win for the Inland Bays

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Around the Inland Bays, shorelines have been “hardened” with bulkheads or rip rap to protect against erosion. But, ironically, these structures often increase the rate of shoreline erosion. They also eliminate the sandy beaches and marshes that support shore birds and other marine animals.

A living shoreline is alternative to using bulk heading or rip rap. It defends against erosion while protecting the natural shorelines that provide the feeding, spawning, and nursery areas for wading birds, horseshoe crabs, terrapins, fish, and other aquatic life. 

Using a variety of structural and organic materials such as wetland plants, oyster shell and reefs, coir fiber logs, sand, and stone, a living shoreline can be designed to halt erosion while preserving the natural function and beauty of the beach or marsh. 

“The protection of natural shorelines, and the use of living shorelines where shorelines are being managed, is a priority for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays,” says Executive Director, Chris Bason. “Living shorelines improve water quality because the marsh vegetation filters pollution from the land before it reaches the water, and living shorelines are often more resilient than hardened shorelines in the face of storms, flooding and sea level rise.”

At the close of 2015, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control adopted a Statewide Activity Approval (SAA) for Shoreline Stabilization Projects in Tidal and Non-tidal Waters of the State of Delaware that makes it easier for property owners and their contractors to obtain a permit to create a living shoreline to manage shoreline erosion.

The intent of the SAA is to promote the use of living shoreline stabilization techniques by providing an abbreviated permit application review process. “This action will make it easier to obtain permits for living shoreline projects. Creating good policy that streamlines the process for homeowners and contractors to protect their shoreline from erosion and protect the Inland Bays is a win-win,” Bason says.

Development of the SAA was initiated by the statewide Living Shorelines Committee, a working partnership that was convened by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays in 2014, and includes DNREC, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, the University of Delaware, engineering firms, and others interested in promoting the use of living shorelines.

To view the Statewide Activity Approval (SAA) for Shoreline Stabilization Projects, go to www.dnrec.delaware.gov/wr/Documents/Shoreline_Stabilization_SAA.pdf

For more information on living shorelines, go to inlandbays.org/livingshoreline.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

2nd Annual Clean Water Rally Draws Crowd of Over 120 Citizen Advocates

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Attendees Meet with Governor Markell
to Discuss Clean Water Funding

On June 7, 2016, over 120 people rallied in Dover to show their support for clean water funding. After gathering outside of Legislative Hall, citizen advocates went on to speak with Governor Markell and their local legislators to explain why clean water funding is personally important to them.

Chris Bason, Executive Director for the Delaware Center of the Inland Bays explained, “Water quality is now one of the biggest economic, public health and environmental issues we’re facing nationally. Here in Delaware, we’re thrilled to bring together legislators, heads of utility companies, academia, conservationists and citizen advocates to rally behind the need for additional clean water funding. By working together, I am confident that we can combine the technology, passion and manpower to improve water quality for current and future generations of Delawareans.” 

Rally attendees Kenneth Haynes, Joanne Haynes, Dotty LeCates and Lew Podolske

Rally attendees Kenneth Haynes, Joanne Haynes, Dotty LeCates and Lew Podolske

Roy Miller CIB Policy Coordinator and CIB Executive Director Chris Bason help two kids use the enviroscape which shows how water works through an ecosystem

Roy Miller, CIB Policy Coordinator, and Chris Bason, CIB Executive Director, help two kids use the enviroscape which shows how water works through an ecosystem.

Led by the Delaware Nature Society, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the rally was part of the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign, which is a statewide outreach and education effort focused on securing additional funding for clean water.

Rally attendees included Delaware State Senator Bryan Townsend, Delaware House Speaker Peter Schwartzkopf, State Representative Ronald Gray, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary David Small, academic experts on clean water, conservationists, community leaders, industry representatives and residents from every part of the state.

“There is nothing more fundamental to our existence than clean water.  Our economy, our environment, and our health all depend on clean water. Over the past 11 months a task force has met many times to develop a model piece of legislation for how to clean Delaware’s waterways efficiently, effectively, and with transparency.  I look forward to the day, as soon as possible, that this legislation becomes law and that Delaware becomes a leader in demonstrating an effective solution to one of the most pressing public-policy challenges of our generation,” said Senator Bryan Townsend, Chair of the Clean Water and Flood Abatement Task Force. 

The rally included brief speeches from Senator Townsend, House Speaker Schwartzkopf, and Representative Gray; 15 exhibitors that provided information on local watersheds, water quality testing; Natalie’s Fine Food Food Truck; face painting and all-around fun!

The campaign will continue to engage organizations and individuals in its work and build support for clean water initiatives moving forward.

The Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign is a statewide outreach and education effort focused on securing additional funding for clean water. The campaign supports additional funding going towards improvement to wastewater systems, flood reduction initiatives, restoration of our natural resources like wetlands, innovative toxic removal technologies and investments in drinking water.

The campaign is championed by the Clean Water Alliance, a diverse group of stakeholders representing businesses, conservation organizations and academia in Delaware.
Learn more about the campaign at www.cleanwaterdelaware.org.

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Center for Inland Bays Receives Over $4,500 as Beneficiary of Gary’s Dewey Beach Brewfest

Friday, June 10th, 2016

The 7th Annual Dewey Beach Brewfest, sponsored by Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill, raised $4,554 for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), a local non-profit organization working to protect and restore the three Inland Bays.

This is the second year the CIB has been the beneficiary of the profits from this popular springtime affair. Co-owner Gary Cannon is already looking forward to the 2017 Brewfest. “We’ve considered a number of different charities over the years, but this has turned out well; Beer saves the Bays!” Surpassing previous attendance records with over 300 participants, this year’s Brewfest, exceeded its 2015 contribution by more than $500.

“This is our backyard essentially,” explains Holly Ski, co-owner and chef at Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill, “There’s always so much said about the ocean, but I think people lose sight of the Inland Bays. They’re just as important.”

The Dewey Beach Brewfest featured raffles, giveaways, and live music by the Pressing Strings, all complementing the main attraction: seasonal and flagship beers from over 30 breweries. Popular local breweries included Dogfish Head, Big Oyster Brewing Company, Dewey Beer Company and 16 Mile brewing company.

Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill is located on the ocean side corner of Route 1 and New Orleans St in Dewey Beach. It has been a local favorite for flavorful healthy foods in a casual, laid-back atmosphere since 1991. Learn more at www.garysdeweybeachgrill.com.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

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Photo from Left to Right: Gary Cannon (co-owner of Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill), Chris Bason (Executive Director of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays) and Holly Ski (co-owner and chef of Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill) pose outside of the Center’s office located on the north side of the Indian River Inlet.

Drivers Cautioned to Watch Out for Terrapins Crossing Rt. 1 and Other Roads Around the Bays

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Indian River Inlet, DE:  Drivers are urged to use extra caution when traveling Delaware’s coastal highways through June and July. As the summer gets underway, female Diamondback terrapins are crossing Route 1 to lay their eggs in the soft sand of the ocean dunes, and many are killed in the process.

“The dune area along Route 1 in Delaware Seashore State Park is one of the state’s prime terrapin nesting areas,” explains Sally Boswell, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the CIB. “Because female terrapins mature late and have a long reproductive lifespan, the loss of a single female means the loss of many years of potential offspring.”

Those who come across a turtle attempting to cross the highway should first ensure their own safety, then pick the terrapin up by the sides and place her on the bay side, behind the turtle fencing. Unlike snapping turtles, terrapins are very gentle, although she may squirm and kick her clawed feet. It is very important not to drop her.

The Diamondback Terrapin is listed as a species of concern in Delaware and for years the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has installed and repaired fencing along Route 1 to prevent the terrapins from crossing the roadway. Unfortunately, some still manage to find their way through or around this barrier.

Sandy beaches around the Inland Bays also provide nesting areas for terrapins, but in many areas, sandy shorelines have been lost where bulkheads or riprap have been installed to prevent erosion.

As an alternative to bulkheads and riprap, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays recommends installing a “living shoreline.” This method of shore stabilization preserves natural beauty, and also protects the shoreline from erosion by reducing wave energy, trapping sediment to re-build the shore edge, and providing food, nesting and feeding areas for many birds and marine animals including the Diamondback terrapin.

 

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

Join the Center for the Inland Bays and Head to the Clean Water Rally in Dover on June 7th

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Indian River Inlet, DE:  Show Delaware’s legislators that you support clean water! Join the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) as they head to the 2nd Annual Clean Water Rally on Tuesday, June 7th from 10:30 a.m. to Noon, held on Legislative Green in Dover.

To get there, attendees from around the Inland Bays are invited to join the “Clean Water Car Rally” to the Rally! The Car Rally will meet at the Lowes Parking Lot in Lewes at 9:00 a.m. to share a ride or join the caravan. Free coffee will be provided. To participate in the Car Rally, send an email to communications@inlandbays.org. Register now to get a free shirt, and free food at the Rally. Go to delawarenaturesociety.org/Advocacy and complete the registration form.

After the Rally, participants will have an opportunity to meet with Governor Markell and their legislators to discuss the need for funding to support clean water projects. 

The Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign is a statewide education and outreach effort focused on securing additional funding for clean water. For more information about the campaign, go to cleanwaterdelaware.org.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed. With its many partners, the CIB works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.

“Don’t Chuck Your Shucks” Gears Up for its Second Season

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Center for the Inland Bays Sets Goal to Collect 2,000 Bushels for the Bays

At the start of its second season, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ (CIB) oyster shell recycling program, Don’t Chuck Your Shucks is geared up to double last year’s record.

In 2015, “Don’t Chuck Your Shucks” successfully collected over 1,000 bushels of shell, surpassing the goal set for the year. This year, the CIB expects to easily pass that target, “With 16 restaurants on board, our goal is to collect 2,000 bushels and ‘bag’ 500 bushels of shell by the end of 2016,” said Project Manager Bob Collins.

The CIB, with support from The Delaware Nature Conservancy and the participation of local restaurants, collects discarded shell from restaurants to use in restoration projects on the Inland Bays.

The success of this shell recycling program is made possible by our partner restaurants and the appetites of their patrons. When customers order clams or oysters, they’re giving back to their local inland bays, reducing trash in local landfills, and also supporting local business.

The growing list of participating restaurants includes 99 Sea Level, Bethany Oyster House, Blue Coast, Catch 54, Chesapeake & Maine, Claddagh on the Shore, George & Sons Seafood Market, Hammerheads Dockside, Hooked-up, Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant, Just Hooked, Twining’s Lobster Shanty, Off the Hook, Smitty McGees, The Starboard Raw, and Zoggs Raw Bar & Grill.

One of the newest participants is Chesapeake & Maine, the latest addition to the Dogfish Head family. “We at Dogfish have always had a commitment to our community and to the environment through many different outlets,” explains Chef Kevin Downing, “and this is a great way for us to continue that support.”

Volunteers use the Oyster Master to fill bagsAfter collection, the shell is cured for several months to kill bacteria.  When it’s ready, CIB volunteers put the shell into net bags using a device designed and built by volunteer Ab Ream. The oyster bags are used in Living Shoreline restoration projects to protect the shore from erosion by reducing wave energy.  The bagged shells provide habitat for small bottom-dwelling organisms which, in turn, support commercially valuable crabs and fish.  And shells will become oyster nurseries—oyster shell is the preferred surface for young oysters to grow on…more oysters mean more ‘mini-filtration plants’ working year-around at no cost improving water quality in the Inland Bays.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.  For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org  or, go to our website at www.inlandbays.org

###

Inland Bays Clean-Up on June 11th 2016

Monday, May 9th, 2016

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is seeking volunteers and boats for the 11th Annual Inland Bays Clean-Up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 11th. DNREC once again is lending support through the Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section, along with the Division of Parks & Recreation.

Again this year, the cleanup will take place at Massey’s Landing Public Boat Ramp at the end of Long Neck Road and concentrate on the Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay areas. Volunteers should dress to get dirty and be prepared for cooler conditions on the water as well as wet walking conditions on land. Rubber boots are also suggested. Those who have access to lifejackets should bring one, as they are required onboard any boat used during the cleanup. Otherwise, lifejackets will be provided.

Last year’s event drew 75 volunteers who filled a 30-yard donated dumpster with debris, including soda bottles and cans, tires, derelict crab pots and a lot of docking lumber. This year’s event will have a focus on recycling, but with the two major coastal storms last fall and winter, there will likely be many items of large debris.

Sponsors:

  • Delaware Center for the Inland Bays- WUPIC
  • Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement
  • Division of Parks and Recreation
  • Dewey Beach Lions Club
  • Waste Industries USA, Inc.
  • Senator Ernie Lopez
  • DSWA Community Cleanup Initiative

Advance volunteer sign-up is requested, as lunch and a reusable water bottle will be provided. At the event, volunteers will need to sign a waiver, with parents or guardians completing the form for participating children age 18 and younger. This event is not recommended for children under the age of 10.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research. 

To volunteer or for more information, please contact Bob Collins, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, at 302-226-8105 ext. 111 or by email at jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

Celebrate Spring at the Native Plant Sale at James Farm April 30th

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Celebrate the return of spring at the 12th Annual “Gardening for the Bays” Native Plant Sale on Saturday, April 30th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View. The native flowers, ferns, grasses, trees and shrubs for sale are the main attraction, but the event also offers guided walks on the trails, ‘how to’ demonstrations, exhibits, a children’s tent, and gardening advice from experts.

Sponsored by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), the event will host four nurseries selling thousands of plants for sun, shade, wet gardens and sandy soils, wherever your garden grows around the Inland Bays. Participating nurseries include the Inland Bays Garden Center, Roots Nursery and Environmental Concern all offering a full range of flowers, shrubs and trees, and Envirotech offering pond and wetland plants.

NativePlantSalePoster2016_EBLASTEarly birds can show up at 8:00 a.m. for a bird walk led by Sharon Lynn of the Sussex Bird Club. In addition to our resident birds, Sharon expects to see and hear a few migratory species, “Late April is migration time, so we could also see Snowy egret, Spotted sandpiper, Forster’s tern, Clapper rail, Ruby-Throated hummingbird, Red-Eyed vireo, Wood thrush, and a few species of wood warblers.”

Get to know the trails, beaches and woods (and the plants and animals that live there) on trail walks led by Dr. Tom Lord, at 9:30 a.m. and Dr. Dennis Bartow at 11:00 a.m.

At 10:15 a.m., the Delaware Master Gardeners will present their tools and techniques for gardening accessibility; tips and tools that give gardeners the ability to “exercise their green thumb,” regardless of age or impairment. The Master Gardeners will be on hand throughout the sale to answer questions and share their experience and expertise.

Kids (and those kids-at-heart) are invited to explore nature with hands-on activities at the Children’s Tent. Grab a brush and help paint a rain barrel that will be used at the James Farm Ecological Preserve.

 “Gardening for the Bays” t-shirts, gardening gloves and aprons, and one-of-a-kind bee houses will be on sale to support the work of the CIB. Rain barrels will also be available in a limited supply and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Good Earth Market will have breakfast treats and coffee for sale for early birds, and will offer snacks and lunch throughout the day, including organic hotdogs and the Gardening for the Bays traditional sandwich, organic havarti cheese, sprouts, tomato and cucumber.

The Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale is an outreach education event of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays Watershed. With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research. 

For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105 x 103, email at outreach@inlandbays.org or visit www.inlandbays.org.

Visit the "Native Plant Sale" Event Page

CIB Seeks Volunteers for Horseshoe Crab Survey

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) seeks volunteers to assist with the 2016 Horseshoe Crab Survey. This citizen science volunteer effort gathers data about horseshoe crab spawning populations at sites on Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay and Little Assawoman Bay.

An orientation program for volunteers will be held on Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 pm at the CIB office located on Inlet Road in Delaware Seashore State Park on the north side of Indian River Inlet. For more information, or to RSVP for the meeting, contact Andrew McGowan at environment@inlandbays.org or at (302) 226-8105 x112.

The surveys are conducted at high tide on evenings around the full moon and new moon throughout May and June. Volunteers will count the number of horseshoe crabs, record data and carry equipment between count sites.  For more information about the Inland Bays Horseshoe Crab Survey go to www.inlandbays.org/hcs.

The Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them. With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research. 

Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Seeks Volunteers for Fish Survey

Friday, March 18th, 2016

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) seeks volunteers to assist with the 2016 Inshore Fish Monitoring Program. This all-volunteer effort is studying the fish population of the Inland Bays at seventeen sites around the three Inland Bays and their tributaries.

An orientation program will be held on Thursday, March 31 at 5:30 pm at the CIB office located on Inlet Road in Delaware Seashore State Park on the north side of Indian River Inlet. For more information, or to RSVP for the meeting, contact Andrew McGowan at environment@inlandbays.org or at (302) 226-8105 x112.

Delaware’s Inland Bays are home to over one hundred species of fish. The Inshore Fish Monitoring Survey is a citizen science program that over time will reveal trends in fish populations in the Inland Bays. 2011 was the first year of this long term study.

There are volunteer opportunities on the fish survey both in and out of the water; pulling seine nets, collecting water samples, recording data and assisting with data management. Each team conducts surveys one or two days per month from April through October.

The Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them. With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry
and sponsors research. For more information, go to inlandbays.org

CIB Offering State of Love Creek Report Presentations to Interested Homeowners Associations and Civic Groups

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Rehoboth Beach, DE:  A recent survey conducted by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and its Love Creek Team found that many residents and property owners around Love Creek have concerns about water quality and the impact of land use changes within their watershed.

In response to these community concerns, the CIB has published the State of Love Creek Report, a compilation of recent data on land use changes, nutrient levels and bacteria concentrations within the Love Creek watershed. This report aims to inform residents and property owners on the condition of their creek and make recommendations to empower them to improve and protect it.  

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays would like to share the findings of the State of Love Creek Report with homeowner associations, civic groups and other interested organizations in the Love Creek area.

To schedule a presentation with your group, contact Education and Outreach Coordinator, Sally Boswell, by phone (302) 226-8105 ext. 103 or by email at outreach@inlandbays.org. The State of Love Creek Report PDF and additional information and resources are available online at inlandbays.org/lovecreekreport.

The Love Creek Team is part of the “Your Creek” Initiative. For more information on this program, visit www.inlandbays.org/yourcreek.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bay is one of 28 National Estuary Programs; a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and their watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.

Dr. Emily Seldomridge named Watershed Coordinator at the Center for the Inland Bays

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Rehoboth Beach, DE: The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Emily Seldomridge to the position of Watershed Coordinator, a new position at the CIB.

In this position, Dr. Seldomridge will coordinate with partner organizations to implement, track and report progress made on the Inland Bays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), the ‘blueprint for actions that should be undertaken by all levels of government, industrial and business sectors, private and public organizations and institutions and the general public to restore and protect the Inland Bays.’ This work will include implementation of the Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy.

Dr. Seldomridge brings experience in watershed planning, public policy, water quality monitoring, and stakeholder engagement and outreach. She holds a holds a B.S. in Biology from Salisbury University, an M.S. in Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Maryland.

Chris Bason, Executive Director of the CIB said, “The expertise and experience that Dr. Seldomridge brings to our team will strengthen our partnerships and integrate best available science into watershed-scale planning and implementation.”

Prior to joining the Center, Emily lived and worked in Texas, passing up a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany in favor of a research and development position with Texas Tech University: “The unique beauty of the Texas Hill Country captured my heart and research curiosity”, she said.

In Texas, Dr. Seldomridge developed a Watershed Protection Plan for the Upper Llano Watershed as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Healthy Watersheds Initiative. She later accepted a job with the Galveston Bay Foundation on the Texas Living Waters Project, a plan aimed to better protect springs, rivers, and estuaries by transforming the public policy used to manage and allocate water.

The move to the Delmarva Peninsula was spurred by a desire to return to her roots: “My soul never left Delmarva. I spent my childhood on the banks of the Wicomico River, swimming, fishing, or wading in the mud at low tide. I want to preserve these special memories and the environment where they were made so that others can experience the same connection with nature.

I believe that water is the connecting ribbon not only of watersheds, but also of communities. I will use my multidisciplinary training in water resources to lead watershed planning efforts for the Delaware Center for Inland Bays.”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bay is one of 28 National Estuary Programs; a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed. With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.

Trends in Nutrient Pollution in Delaware’s Inland Bays Tops the Agenda of Next CIB Science Meeting

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Water quality in Delaware’s Inland Bays is impaired by years of pollution from excess nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus.  Our bays and creeks often are murky from algae blooms, have very few bay grasses or oysters, and do not support healthy oxygen levels in many areas.

At the next meeting of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Science and Technical Advisory Committee, David Wolanski, Environmental Scientist at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), will discuss long-term trends in nutrient concentrations in Delaware waters, and their implications for state policies on water quality.  

The public is invited to attend the meeting on Friday, December 11th from 9 a.m.-12 noon at DNREC’s Lewes Field Facility at 901 Pilottown Road in Lewes by the public boat ramp.

Other topics to be discussed at the meeting are recent seaweed blooms in the Inland Bays, and nutrient loads from residential fertilizer use.  In addition, the STAC will hear an update on recent activities of the Center’s Your Creek Project teams, including publication of a “State of Love Creek” report.

The Science and Technical Advisory Committee is a standing committee of the CIB Board of Directors.  The public is welcome to attend these meetings.  Presentations from past STAC meetings can be viewed on the CIB website www.inlandbays.org.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.  For more information, or to learn how you can support this important work call visit our website at www.inlandbays.org

Center for Inland Bays Awarded Grant for Living Shorelines on the Inland Bays

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Rehoboth Beach – The Delaware Center for Inland Bays, in partnership with Sussex Conservation District, announced receipt of a $42,000 planning grant to evaluate potential sites for ‘living shoreline’ demonstration projects and develop concept designs for selected sites. It is an important milestone in a multi-year initiative to advance the use of ‘living shorelines’ management techniques for shoreline stabilization on the Inland Bays.

The goal of the demonstration projects is to improve water quality through shoreline stabilization, to protect and restore shoreline habitats, and to provide public education and shoreline contractor training opportunities.  The grant is a Surface Water Matching Planning Grant from the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

As communities have developed around the Inland Bays, much of the shoreline has been ‘hardened’ with stone rip-rap or bulkheads.  While these can be effective in halting erosion, they take a big toll on bay life and alter the natural shoreline.  These ‘hardened shorelines’ eliminate natural sandy beach and marsh that serve as vital feeding and nursery areas for many species, and they can amplify and reflect wave energy causing erosion on nearby shores.

A living shoreline is a method of stabilizing the shoreline to protect against erosion while preserving natural functions and natural beauty.  Living shorelines can protect and restore beaches, marshes, and shallow water areas for the rich diversity of life that live at the edges of creeks and bays.

The design for a living shoreline is determined by the unique aspects of the site and the amount of wave and wind energy impacting it.  Projects typically include the use of stone sills, oyster castles or bagged oyster shell to create a breakwater to slow wave energy; fiber logs to capture sediment to rebuild the marsh behind the breakwater; and marsh plantings to vegetate and hold the sediment as the marsh rebuilds.

In the coming year, Dr. Marianne Walch, Science and Restoration Coordinator for the CIB, said “We plan to select and prioritize five demonstration sites on the Inland Bays.”  The criteria for selecting the locations will be public access to view the site, inclusion of both high wave energy and low energy locations, and sites that afford the opportunity to demonstrate various designs and techniques incorporating a range of materials. Learn more about living shorelines.


The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.  For more information contact Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org  or, go to our website at www.inlandbays.org

Volunteers Begin Work on Phase 1 of the James Farm Master Plan

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Ocean View– On Wednesday, October 7, twenty-one employees with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship, Drainage Section, volunteered their time at the James Farm Ecological Preserve, clearing brush and selected trees from two acres that will now be managed as upland meadow. The meadow is part of the James Farm Ecological Preserve Master Plan that aims to accommodate a growing number of visitors to the Preserve while protectingits natural features.

The James Farm Ecological Preserve is a 150-acre area on the Indian River Bay that consists of freshwater forested wetlands, a coastal plain pond, meadow, saltmarsh, tidal flats, successional forest, and upland forests. The Preserve is owned by Sussex County and has been managed by the Delaware Center for Inland Bays (CIB) since 1998.

As part of Phase 1 of the Master Plan, some invasive species and pre-selected trees were removed from the area behind the information kiosk.  The removed vegetation was left in piles in the new meadow to create winter shelter for songbirds, turtles and small mammals. Invasive plant species will be controlled in the area and, in fall 2016, some native hardwoods and pines will be planted to bring more species diversity to the area.

The Master Plan was developed in 2014 with Oasis Design Group, a landscape architecture and master planning firm located in Baltimore.  In developing the Plan, the consultant addressed the physical restoration, improvement, and management of the property and considered emerging issues such as sea level rise.   

Each year, over 10,000 visits are made to the Preserve where locals and tourists alike enjoy the trails, beach and bay views, wildlife viewing and community events including the CIB’s annual Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale.  In addition, CIB provides instruction to nearly a thousand students each school year as part of the James Farm Middle School Education Program, a partnership with Indian River School District.

The Master Plan addresses the challenges of increased visitation to the Preserve while preserving the land for environmental education and recreation as Mary Lighthipe, the last heir of the James family and donor of the property, intended.  Implementation of the Plan is being supported by a generous grant from Sussex County Council.     

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.  For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org  or, go to our website at www.inlandbays.org

The Center for the Inland Bays and Partner Restaurants Recycle 1,000 Bushels of Oyster Shell

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Indian River Inlet:  The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ (CIB) oyster shell recycling program, known as, Don’t Chuck Your Shucks, reached its goal to collect 1,000 bushels of shell in its first season. The program, designed to collect and reuse the oyster shells that would otherwise be sent to landfills, is a partnership with twelve area restaurants and The Nature Conservancy.

“The success of the first full season was made possible by the participation of local restaurants and the appetites of their patrons,” said Bob Collins, coordinator of the program at the CIB.

“We’re very proud to be involved as the biggest supplier of shells to the program,” said Tim Haley, owner of the Bethany Oyster House and the first restaurateur to sign up. Participating in Don’t Chuck your Shucks, he said, was a simple decision, “It saves us a ton of dumpster space and instead of taking the shells off to the landfill, we’re using them to contribute to our bays.”

While the benefits of live oysters to improve water quality are well-known, the oyster shells themselves are a highly valuable resource.  The shell will be used in a variety of projects that are intended to restore populations of wild oysters to the Inland Bays including living shorelines construction and the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program.

Participating restaurants include 99 Sea Level, Bethany Oyster House, Blue Coast, Catch 54, Claddagh, Hammerheads, Hooked-up, Just Hooked, Lobster Shanty, Magnolias, Off the Hook, and Smitty McGees.

Collins is optimistic about the success of the program, “We’ve had a successful first full year of operation and expect to collect another thousand bushels of shell in the coming year.”


The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.  For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org  or, go to our website at www.inlandbays.org

Feedback Sought from Dirickson Creek Residents

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Rehoboth Beach, DE:  The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays invites residents of the Dirickson Creek area to complete a short online survey regarding their recreational use of the creek, access to the creek, and observations and concerns about water quality. The feedback from this survey will be used to assist the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), and the Dirickson Creek Team of the CIB ‘Your Creek’ initiative, in their work to improve water quality in Dirickson Creek.  To take the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/DiricksonCreek.

The Dirickson Creek watershed covers approximately 20 square miles along the Route 54 corridor from Fenwick Island to Selbyville, nearly to Route 113. The creek collects its waters primarily from agricultural ditches that drain the farmland to the west and from groundwater inputs.  Dirickson Creek flows into Little Assawoman Bay at the bay’s southern end just north of the Maryland/Delaware state line.

The Dirickson Creek Team is part of the ‘Your Creek’ initiative at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. Those interested in learning more about the Dirickson Creek Team should contact Education and Outreach Coordinator, Sally Boswell, at outreach@inlandbays.org or 302-226-8105 x103.

The Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization that works to preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.

Inland Bays Fish Survey Team Gathers to Honor Ron Kernehan

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Rehoboth Beach, DE:  On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, members of the Inland Bays Fish Survey and staff gathered at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) to remember and honor our friend and colleague Ron Kernehan, who died in July at his home in Lewes Beach.  

Ron Kernehan joined the CIB as a volunteer in 2010 to develop and lead a new program called the Inland Bays Inshore Fish Survey. The plan was to use volunteers to survey fish populations at sites around the three Inland Bays.  The survey, now in its fifth year, is the most comprehensive inshore fish survey ever conducted on the Delaware Inland Bays.  The survey teams have counted over 30 thousand fish each year and identified 65 species including three new species this summer

Ron developed the research protocol, obtained equipment, selected sites and recruited and trained volunteers.  He was site leader for two of the eight survey teams for the sixteen sites that are surveyed monthly from April-October, but accompanied many of the teams on their surveys. He was lead author of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Survey Reports.

Ron’s gift was his passion for what he called ‘the cause.’  All who took to the beach with him experienced his unique “fins up” enthusiasm, infectious good humor and his prodigious knowledge. In addition to accurately identifying species, he could easily distinguish the subtle and distinct coloration variations of males and females, and he was a wealth of knowledge about spawning characteristics, especially of those fish that migrated from and into the ocean during their life cycles.  


No one who worked with him can quite believe that he won’t, any day now, rush into their office with a great fish story to tell, or come striding down the beach to meet the team. One volunteer said that she didn’t even know she liked fish; she just liked going out to do the Fish Surveys with Ron. She was one of many people reeled in by Ron’s exuberance; he recruited and trained most of the volunteers who have participated in the program over the past five years, numbering over a hundred.

When he wasn’t seining, his zeal to share what he knew and loved made him one of our best environmental educators.  He seined with students in the Upward Bound program and with visiting university students, conducting surveys on the beach at James Farm.  He took pools and filled them with fish at school science nights and led programs at the Bethany Beach Nature Center.  He introduced adult learners from Wilmington University and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware to opportunities in citizen science and to the Inland Bays Fish Survey.

In 2013, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays presented Ron Kernehan with the Friend of the Bays award in honor of his extraordinary contributions as a Volunteer for the Bays.  A charismatic teacher and scientist, he exemplified the power of citizens to contribute greatly to our knowledge about the Bays…work that cannot be done without citizen scientists and leaders like Ron.

To view a slide show and video highlighting Ron Kernehan’s contributions  go to inlandbays.org/projects-issues/3159-2/

The Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization that preserves, protects, and restores Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.

Get on Board with the Bays at the 8th Annual Deck Party

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

–  A Benefit for the Inland Bays-

Rehoboth Beach, DE:  Join us on the deck for the 8th Annual Decked Out! party to benefit the Center for the Inland Bays on Thursday, August 6th  from 6:00–9:00  p.m. at our bayside location on Indian River Inlet.  Enjoy the sounds of steel drum music as the sun sets over Indian River Bay and the lights of the Indian River Inlet Bridge color the eastern sky.

Guests will enjoy a special treat this year… a raw bar sponsored by Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. The evening will also feature delicious tastings and munchies by area restaurants, specialty cocktails and a Bay-themed silent and live auction.  Decked Out desserts are always a highlight.

Decked Out is a sell out each year, but tickets are still available and it’s not too late to be a part of this festive evening on the Bay.  Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at www.inlandbays.org.  For sponsorship information or to buy tickets by phone, call (302) 226-8105 x107.

The Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization that preserves, protects, and restores Delaware’s Inland Bays, the water that flows into them, and the watershed around them.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.

For more information on how you can get on board with the bays, visit www.inlandbays.org.

Seventy Volunteers Got Wet, Got Dirty and Had Fun at the 11th Annual Inland Bays Clean Up

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Indian River Inlet, DE:   For more than a decade, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and its partners have held the annual Inland Bays Clean Up which has removed tons of trash from the beaches, bays and marshes of the three Inland Bays.

From litter like plastic bottles and bags, to docking lumber and tires, trash in the bays can be harmful to the health and safety of people and life threatening to animals like terrapins, birds, fish, and crabs, that can be wounded, strangled, or unable to swim if they consume or become entangled in marine debris.

This year, seventy volunteers in nine boats collected trash in and around Indian River and Rehoboth Bays.  They loaded the trash onto boats, transported it to Massey’s Landing and deposited it into a 30-yard dumpster.

In conjunction with the DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section and Division of Parks & Recreation, this year’s Clean-Up was held on June 13th. Special thanks to the CIB’s Water Use Plan Implementation Committee (WUPIC) and the Dewey Beach Lion’s Club for planning and organizing the event and cooking lunch.  Special thanks to Sargent Troy Trimmer of Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement for coordinating use of the boat ramp and safety patrols in the area, and to the Division of Parks and Recreation.

Other sponsors included Waste Industries, Senator Ernie Lopez/ DSWA Community Cleanup Initiative, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Back Bay Tours, Town of Dewey Beach, Highway One Companies, Hook ‘em and Cook ‘em Outfitters, Old Inlet Bait and Tackle, The Sands of Time Antiques, Bill’s Sport Shop.  Sponsor support provided tee-shirts to volunteers, clean-up supplies, hot dogs and water.

Thanks to groups of employees from Waste Industries, Delmarva Media Group and Solitude Lake Management for taking time out of there weekend to make a difference, and to the Sussex Community Corrections Center for their participation.  Individuals, teams and businesses who would like to participate in the 2016 event, should contact Bob Collins at 302-226-8105 ext. 111 or jamesfarm@inlandbays.org.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bay is one of 28 National Estuary Programs; a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.

For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org

Or, go to our website at www.inlandbays.org

A Safer Day on the Bays for about 43 Cents a Pound

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Center for Inland Bays Working to Remove Hazardous Debris from the Bays

Indian River Inlet, DE:   When most people hear about the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, they think about cleaning up pollution in the Bays.  But one CIB committee is focused on the broader mission; the ‘wise use and enhancement’ of the Inland Bays.  The Water Use Plan Implementation Committee, a standing committee of the Board of Directors, informally called WUPIC, is charged with minimizing environmental impacts, avoiding user conflicts, and improving conditions related to water use activities in Delaware’s Inland Bays.   

According to CIB Executive Director, Chris Bason, ”After a success in 2013 working with partners to remove derelict pilings and docks from the mouth of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, we began looking for other navigational hazards in the Bays that posed risks to recreational boaters.”  

The community of White House Beach expressed concern about abandoned pilings and a partially submerged bulkhead at the mouth of the West Marina entrance to White House Beach on Indian River Bay. The bulkhead originally served as a 180’ wave break for a navigation channel that is shared by Pot Nets Bayside Marina and White House Beach Marina.  But, in recent years, the bulkhead is partially submerged and difficult to see at high tide, and had become a danger to boaters entering and leaving the channel.  

There are over 50 marinas on the Inland Bays and during the peak of the tourist season over 1,100 vessels may be on the water at once.  Over 300,000 fishing trips are taken every year around the Inland Bays, and many of these are from boats.  Well-marked and maintained waterways are key to maintain boater safety and support this important sector of Delaware’s tourism economy. 

The project was endorsed by WUPIC and work began in late May according to Roy Miller, project manager.   Miller said, “The removal and disposal of the waste was done by local contractor, Droney Marine Construction, Inc. and the project took less than a week, with some stops and starts due to weather.”

Funding for the project was provided by the Division of Watershed Stewardship of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.  The cost of the removal was $9,500 and generated about 11 tons of debris.  “That’s about 43 cents a pound to give local boaters a safer day on the bays,” said Sally Boswell, Education and Outreach Coordinator.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bay is one of 28 National Estuary Programs; a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.

For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org  

Or, go to our website at www.inlandbays.org

Native Plant Sale at James Farm an Annual Rite of Spring!

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Indian River Inlet, DE:   For many, the annual Native Plant Sale at James Farm Ecological Preserve has become a spring tradition.  Now in its eleventh year, the Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale on Saturday, May 2nd at the James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View is the ‘one-stop-shop’ for ‘going native’ in your garden.

Sponsored by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the event will host five nurseries selling thousands of flowers, shrubs, grasses and trees that are native to coastal Delaware.  In addition to the nurseries, the Master Gardeners will be on hand with advice and expertise.

Local nurseries include the new Inland Bays Garden Center located in Bethany Beach, East Coast Garden Center from Millsboro, and Roots Nursery from Selbyville. Envirotech Environmental Consulting from Lewes will bring water-loving plants for ponds and wetland areas. Environmental Concern, a non-profit native plant nursery from St. Michael’s Maryland will bring more than fifty kinds of native plants for rain gardens, woodland gardens and gardens by the sea.  

The sale starts at 9 a.m., but at 8 a.m. the Sussex Bird Club will lead a walk in search of warblers and other migrating birds that visit James Farm in springtime.  At 10:30 a.m., Dr. Dennis Bartow will lead a ramble along the trails of James Farm. Other special special events include a Gardening for Butterflies Demonstration at 9:30 and 11 a.m. by Ptery Iris of the Delaware Botanical Garden and a Composting Demonstration at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. by Pamela White.

The Good Earth Market will have breakfast treats and coffee for early arrivals and will offer snacks and lunch throughout the day, including a Gardening for the Bays tradition, organic havarti cheese, sprouts, tomato and cucumber sandwiches and grilled organic hotdogs.   


Local beekeeper, James Carfagno is coming back (with honey!) to show and tell the story of bees, some of our most important native pollinators, and crucial to our backyard gardens and to commercial agriculture.

The Delaware Nature Society will present their Backyard Habitat Program with advice on enhancing yards and gardens to provide food, water and shelter for birds, butterflies and other native wildlife, and the Livable Lawns program will demonstrate how to make your yard bay-friendly.  For the first time, the Delaware Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators and Educators will exhibit with information on how to help injured and abandoned animals.

The Center for the Inland Bays still has a goal of 1000 Rain Barrels for the Inland Bays and will once again have rain barrels for sale.  For a $40 donation to the CIB, attendees can take home a ‘ready-to-be-installed’ rain barrel.  They can be purchased at www.inlandbays.org in advance of the sale.

This year, at the Children’s Tent, small visitors will be painting a rain barrel.  Two new items will be sold at the Gardening for the Bays sale table; a newly designed tee shirt featuring favorite native birds and flowers, and bee houses for your backyard, made by volunteer Dave Ritondo with all proceeds go to support the work of the CIB.  

For those who want to start the Gardening for the Bays weekend early, the 2nd annual Gardening for the Bays Cocktail Party featuring ‘bay-centric’ food and beer tastings, select plants for sale from the Inland Bays Garden Center , and a silent auction of garden items will be held ‘under the tent’ at James Farm from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, May 1st.  Tickets may be purchased online at inlandbays.org or by calling 302 226 8105 for $30, or at the door for $40 with all proceeds going to support the work of the Center for the Inland Bays.

The Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale is an outreach education event of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays Watershed. With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry and sponsors research.  

For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org Or, go to our website at www.inlandbays.org

Center for the Inland Bays Volunteer Dennis Bartow Awarded Presidential Honor

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Rehoboth Beach, DE:  Dr. Dennis Bartow of Ocean View was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award with thanks and appreciation from President Barack Obama for his devotion to service in his work for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.  

A retired educator and administrator from Montgomery County Pennsylvania, he came to the CIB in 2008 to teach in the middle school education program at the James Farm Ecological Preserve.  Soon after, Bartow could be found volunteering his time and enthusiasm to nearly every activity and project at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. 

As a science teacher, Dr. Bartow is especially interested in the citizen science surveys conducted by CIB volunteers.  He is Volunteer Leader of the Inland Bays Horseshoe Crab Survey and leads the survey team at James Farm where he can be found on the beach counting and tagging horseshoe crabs on the nights around the new and full moons in May and June.

He can also be found pulling seine nets and compiling data for the Inland Bays Fish Survey, and is right-hand man to Fish Survey Volunteer Leader Ron Kernehan, assisting with management of the survey. It was Ron Kernehan who nominated Bartow for the award. 

 

‘Always alert to a ‘teachable moment,’ Dr. Bartow has the wisdom of age and the curiosity and energy of youth; an irresistible combination to those who venture with him on the trail or in the water, especially children, who are his favorite students,’ said Sally Boswell, Education and Outreach Coordinator at the CIB.

Bartow is a biologist by training, but has a passion for entomology and frequently takes his ‘bug collection’ to programs at the Bethany Beach Nature Center, to schools and to community events.  He volunteers for the Inland Bays Clean Up, leads nature walks at the CIB’s Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale, participates in osprey banding, and takes great photographs, many of which are featured in the Inland Bays Journal and other publications.  

At the presentation of the award, Chris Bason, CIB Executive Director said, ‘Dennis is always ready to step in when we need him–I can’t say enough about his dedication to our mission and his contributions to the CIB.’

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization. With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.  For more information, or to learn how you can support this important work call or visit our website at www.inlandbays.org.

Center for the Inland Bays Joins Delaware Conservation Leaders to Launch Clean Water Campaign

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Rehoboth Beach, DE:  “Although Delaware’s Inland Bays have long been recognized as waters of exceptional recreational and ecological significance, water quality is still a concern because the Bays continue to receive nutrient pollution from a variety of sources like wastewater and fertilizers, said Chris Bason, Executive Director of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays in Rehoboth Beach.”

“It is for this reason that the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays has joined an alliance of conservation groups to announce The Clean Water Campaign: Delaware’s Clear Choice,” according to Bason.

Delaware Nature Society, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and Delaware Center for the Inland Bays will lead the campaign’s efforts to educate outdoor enthusiasts about the importance of investing in programs that will remove toxins from Delaware’s waterways, improve the water we drink and protect parks, open spaces, farms and wetlands.  

Brenna Goggin, Advocacy Manager for Delaware Nature Society said, “We are at a critical juncture where an investment in Delaware’s waterways now can result in a cleaner environment, improved economy and increased tourism for years to come.  Delaware has come a long way in the last 40 years, but we can do so much more.”

Delawareans believe its residents and government can work together to improve the quality of our water. According to a recent poll, 82% of Delawareans believe the pollution problem in Delaware’s waterways can be improved and think the State of Delaware can do more.  By a 25 point margin, respondents said they would support a clean water fee.

“The health of rivers like the Delaware River has improved so much in recent decades because of efforts by so many people and communities.  Now is the time to carefully and thoughtfully invest in clean water.” said Jen Adkins, Executive Director, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.  

“We can and should do everything we can to ensure that our Inland Bays fully meet all of our goals for swimming, fishing, and other forms of recreation; not only for us but for our children and grandchildren,” said Bason.

The Clean Water Alliance will be educating outdoor enthusiasts — including hunters, fishermen, birdwatchers, and all residents that enjoy outdoors by giving presentations around the state, meeting with stakeholders, participating in events, launching a social media campaign and hosting a rally on June 2, 2015 at Legislative Hall in Dover.

About the Clean Water Alliance

The Delaware Clean Water Alliance is a broad-based coalition of organizations and stakeholders across the state working to illustrate the importance of securing funding for clean water.  The mission is to improve the quality of Delaware’s waterways and water treatment infrastructure to ensure a healthier environment and economy.  The partners believe that securing funding for clean water can lead to a cleaner environment, healthier crops and food sources, improved economy, and increased tourism.  

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization. With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.  For more information, or to learn how you can support this important work call visit our website at www.inlandbays.org.