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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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