January 25, 2014 501(c)(3) nonprofit)
Fostering Environmental Awareness and Action
Inland Bays of Delaware
The Inland Bays Foundation (IBF) based its 2014 strategy on achieving clean waters in Delaware’s Inland Bays, shown in Figure 1, by first going after low hanging fruit that will achieve clean waters without costing the taxpayer any or very little of their hard earned income. The Foundation’s 2014 tactics were to use existing, proven technology that will support this strategy and allow for growth in business opportunities and new jobs.
The Board of Directors of the Foundation met in Executive Session to define their 2014 priorities and they are:
- Define and implement an Advocacy Program that will utilize lobbying techniques and strategies to influence our elected and appointed officials at the local, state and federal levels to accomplish our goal of clean waters in Delaware’s Inland Bays. The Foundation will define and support the key elements of the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative and call for new initiatives required to accomplish our goal.
- Continue and expand our Public Information Program to aggressively grow the Foundation in both size and funding to make the Foundation a more effective advocacy and lobbying organization.
- The Board expressed a need to continuously monitor and report to the public potential “toxic” situations like the coal ash pile on Burton’s Island located on the banks of the Indian River. If necessary, take action to protect the citizens and wildlife of the Inland Bays Watershed and encourage effective remediation of said potential “toxic” hazards. Sampling locations along Inland and Pepper Creeks are shown in Figure 2.
Sampling Locations along Inland and Pepper Creeks
Highlights of 2014
1. Conducted monthly Board of Directors meetings with citizen involvement.
2. Attended the Univ. of Delaware “Coast Day” event to educate stakeholders and solicit new members.
3. We are also appealing the DNREC remediation plan, which only calls for monitoring, no remediation of contaminates. They call this a “no action remediation plan. “ We are being represented by Kenneth T. Kristl, J.D. and the Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Wilmington, DE.
4. Guest Speakers included:
a. Ray Bivens, State Parks Director, state parks director, discussed improvements that might be made to Holts Landing State Park.
b. Jessica Valesquez, DNREC Septic Remediation Forum
c. Charlie Gifford, US Agrisoils Chicken Litter Composting Science
5. Awarded Governor Jack Markell the first annual Inland Bays Foundation Environmental Advocacy Award at the annual Love Our Inland Bays Dinner in October, 2014. The award presentation is shown in Figure 3, below.
6. Met with Delaware Governor Markell in December to discuss our priorities and issues. The IBF Board and Governor Markell are pictured in Figure 4, below.
Met with Delaware Governor Markell
7. Signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Parks Division, the Inland Bays Foundation and the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation creating the Friends of Holts Landing State Park on Oct. 8, 2014 at the South Coastal Library. The signing ceremony is shown in Figure 5.
Fig. 5 Signing the Friends Of Holts Landing State Park Charter (photo by Dottie LeCates)
8. On May 15, the Inland Bays Foundation hosted a Sea Level Rise Seminar in the Bethany Beach Library. Over 60 people attended to hear Kenneth T. Kristl, J.D., Professor of Law at Widner University, lead the discussion of the legal implications of Sea Level Rise in Delaware and the subsequent flooding issues.
9. The Inland Bays Foundation established the month long Foundation Public Exhibit at the Rehoboth, Delaware, Public Library on April16, 2014.
2014 IBF Officers:
Ron Wuslich – President
Henry Glowiak – Vice President
Frances Hart – Secretary
Dave Jaeger – Treasurer
In 1972, when the Federal Clean Water Act became law, 40% of America’s waters were “fishable and swimmable” and 60% were “impaired /polluted”. Included in the 1972 Impaired /Polluted category were our inland bays. The act’s goal was that all of America’s waters would be “fishable and swimmable” by the end of 1987.
At present, despite this 1987 goal, only 60% of our nation’s assessed waters are “fishable and swimmable” and 40% remain “impaired /polluted”. Regrettably, our inland bays remain in the latter category.
On March 4, 2014, Governor Markell introduced his “Clean Water for Delaware’s Future ” Plan to the General Assembly during his “State of the State Address”. In introducing his plan he said he was embarrassed by the water quality status of Delaware’s bays, rivers, and streams. All Delawareans should be embarrassed considering that over 90% of our waters are not “fishable” and over 85% are not “swimmable.” In light of these statistics, Delaware’s combined surface waters are the dirtiest in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Nevertheless, Governor Markell’s proposed plan has yet to be introduced in the state’s general assembly for legislative consideration.
The situation we find ourselves in did not occur overnight. Over the last half century, Delaware’s elected officials and the State’s Department of Natural Resources have chosen not to place a premium on the water quality of our inland bays. As a result of this inaction, it will now cost more to restore our inland bays to their original “fishable and swimmable” condition and remove our inland bays from the EPA’s list of impaired waters.
In closing, the following three sentences sum up what our long term goal is for Delaware’s Inland Bays:
* We want the bays full of fish and crabs,
* We want to wade along the shore and see our feet, and
* We don’t want to get sick after swimming or water-skiing.
Vice President’s Report
The Inland Bays Foundation Vice President, Henry Glowiak, is shown in Figure 6, below, presenting a Foundation Polo shirt to Jessica Prayer, Assistant Director, Rehoboth, Delaware Library in appreciation for her assistance in setting up the month long Foundation Exhibit in the Library.
Frances Hart was appointed Secretary, to replace Helen Truitt, when she withdrew in October 2014.
- Total Income for 2014 was $11,291.36
- Total Expenditures for 2014 was $8,868.56
- Ending Cash balance was $9,284.25
- 2014 began with 50 members and ended with 65 members.
* A Lobbying Coordinator was appointed mid-year to harmonize Foundation activities concerning legislators and administration officials who may have influence over and/or a role in cleaning up the Inland Bays. A constituent lobbying effort was launched to build responsive relationships between our members and their legislators. Nine members of the State General Assembly and three members of the Sussex County Council were selected for attention. A similar effort was underway for the Governor and the Secretaries of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
* One lobbying goal was approved by the Board (by consensus) this year. It was to support the Governor Markell’s “Clean Water for Delaware Future”. Hereafter, lobbying goals will be adopted by vote of the Board. Under consideration for 2015, goals include enactment of an Inland Bays Protection Act, re-purposing of all chicken litter by the Agriculture Department, DNREC appointment of a Project Manager for Inland Bays Clean-up Effort, and binding conditions from the Governor’s Office of Planning for the approval of development projects. Each goal will be supported a Fact Sheet and Talking Points.
* The Foundation and the Protect Our Indian River (POIR) presented extensive research at the December 2013 Public Meeting relating to the Millsboro Pinnacle “Brownfields” site remediation plan, and made a recommendation to DNREC for further testing before approval of the plan.
* December 24, 2013, DNREC approved their own Remediation Plan
* The Foundation attended the DNREC Proof of Concept Trial for the Chesapeake Agrisoil’s Chicken Litter to Compost Recycling Plant in Seaford, Delaware. This plant has since been approved by DNREC. This is 2014 Initiative number 2 for the Foundation. The Foundation and the POIR team sampled 13 private wells on January 7, 2014, in the area of the Pinnacle plant, and found evidence of Cobalt contamination in 8 of the 13 wells along Iron’s Branch Road, in the down-plume area of the Pinnacle plant.
* February- The Foundation and the POIR appealed the approval of the plan before the DNREC Environmental Appeals Board
* June 24, 2014, the Foundation and the POIR presented about a whole day of testimony to the Board about why the plan should be restudied. The Appeal was summarily denied.
* September 2014, the Foundation and POIR brought suit in Superior Court to send the above decision back to the Board of Appeals.
* November 16, 2014, Foundation and POIR submitted a legal brief to the Superior Court. A decision is expected in 3- 4 months.
State Parks and Recreation Report
* January – Inland Bays Foundation Coordinator appointed and started with a wish to protect and enhance the natural resources at the hidden gem- Holts Landing State Park. The entrance to the park is pictured in Figure 7, below. We held our first meeting with Delaware Seashore State Parks (DSSP) Superintendent and staff.
* May – The DSPF offered us the use of their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
* June – District Chairman of the Boy Scout’s Community service Committee joined our group. He has served as a liaison with the scouting community. He is guiding projects with scouts at Holts.
* August – Attended a Board meeting at Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park (FOCHSP). We now have a working relationship with them. They have served as a model and given guidance on our structure as well as projects, etc. October – Friends of Holts Landing State Park (FOHLSP) was formed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Parks Division of DNREC, Inland Bays Foundation and DSPF. Our draft bylaws are approved.
* November – We signed our first founding sponsor Atlantic Resource Management, Inc., and our first sustaining member. We met with representatives of AARP, the Millville United Methodist Church and the staff of the DSSP. We heard that a large outdoor fire pit with a circle of stone benches will be built near the pavilion before the summer season.
* December – We obtained our business address – Friends of Holts Landing State Park, P.O. Box 1488, Ocean View, Delaware, 19970. We also opened our checking account and are accepting members as well as donations.
Environmental Partners Report
* IBF continues to work with the Delaware Environmental Working Group, a consortium of 30 environmental organizations. Critical issues include the Governors Clean Water Initiative, Sea Level Rise, and the Alan Harim Chicken Processing Plant.
* IBF participated in the DNS Legislative Day and met with many legislators on issues critical to the Inland Bays.
* IBF continues to be committed to building partnerships with the Group on critical environmental issues.
Public Information Report
* We started the year with a little over 50+ “Friends” on our Facebook Page and now have 155. On May 15, the Inland Bays Foundation hosted a Sea Level Rise Seminar in the Bethany Beach Library, to a packed conference room. The League of Women Voters attended and provided valuable support for this effort. Over 60 people attended to hear Kenneth T. Kristl, J.D., Professor of Law at Widener University, led the discussion of the legal implications of Sea Level Rise in Delaware and the subsequent flooding issues.
* We have consistently had approximately 1,000 visitors to our Web site monthly; about 50% are new visitors. Most read 2-3 pages, and many visit our Membership page, http://inlandbaysfoundation.org.
* PayPal option added to our Web site.
* Multiple Events supported- Sea Level Rise, Governor’s Dinner.
* The IBF’s new membership chair, Dr. George S. Cole, was elected in November of 2014. Development of objectives has begun. Membership outreach, especially recruitment and renewal, is challenging.
* Efforts to expand the membership database include selectively:
* adding contact names from the ‘dinner with the governor’ list;
* adding names of concerned individuals with published letters in local media;
* continue using our Facebook© page to present the message of the IBF; and exploring options for using both Twitter© and Linkedin© as venues to develop contacts.
* Various message content options are being examined for possible use in both membership renewals and new memberships.
Friends of Holts Landing Kick Off Park Projects
By Maddy Lauria | Feb 01, 2015
DAGSBORO — A group of dedicated volunteers with the newly formed Friends of Holts Landing State Park defied frigid temperatures Jan. 10 to plan and survey the work they’ll be tackling on the park’s trails.
More than a dozen people gathered at the state park in Dagsboro, where Sen. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, supplied coffee and donuts to keep the volunteers going. State Rep. Ron Gray, R-Selbyville, and Superintendent of Delaware Seashore Parks Doug Long joined Trail Boss Laf Erickson, Volunteer Coordinator Lee Temby, Eagle Scout candidate Thomas Polk and other volunteers to begin clean-up work on the trails.
The group will meet in the Friends room of the Holts Landing Maintenance Building from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, and each second Saturday through May. All visitors and volunteers are welcome, and no experience is necessary.
For more information, email Chuck Schonder at firstname.lastname@example.org — View the full article and photos here…
The Foundation applauds the Cape Gazette Poll on a critical issue. It shows the readers who participated would like subdivision sprawl to slow down or stop. A major source of nutrient pollution for our Bays comes from impervious surfaces. The last survey we can remember indicated the Rehoboth- Lewes area has already exceeded the 10% impervious surface level that the EPA targets for additional planning restrictions. Impervious surfaces can be your roof, your drive way or that very large commercial property down the road. In any event, storm water runs off impervious surfaces carrying all types of pollution into our ditches and streams from where it flows into our Bays. Future development can continue, future pollution can’t.
Your vote has been counted!
Is it time for a subdivision moratorium in eastern Sussex County?
The Foundation has been in touch with the DNREC Non Point Pollution Project Team and is starting to receive valuable information from that source to help us determine our 2015 Initiatives to achieve clean waters in our estuary. As we all know our watershed, like all the waters in Delaware are severely challenged. Here’s an example of good reading to help you- the Inland Bays Stakeholder understand a potential plan. It starts with “What is a healthy watershed? Learn more about watersheds…
Aquatic ecosystems are dynamic, interconnected in the landscape, and influenced by naturally varying lake levels, groundwater interactions, and stream-flows, as well as other natural variations in watersheds, such as forest fires. These dynamics, along with the landscape and climatic setting, largely determine the types of aquatic habitats and species endemic to a particular area. Effective protection of aquatic ecosystems recognizes their connectivity and dynamics at multiple spatial/temporal scales. Read more…
The Foundation highly recommends and applauds this worthwhile effort by our partners:
January 13, 2015
Delaware Coastal Zones
For Immediate Release From League of Women Voters Sussex County League contact: Jo Klinge, 302-226-4903
The League of Women Voters of Sussex County (LWVSC) Land Use Committee welcomes the community to attend the viewing of “An Evolving Legacy: Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act” at their next meeting on Thursday, January 22 from 7- 9 PM at the Beebe Conference Center (rear building, behind the Tunnel Cancer Center) on Rt 24, Rehoboth. The meeting will be open to the public, as well as to the LWVSC General Membership, with popcorn served as an added incentive.
Environmental attorney and activist Kenneth T. Kristl, who is depicted in the DVD, has agreed to come and respond to audience questions following the showing of this 55-minutefilm. Mr. Kristl is Associate Professor of Law at Widener University, as well as Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. He has written on the Coastal Zone Act and litigated cases under the Act before the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, the Superior Court, and the Supreme Court of Delaware.
In the event that weather forces a cancellation of this event, the League will notify radio stations Delmarva Public Radio – 90.7 and WGMD – 92.7, and through TV station WBOC.
Delaware’s Inland Bays Watershed- Courtesy University of Delaware
Watersheds of the Inland Bays
Assawoman | Buntings Branch | Indian River | Indian River Bay | Iron Branch | Lewes-Rehoboth Canal | Little Assawoman | Rehoboth Bay
The Inland Bay waters are highly enriched with the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus, the contaminants having the greatest impact on the surface and groundwater of the Inland Bays. While nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for plant and animal growth, when excess amounts enter the bays, water quality can deteriorate as aquatic plant growth accelerates and the level of oxygen is reduced, leading to eutrophication.
Existing contamination may be the result of either pastor present human activities. Past practices, such as landfill operations (now closed) and Superfund sites, may still be contaminant sources. Contamination from current activities may occur routinely, as in a permitted discharge of a municipal wastewater treatment plant; or may occur as a result of a spill or leak, as in ground-water contamination from a leaking underground storage tank. Contamination may be transported or exchanged between various media, such as a contaminant that was land applied that is subsequently transported in ground or surface water.
Nitrogen and phosphorus originating from agricultural activities have been identified as key factors in non-point source pollution in the Inland Bays/Atlantic Ocean Basin. There are approximately 72,000 acres of agricultural land in the Basin, representing more than 40 percent of the total land area. The majority of croplands are devoted to growing corn, soybeans, and sorghum, which go to feed the Basin’s thriving poultry industry. Agricultural lands are highly susceptible to nutrient loss. Factors such as soil type, depth-to-ground water, topography, ditches and drainage ways, and precipitation all affect nutrient transport in the Basin.
Water-quality samples collected from several agricultural drainage waters within the Basin show elevated levels of both nitrogen and phosphorus in the waters, at levels that exceed water-quality standards for streams in the Basin. Average nitrate concentrations in the waters from two sites averaged 5.8 and 4.6 mg/l. Ammonia nitrogen was also found in the waters ranging from 1.0 to 9.1 mg/l at one site and 0.18 to 6.8 mg/l at another. These values exceed the 0.14 mg/l water quality standard for nitrogen in the Basin. Total phosphorus levels in the waters were also consistently higher than the 0.01 mg/l phosphorus water-quality standard for the Inland Bays. Values of total phosphorus ranged from below detection levels to 0.34 mg/l at one site and 1.7 mg/l at another.
Size: 410 square miles
Source: U.S. Census
Source: NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC), Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) Land Cover data based on analysis of Landsat 30m resolution imagery.
Counties: DE: Sussex
U of D
Univerity of Delaware Citizen Monitoring Program citizen-monitoring.udel.edu
Since 1991, our dedicated corps of Citizen Monitoring volunteers have been taking water samples on a regular basis throughout Delaware’s coastal watershed to measure a broad range of important water quality characteristics. The data they gather…(read more…)
The next Inland Bays Foundation Public meeting is scheduled for 4 PMat the Bethany Library on January 14. Our Guest Speaker will be Ed Whereat, Program Manager for the U of D Citizen’s Water Quality Monitoring team. Come hear what he has to say about the state of our waters in 2014 and what the plans are for 2015. This is a Public Meeting, open to all. http://citizen-monitoring.udel.edu/
Univerity of Delaware Citizen Monitoring Program citizen-monitoring.udel.edu
Since 1991, our dedicated corps of Citizen Monitoring volunteers have been taking water samples on a regular basis throughout Delaware’s coastal watershed to measure a broad range of important water quality characteristics. The data they gather…(read more…)
Thank you Cape Gazette for keeping us informed about a critical issue relating to the health of Delaware’s Inland Bays Estuary. With the removal of the Rehoboth sewage Effluent Outfall, the lapse of the Pinnacle NPDES Permit (Indian River) and the town of Millsboro’s (Indian River) decision to use spray irrigation for disposal we will now have achieved (soon) the removal of all Sewer Plant Pipes dumping directly into the Inland Bays- in this case Rehoboth Bay. Many thanks to DNREC for making this happen. This eliminates the need for the EPA’s NPDES Permitting process for Point Pollution Sources in our Inland Bays. NPDES Permits are still required for other non- point sources, (septics) which the Foundation will take a hard look at in 2015. FYI- the folks in western Sussex living in the Nanticoke watershed are many years away from this success.
Rehoboth Ocean Outfall Wins Approval
City to begin construction in October 2017 By Ryan Mavity | Jan 05, 2015
Photo by: Ron MacArthurRehoboth’s controversial ocean outfall project has been approved. A completion date of June 1, 2018, has been set. Rehoboth Beach has received approval for state funding to build its long-awaited ocean outfall. Construction on the project, which will carry highly treated wastewater from the city treatment plant some 6,000 feet into the ocean, is expected to be complete by June 1, 2018.
Mayor Sam Cooper announced Jan. 5 that Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small approved an environmental impact statement required in order for the city to receive state funding for the $35 million project.
Cooper said the city and DNREC also worked out an extension of a court mandate that requires the city to cease dumping treated effluent in the Lewes Rehoboth Canal; the new date is June 1, 2018.
Approval of the environmental impact statement will allow funding for the project to be formally approved by the state’s Water Infrastructure Advisory Council. The council has already approved $10 million for improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant and has long made the Rehoboth project a top priority. No date has been set for a vote on funding.
Victory for city plan
“Obviously, I’m very pleased,” Cooper said. “This is going to allow the city to move forward with the project. I’m looking forward to the day the city gets out of the bays. The city has done an awful lot to reduce our nutrients, and this is the final piece.”
Cooper said he hopes to get going as soon as possible, but the most likely start date is October 2017. He was adamant the city will build in the fall and finish by the spring to avoid work during the tourist season. The plan calls for the outfall pipe to begin at the wastewater treatment plant, travel under Grove Park, down Henlopen Avenue and discharge more than a mile off Deauville Beach.
The city plans to begin submitting permit documents in the coming months, Cooper said, and in the summer, will hold a prebid qualification process for contractors. Contractors must submit qualifications before they can bid, he said. The estimated cost of the project is $10 million for plant improvements and $25 million for outfall pipe construction.
DNREC has not yet commented on the decision; Cooper said a press release is being prepared but nothing had been issued as of press time.
Surfriders object to outfall
Gregg Rosner, president of the Delaware chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, called the approval a tragic mistake. He said 94 percent of the state’s waterways have some level of pollution, and the construction of this outfall will make it 100 percent.
“Congratulations,” he said.
Rosner said the approval doesn’t mean digging is going to start anytime soon, with many steps still to go. He said no ocean outfall has been approved in the United States in the past 25 years for good reason; Rosner said former DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara was smart for not making a decision on the outfall before he left office last year. Rosner said this decision is on Small, and it shows an incredible lack of vision by the state and violates state statutes. He also said state officials will have to explain how the outfall is legal under the Coastal Zone Act.
Rosner said the town of Rehoboth has no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into. He said the city went with ocean outfall because it appears to be the cheapest alternative, but he anticipates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is going to ask for a redesign and a new remediation plan.
The Surfrider Foundation has pointed to a letter from NOAA as part of the impact-statement comments saying the outfall will have an adverse effect on the fish population and would require additional testing.
The next Inland Bays Foundation Public Board meeting will be held in the Bethany Beach Public Library on January 14th at 4 PM. Ed Wherat, Program Coordinator for the University of Delaware Citizen Monitoring Program will be our Guest Speaker. He will review the results from the 2014 Program and let us know what’s ahead for 2015.
MONITORING > Inland Bays http://citizen-monitoring.udel.edu/inlandbays.shtml
Delaware’s Inland Bays and their tributaries cover 34 square miles in southeastern Delaware and drain a 255 square mile watershed rich in agriculture and coastal tourism.
The Inland Bays suffer from too much of what we usually view as a good thing – nutrients. Nutrient overenrichment – or eutrophication – is the result of too much nitrogen and phosphorus entering the bays.
At assigned monitoring sites throughout the watershed, our citizen monitors collect important data including dissolved oxygen, nutrient concentrations, water clarity, bacteria levels, and other environmental data.
Delaware Inland Bays
The wealth of information that is collected is stored in a database at the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment in Lewes for access by potential users. Water quality reports – which include up to date summaries of water quality data – are provided on a semi-monthly basis through summer months.
This map shows the location of the Inland Bays. Click here for a more detailed area view.
Pollution Control Strategies and Tributary Action Teams
A 1997 federal court case required Delaware to set pollution limits for its waterways. These limits are called Total Maximum Daily Loads or TMDLs, a term you will hear a lot in water pollution discussions. In order to meet these new pollution limits, we are identifying ways to reduce water pollution.
Tributary Action Team You will find more at the following link
The Foundation has added their 2014 assessment of the current status-
The pollution control strategy (often abbreviated PCS) includes a combination of more than one pollution-reducing method and is tailored specifically for each watershed. Methods could include:
(Taken from DNREC website).
The removal of direct point-source discharges from waterways. After the end of 2014 only the Rehoboth Sewer Pipe will remain.
Better management of fertilizer and manure. At the end of 2014 there are existing and underway processes in existence to recyle chicken litter to fertilizer and compost and have the potential to remove hundreds of thousands of tons of nutrient and bacterial contamination annually.
Replacement of failing septic systems with environmentally safer sewer systems. At the end of 2014 there remain 18,000 Septics in the Inland Bays Watershed of which 10-15 % are either; poorly maintained, failing or have failed. The new Waste Water Regulation will address only new construction or replacement systems. Sussex County is aggressively expanding their Public Sewer Program.
Protective agricultural practices such as the planting of vegetative buffer strips between cropland and waterways. In 2014 little has being done to implement these “Voluntary Best Management Practices”.
Expanded levels of treatment of residential storm water through the use of best management practices. 2014- The new Storm Water Regulation is now in effect.
The Foundation believes this is a start but far from sufficient to achieve “clean and swimmable waters” in our Bays and Tributaries. We will soon be addressing our 2016 advocacy, lobbying and litigation priorities and could use your help. Please visit our membership page to see how you can join us.
“What better gift could the Foundation receive than this article about the successful expansion of the Sussex County Public Sewer System.
The Foundation encourages all Public Sewer Providers to use “Spray Irrigation” (County”s Inland Bays Plant) for disposal of sewage effluent over cover crops in winter or crops like soybeans and corn in Summer. The treatment facility eliminates all bacteria and the crops use all the remaining nutrients. We don’t need any more of either in our Bays. Thanks to DNREC for leading the way on this issue and the County for responding positively.”
Sussex sewer expansion ahead of the curve
County engineers plan for future growth – Cape Gazette – By Ron MacArthur | Nov 26, 2014
A large lagoon is being dug out at the county’s Inland Bays treatment facility to expand capacity.
Planning is critical for Sussex County officials who want to stay ahead of the curve for future sewer plant expansions and service. “It’s because sewer projects are complex and take years to plan and complete,” said Mike Izzo, the county’s chief engineer.
To preserve capacity at one of its four wastewater treatment plants, Sussex County officials are embarking on a $14 million project that includes a new state-of-the-art pump station and nearly 9 miles of 24-inch sewer pipe.
The project will provide the infrastructure to divert wastewater from the county’s Wolfe Neck treatment plant near Cape Henlopen State Park to the Inland Bays plant near Long Neck. It will also provide sewer hookups for projects in the area around Cedar Grove Road and Route 24 between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach including the new Cape Henlopen School District elementary school, a proposed Delaware State Police Troop 7 and a proposed RV campground project. Sussex County Council has not yet voted on the RV park project.
Capacity is a concern at the land-locked Wolfe Neck plant, Izzo said.
While even on the busiest summer weekends, the plant does not reach its permitted capacity, land is limited for spraying treated water, and the Wolfe Neck plant has little to no room to expand.
The county could expand the Wolfe Neck plant, Izzo said, “but there is no way to expand spray irrigation.” The county leases the land from the state and sprays on 310 acres near Cape Henlopen State Park, not far from the Junction and Breakwater Trail.
At the Inland Bays facility, on the other hand, the county has purchased 2,000 acres for expansion.
This project to divert wastewater to the Inland Bays plant comes on the heels of another major project to expand the Angola Neck sewer district. The nearly $6 million project includes more than 3 miles of 8-inch gravity sewer pipes and 2.5 miles of force main. The project serves an area along Route 24 from Love Creek to Peddlers Village extending north to include the communities of Love Creek Woods and Fox Hollow.
Construction of central sewer in this area will eliminate more than 250 on-site septic systems.
In addition, current and planned work at the Inland Bays treatment plant will double its capacity to 5.4 million gallons within the next two decades.
A break-even venture
Sewer treatment is big business for Sussex County government, yet the entire venture is designed to break even, Izzo said. The county’s goal since it started providing central sewer in the 1970s has been to eliminate existing, on-site septic systems, particularly in the Inland Bays Watershed. In many cases, the systems were in disrepair and were failing, releasing pollutants into the environment.
The county operates four wastewater treatment facilities: Wolfe Neck between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach; Inland Bays near Long Neck; South Coastal near Bethany Beach; and Piney Neck near Dagsboro.
Three of the four plants use a lagoon system and then spray irrigation to dispose of wastewater while South Coastal has used ocean outfall since 1976. A 6,200-foot, 30-inch pipe pumps treated water out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Town of Selbyville has also tied into the South Coastal system.
During the treatment process, effluent is pumped to a clarifier where solids settle at the bottom. The county has another identical clarifier at the Inland Bays plant ready for future expansion. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
High-powered irrigation pumps pull treated wastewater from storage lagoons to the Inland Bays spray irrigation system. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Wastewater operator Randy Paugh conducts analytical testing in the Inland Bays laboratory. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Cape Gazette Gave Us Great Coverage of the Inland Bays Dinner and Governor Markell’s Environmental Advocacy Award
Inland Bays Foundation, league honor effort to restore bays, waterways
By Maddy Lauria | Nov 05, 2014
Govenor Jack Markell
Gov. Jack Markell, center, recently received an environmental advocacy award from the Inland Bays Foundation, represented by President Ron Wuslich, left, and the League of Women Voters of Sussex County, represented by President Jane Lord.
LEWES — The General Assembly may not be supportive of Gov. Jack Markell’s proposal to raise funds for his Clean Water for Delaware’s Future initiative, but the League of Women Voters of Sussex County and the Inland Bays Foundation recently commended him for his efforts.
The two nonpartisan organizations invited Markell to their Love Our Inland Bays dinner at Irish Eyes Restaurant in Lewes Oct. 16 to present him with an environmental advocacy award for his efforts.
But before receiving the award, the governor had a few words to say about his currently tabled proposal to clean up Delaware’s waterways.
“We should be optimistic about the future, but only if this issue stays at the forefront of the state,” Markell said.
He cited current environmental projects at Mirror Lake in Dover, Pepper Creek wetlands and the redevelopment of brownfields across the state as a handful of examples of how investing in Delaware’s waterways can pay off.
“It took us a long time to get into this current situation, and the work to repair the damage is going to long outlast my administration, which is all the more reason that it is important for us to start now,” Markell said.
Markell introduced the clean water initiative in March 2014, proposing an increase in property taxes to partially fund roughly $800 million worth of wastewater, stormwater and drinking water projects throughout the state. Markell traveled throughout the First State earlier this year to advocate for the Clean Water for Delaware’s Future proposal, citing 377 bodies of water in Delaware that are impaired, leading to advisories that fish are unsafe to eat in more than 30 waterways statewide.
Inland Bays Foundation President Ron Wuslich said he was impressed by the governor’s willingness to admit that Delaware must take action to protect its waters.
“In my 30 years of living here, I haven’t seen someone make that kind of statement,” Wuslich said. “We’re trying to show the support for his effort to clean up Delaware’s water.”
“He was a crusader last year,” said David Small, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control secretary.
“We will continue to be very aggressive to try to meet these challenges,” he added.
IBF Award Dinner IBF Dinner
(Left) Lewes resident Henry Glowiak, left, Millsboro resident Dotty Lecates and Bethany Beach resident John Schmidtlein show their support for cleaning up Delaware’s waters at a Love Our Inland Bays dinner Oct. 16. (Photo by: Maddy Lauria)
(Right) Peggy Schultz of the League of Women Voters of Delaware and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small chat before listening to Gov. Jack Markell’s presentation about clean water at a recent Love Our Inland Bays dinner at Irish Eyes in Lewes. (Photo by: Maddy Lauria)
IBF Dinner IBF Award Dinner
Left) Supporters of clean water in Delaware (l-r) RuthAnn Barnes, State Senate District 6 candidate Claire Snyder-Hall, Nancy Cabrera-Santos and Sussex County Council District 4 candidate Shirley Price enjoy a meal at Irish Eyes Oct. 16 before listening to a presentation by Gov. Jack Markell. (Photo by: Maddy Lauria)
(Right)Sussex County Councilman George Cole, left, and Frank Piorko, director of DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship, are shown at a Love Our Inland Bays dinner Oct. 16, which recognized Gov. Jack Markell for his efforts to clean up Delaware’s waterways. (Photo by: Maddy Lauria)
(Left) League of Women Voters of Sussex County President Jane Lord introduces Gov. Jack Markell at the Love Our Inland Bays dinner in Lewes Oct. 16. (Photo by: Maddy Lauria)
Gov. Jack Markell
Speaker of the House State Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, left, shares a few thoughts before Gov. Jack Markell takes the podium at the Love Our Inland Bays dinner on Oct. 16. (Photo by: Maddy Lauria)
Gov. Jack Markell
Gov. Jack Markell shares his passion for cleaning up Delaware’s waterways during a Love Our Inland Bays dinner at Irish Eyes Restaurant in Lewes Oct.16. (Photo by: Maddy Lauria)
November 7, 2014 meeting of Holt’s Landing State Park “Friends” non profit group on a chilly and windy day.
Holts LandingThere is good news: the Friends Group is growing in members and money. There is much work to do on the park and the Group discussed many of the upcoming renewal projects including re-vitalizing the Boat ramp and the hiking Trails. A well respected local business person and the Boy Scout Troop will be beginning work soon. The “Friends” Group is modeled after the Cape Henlopen “Friends Group and is supported by the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation and the Inland Bays Foundation. If you’d like to learn more, volunteer or donate (non profit) please contact Chuck Schonder at email@example.com. Chuck needs your help!
Press Release from the Inland Bays Foundation regarding the May 15 Sea Level Rise Seminar conducted by Ken Kristl, Professor of Law at Widner University
Sea Level Rise
On May 15 the Inland Bays Foundation hosted a Sea Level Rise Seminar in the Bethany Beach Library to a packed conference room. The League of Women Voters attended and provided valuable support for this effort. Over 60 people attended to hear Ken Kristl, Professor of Law at Widner University lead the discussion of the legal implications of Sea Level Rise in Delaware and the subsequent flooding issues. A lively discussion of this timely topic followed. Extensive reference material was provided by Ken for folks at the meeting. You can get more information on this topic at the following link- www.widenerELC.org or at the Foundation web site www.inlandbaysfoundation.org after May 26.
The Foundation bases its strategy on achieving clean waters in Delaware’s Inland Bays by first going after low hanging fruit that will achieve clean waters without costing the taxpayer any or very little of their hard earned income. The following dialogue (click on the link below) illustrates a lot of voluntary participation by land owners to achieve this goal:
Restoration Stories Restoration – a word that means different things to different people. For some, it speaks of reconstructing or restoring buildings, archaeological sites, artwork and other valued materials to some semblance of their historic state. When a person becomes ill or injured, we send wishes for restoration of their health, and encourage a pathway of rehabilitation and recovery that will speed the healing along. In any context, restoration implies some sort of effort or giving back – not just letting things recover or renew onwetlands their own – but taking some kind of action that helps move the process along. In the realm of wetlands, streams and other habitats, restoration implies a similar goal – the act of assisting or intervening in the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed to restore it to some measure of its natural condition. In a state like Delaware, where centuries of abuse and misuse have left much of our remaining wetlands impaired, the opportunities for restoration are numerous. The pages to follow showcase real-life examples of everyday Delawareans – farmers, business people and homeowners – who took it upon themselves, in varying circumstances and for different reasons, to restore wetlands on their properties. These are a sampling of their stories. We hope you will ﬁnd in them the inspiration to consider doing likewise.
“The edges where land and water meet charm us all – they please and feed the soul.” ~ Tom Horton
See the real stories about true successes at this link: www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/DelawareWetlands
Wetland Public Participation Guidebook Learn how you can work to protect wetlands! The guidebook highlights the value of wetlands, Delaware’s wetland health and loss, regulations, and how the public can participate in decisions that affect wetlands especially relating to land use.
Press release from the Inland Bays Foundation announcing the beginning of the Foundation Public Exhibit at the Rehoboth, Delaware Public Library on April16, 2014.
Inland Bays Foundation Vice President Henry Glowiak is shown presenting a Foundation Polo shirt to Jessica Prayer, Assistant Director, Rehoboth, Delaware Library in appreciation for her assistance in setting up the month long Foundation Exhibit in the Library.
Libraries are a place to go to relax and learn. We hope residents and visitors alike will relax with our exhibit and learn more about the degraded condition of our Inland Bays water quality, making them often un-swimmable and unfishable. Delaware’s Inland Bays (Rehoboth, Indian River and Little Assawoman) are shallow, slow draining bodies of water facing ongoing challenges from nutrient pollution and often very high levels of bacteria contamination. Learn more by visiting the Foundation’s web site and Face Book pages https://www.facebook.com/InlandBaysFoundation.
The Foundation is a private, non- profit organization which is dedicated to cleaning the Inland Bays to make them once again- fishable and swimmable. We meet the second Wednesday of every month at 4 PM in the Bethany Library. The Public is welcome and encouraged to join us in our efforts.
Storm water is one of the leading causes of non- point pollution for Delaware’s Inland Bays.
The new Storm Water Regulations for Delaware are modeled on the Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy formulated by the Tributary Action Teams many years ago but are still valid. A key part of the plan to prevent Storm Water pollution was the definition and establishment of Best Management Practices (BMPs). The Primer shown below provides you with many links to help educate you- the Inland Bays Stakeholder and provide you a reference as to what you should expect from this critical aspect of cleaning our waters. See below: Note- all were speakers at a recent DNREC Watersheds web cast seminar.
Series 1: The Life of a Stormwater Practice, Session 2: Design & Construction of BMPs WEBCAST RESOURCES
Scott McGill Webcast Resources (Ecotone, Inc)
Arditi, David, Ahmed Elhassan, and Y. Cengiz Toklu. 2002. Constructability Analysis in the Design Firm. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management March/April 2002: 117-126.
Comparing LID and Stream Restoration
Evaluating the Cost Effectiveness of Restoration
The Carbon Consideration, What Role Does Atmospheric Carbon Play in Stream Restoration Decision-Making, and How Much Should it? by Brian Bartell, Ecotone, Inc. Presentation at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference (Baltimore, MD)
Jason Vogel, Ph.D., P.E. Webcast Resources (Oklahoma State University)
Oklahoma State University Low Impact Development website http://lid.okstate.edu/
Green Country LID Competition and Great Plains Research and Innovation Symposium website http://lidcompetition.okstate.edu/
City of Tulsa Pervious Concrete Demonstration http://water.okstate.edu/documents/external/ED%20Page%2011.pdf
Bryan Seipp and Joe Battiata, P.E. Webcast Resources (Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.)
Washington, DC Stormwater Management Guidebook http://ddoe.dc.gov/node/610622
Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual Series Manual 3: Urban Stormwater Retrofit Practices http://www.cwp.org/online-watershed-library/doc_download/60-urban-subwatershed-restoration- manual-series-manual-3-urban-stormwater-retrofit-practices
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management – Construction and Maintenance Tips: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/permits/fresh/pdfs/bmpch11.pdf
Speaker Contact Information
Bryan Seipp – Master of Ceremonies and Host – Watershed Manager/Professional Forester – Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. – 8390 Main Street, 2nd Floor – Ellicott City, MD 21043 – Phone: (410) 461-8323 xt 209 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.cwp.org/
Joe Battiata, P.E. – Senior Water Resources Engineer Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. Mechanicsville, VA – Phone: (804) 789-9595 – Email: email@example.com http://www.cwp.org/
Scott G. McGill Principal, Geomorphologist Ecotone, Inc. Box 5 Jarrettsville, MD 21084 2120 Highpoint Road Forest Hill, MD 21050 Phone direct: (410) 459-6312 Phone office: (410) 420-2600 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ecotoneinc.com
Jason R. Vogel, PhD., P.E. Assistant Professor & Stormwater Specialist Riata ‘Green’ Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Oklahoma State University 218 Agricultural Hall Stillwater, OK 74078 Phone: (405) 744-7532 Email: email@example.com http://lid.okstate.edu/
Appeal Filed Against DNREC-Approved Remediation Plan for Allen Harim Facility
Local groups charge State-determined remedial order violates the statutory, regulatory requirements
Today, the organizations Protecting our Indian River and Inland Bays Foundation filed an appeal with the Delaware Environmental Appeals Board regarding the proposed controversial South Korean-owned Allen Harim poultry processing plant in Millsboro, Delaware. The appeal challenges the December 24, 2013 Order of the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (No. 2013-WH-0061) which approves a proposed remedial action plan at the site of the town’s former Vlasic pickle plant — a currently contaminated Brownfield’s site.
The appeal was filed by Ken Kristl, Esq. and the Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. The Widener Clinic provides representation and legal assistance to public interest organizations and individuals on environmental matters in Delaware and other Mid-Atlantic states.
“We are seeking to reverse the order,” said Cindy Wilton, a founding member of Protecting our Indian River. “The remediation plan that DNREC proposed misses the mark on so many levels that they simply need to go back to the drawing board and make solid, fair, realistic plans for reviving that site.”
According to the appeal, the remedial plan determined by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) was flawed in several key elements, including:
The failure to characterize adequately the hazardous substances on or emanating from the site. This includes the failures to sample in areas of known or suspected areas of contamination, consider all data about the site, and determine potential and actual offsite impacts.
The failure to evaluate properly the risks created by the hazardous substances on or emanating from the site. This includes the failure to consider known or suspected risks at the site, develop sufficient data to conduct an adequate risk assessment, have adequate data to support the risk assessment actually conducted, and determine risks from potential and actual offsite impacts.
The failure to impose a remedy that reduces and/or eliminates the impacts and risks of the hazardous substances on or emanating from the site.
Numerous experts submitted testimony at the December 17, 2013 remediation plan hearing concerning the current Brownfield site that is set to be converted into a poultry processing plant for 104 million birds per year.
Expert testimony by Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) engineer and factory farm authority Kathy Martin highlighted flaws in the on-site testing, particularly from the waste water treatment plant. SRAP’s Genell Pridgen also provided written comment on arsenic and cobalt findings in the site investigation. Inland Bays Foundation’s science coordinator John Austin, a 33-year veteran of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, presented testimony denouncing the DNREC’s proposed monitoring plan as “inadequate.” There was no testing offsite to private wells, which has been reiterated by the community and various experts as inadequate to ensure protection of water wells and public health.
“This was a missed opportunity by DNREC to do things the right way,” said SRAP’s Maria Payan. “Community health and environmental stability were back-burnered in favor of a quick fix that was no fix at all. This process should start again, and this time the citizens of Sussex County need to be respected and protected by its government agencies.”
Read the Statement of Appeal…
Sea Level Rise — The Public is Invited to Attend a Seminar Sponsored by the Inland Bays Foundation on May 15th
Presented by: Kenneth T. Kristl, Esq. — Associate Professor of Law — Director,Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic — Widener University School of Law
Professor Kristl from the Widener University School of Law Will Lead a Workshop Designed to Start the Public Conversation Necessary for the State of Delaware to Develop a Comprehensive Strategy at the Local,County and State Level On How We Will Adapt to Sea Level Rise.
Sponsored by — the Inland Bays Foundation
Seminar will be held at South Coastal Library , Bethany Beach May 15 th at 6:30 PM. Please arrive early as seating is limited.
Press release regarding the April 9, 2014 Inland Bays Foundation Board of Directors meeting Re: 2014 Priorities
The Mission Statement of the Inland Bays Foundation clearly states the Foundation’s sole mission is to clean and protect the waters of the Delaware Inland Bays Estuary.
On April 9, the Board of Directors of the Foundation met in Executive Session to define their 2014 priorities and they are:
Define and implement an Advocacy Program that will utilize lobbying techniques and strategies to influence our elected and appointed officials at the local, state and federal levels to accomplish our goal of clean waters in Delaware’s Inland Bays. The Foundation will define and support the key elements of the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative and call for new initiatives required to accomplish our goal.
Continue and expand our Public Information Program to aggressively grow the Foundation in both size and funding to make the Foundation a more effective advocacy and lobbying organization.
The Board expressed a need to continuously monitor and report to the public potential “toxic” situations like the coal ash pile on Burton’s Island located on the banks of the Indian River. If necessary, to take action to protect the citizens and wildlife of the Inland Bays Watershed and encourage effective remediation of said potential “toxic” hazards.
More detailed information about the Inland Bays Foundation can be found at our website www.inlandbaysfoundation.org or Face Book page or by calling the Foundation Public Information Coordinator at 302-296-7801. Board meetings are held at the Bethany Library on the second Wednesday of every month at 4 PM and the public is invited and welcome.
Comments from the New 2014 President
The Inland Bays (Little Assawoman, Indian River and Rehoboth) are beautiful to look at , but they are unsafe to swim in because they are impaired (polluted). This is not just the opinion of the Inland Bays Foundation, it is the State of Delaware’s periodic assessment of the Inland Bays’ water quality as mandated by the 1972 Federal Clean Water Act. Read more…
Nutrient Pollution – An Ongoing Threat to the Waters of Delaware’s Inland Bays
The Foundation remains concerned about the amount of nutrient pollution entering Delaware’s Inland Bays and contributing to the rapid growth of algae and other nuisance vegetation. This creates conditions that deplete the amount of dissolved oxygen in our waters limiting the growth of healthy vegetation like eel grass which actually provides healthy levels of oxygen through photosynthesis if allowed to flourish. This removes healthy habitat for juvenile fin and shell fish populations in our estuary. It also often contributes to large “fish kills” due to the lack of dissolved oxygen in our tributaries. Along with high levels of nutrient pollution. Along with this pollutions often comes bacterial pollution from Agriculture and Development.
This information is being provided for your education about the issues the Foundation is analyzing for solutions. It is our hope that by analyzing this educational information you will realize the compelling need to take action and help us clean up our Bays: Rehoboth, Indian River and Little Assawoman. You may do so by visiting our membership page and downloading a membership application. Please take the time to do so and forward your application for membership to the mentioned PO Box.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License;)
Nutrient pollution caused by runoff of soil and fertilizer during a rain storm Nutrient pollution, a form of water pollution, refers to contamination by excessive inputs of nutrients. It is a primary cause of eutrophication of surface waters, in which excess nutrients, usually nitrogen or phosphorus, stimulate algal growth. Sources of nutrient pollution include runoff from farm fields and pastures, discharges from septic tanks and feedlots, and emissions from combustion.
Excess nutrients, or nutrient pollution, have been summarized as potentially leading to:
Population Effects: excess growth of algae (blooms);
Community Effects: species composition shifts (dominant taxa);
Ecological Effects: food web changes, light limitation;
Biogeochemical Effects: excess organic carbon (eutrophication); dissolved oxygen deficits (hypoxia); toxin production;
Human health effects: excess nitrate in drinking water (blue baby syndrome); disinfection by-products in drinking water
In a 2011 EPA report, the Science Advisory Board succinctly states: “Excess reactive nitrogen compounds in the environment are associated with many large-scale environmental concerns, including eutrophication of surface waters, toxic algae blooms, hypoxia, acid rain, nitrogen saturation in forests, and global warming.
The following is a very good recap of the current situation with the Pinnacle “Brownsfields” site in Millsboro prepared by Cindy Wilton, head of the Protect Our Indian River non profit group which the Inland Bays Foundation is partnering with on this effort-
Protecting our Indian River –UPDATE–
First, we want to thank the many people that donated to Protecting Our Indian River citizens’ group. We filed an appeal with the Sussex County BOA for approval of the “potentially hazardous use“ special exception for the proposed 2 million bird per week slaughterhouse on the Indian River at the already contaminated Vlassic/Pinnacle plant. Richard Abbott, Esq. is representing us in that Appeal against the Board of Adjustments decision. Here is article referencing appeal…
We are also appealing the DNREC remediation plan, which only calls for monitoring-no remediation of contaminates. They call this a “no action remediation plan. “ We are being represented by Kenneth T. Kristl, Esq. and the Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (Clinic), located at the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, DE. The Clinic provides representation and legal assistance to public interest organizations and individuals on environmental matters in Delaware. Here is article referencing appeal…
To date we have raised approximately $3,000. These funds are now depleted. The community also paid $800 to sample 13 private wells off-site.. 8 of the 13 wells tested positive for cobalt, one of the contaminates found on Vlassic site. Dr. Lau from the Delaware Department of Health and Human services confirmed cobalt in 6 of 6 samples he tested. This confirmed lab results of citizen testing by John Austin, analyzed by Lancaster Eurofin lab. Testing shows pollution plume is traveling.
This processing plant proposal , if approved, threatens public health, the Indian River, quality of life and property values-and not only to those who live near the proposed plant. Remember, South Korean Allen Harim has stated publicly they want to put 100 poultry confinements (AKA factory farms in a 50 mile radius. That means everyone within a fifty mile radius will now face the same threats.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO CONTINUE FIGHTING FOR OUR HEALTH, OUR ENVIRONMENT AND PROPERTY VALUE.
If you can, please help with a tax-deductible donation of $20, 50, 100 or whatever you can. Please, make check payable to “SRAProject”, under memo line, please put “Protecting Our Indian River. (donation is tax deductible). Mail to: Cindy Wilton, 27927 Possum Point Road, Millsboro, DE 19966. Or online here: Please under “include a note”, please put “Protecting Our Indian River”
The state is trying to fast track this project. Even the EPA had to step in as DNREC transferred an EXPIRED permit, and told them that it wasn’t allowed. Read more…
I want to say a big THANK YOU to Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) who has helped us organize and provided experts for us ,John Austin who has donated countless hours and the Inland Bays Foundation. We would also like to thank the Delaware Chapter of Sierra Clubs for their testimony and the countless media organizations and blogs who have helped with reporting.
Find us on the internet http://www.protectingour indianriver.com/
Find us on facebook https://www.facebook.com /groups/455758131181559/
Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share with your neighbor!
Pinnacle/Vlasic Site Review
Tuesday night December 17th at 6:30 PM the Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) held a public meeting in the Millsboro Town Hall to allow the Public to comment on their findings related to the “Brownsfields” remediation plan for polluted grounds at what was once the Vlassic pickle plant. This site is proposed for the new Allen- Harrim chicken processing plant. This site is in near proximity to many Millsboro area homes and tributaries of the Indian River creating concern that pollutants will migrate from the site to drinking water sources for the local residents and the Indian River. John Austin, Science Coordinator for the Inland Bays Foundation presented the Foundation’s detailed analysis of those findings. View the Pinnacle/Vlasic Site analysis and the Protecting Our Indian River Presentation on Private Well Data
Inland Bays Foundation Board meets with Governor Markell and DNREC Secretary Omara (12/2/2013)
After much preparation, the members of the Board of Directors of the Inland Bays Foundation (IBF) met with Governor Jack Markell and Secretary O’Mara on December 2 in the Governor’s Office to present a summary of its’ findings: REGARDING THE WATER QUALITY OF OUR INLAND BAYS, gathered over two years of meetings with State and Federal elected and appointed officials, scientific experts and residents of Sussex County.
President Ron Wuslich presented a summary of the “Impaired” (Polluted) classification of the waters of the Inland Bays Watershed along with the goals of the IBF. Immediate Past President Bill Moyer led a discussion of issues ranging from land-use planning in Sussex County, the role of the State Planning Office, THE NEED FOR BUFFERS, AND THE ADAPTIBILITY OF THE Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) now being implemented in the Nanticoke River Watershed TO OUR INLAND BAYS.
The IBF made several recommendations to the Governor and Secretary for improving the water quality of the Inland Bays and were pleased with the positive responses. Both the Governor and Secretary suggested that we convene a second meeting in the near future.
IBF meets with Governor Markell and DNREC Secretary Omara
Shown in the photo are (L-R, BM= Board Member) John Austin (BM and Science Coordinator), Allen Allenspach (BM), Collin Omara (Secretary- DNREC), Ron Wuslich (BM and President-Foundation), Chuck Schonder (BM), Bill Moyer (BM and Past President- Foundation), Governor Markell, Henry Glowiak (BM and VP- Foundation), Helen Truitt (BM and Secretary- Foundation), Carl Mantegna (BM), Senator George Bunting (BM), Doug Parham (BM and Social Media Chairman – Foundation) was behind the camera.
Perdue has Plan for Chicken Waste
Planners get request for new fertilizer mode
Apr. 25, 2013 Written by James Fisher for The News Journal
Engineers working with Perdue Farms on a new method of composting chicken waste told the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission that their proposal was more environmentally friendly than the current method of spreading waste on fields as fertilizer.
“The entire point of this whole project is to take existing nutrients that are a byproduct of agriculture and contain them,” said Ken Christenbury, an engineer working with Perdue.
Perdue’s effort also drew praise from an environmental group at a public hearing on Thursday.
Doug Parham, a board member of the Inland Bays Foundation, called the system, involving a waterproof-breathable fabric stretched over large heaps of compost, “a potentially elegant solution ” to poultry industry pollution.
The company is seeking permission to add wood, water and hatchery waste to poultry litter, a mix of sawdust and chicken droppings that is ubiquitous in Delaware and Eastern Shore of Maryland agriculture. Perdue has a plan to recycle chicken litter at the same Seaford- area site, by heating litter, forming it into nutrient-rich pellets and selling it as fertilizer to farms and landscaping companies.
The second method Perdue is trying to launch involves composting the litter underneath fabric manufactured by W.L. Gore. The fabric would allow water vapor to leave the piles of compost, and let air in, but would keep rainwater out.
“It’s a very high-tech fabric,” said Whitney Hall, an engineer. After many weeks of composting, the heaps of litter turn into a nutrient-rich soil, with the bacteria in the litter killed by the heat of decomposition.
“This is a natural process. The only thing we add to the process is air,” Hall said.
Neighbors of the Perdue AgriRecycle plant said they were concerned composting would increase the bad odors coming from the plant’s pellet operation.
“Some days when you come home from work the odor is pretty atrocious,” said James Hoskins of OnealsRoad . “I’m just concerned. There’s quite a few chicken facilities around those streets already.”
Company officials said the Gore-made fabric would do a lot to control odors, and that a building to receive litter from haulers would have an air filter.
Shannon Carmean Burton, an attorney with Perdue partner Chesapeake Agrisoil, noted the land is in an agricultural zoning district and that the county’s comprehensive plan encourages related industries in that area.
The commission didn’t take a vote right away on the request.
Contact James Fisher at 983-6772, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JamesFisherTNJ or firstname.lastname@example.org
Foundation Urges Action on Inland Bays Buffers
GEORGETOWN — The Inland Bays Foundation says time has come for Sussex County Council to upgrade its buffer ordinance to improve water quality in the Inland Bays. Rich Collins, executive director of the Positive Growth Alliance, says action is not needed for several reasons, including the fact that water quality in the area is improving. Read the rest of the article in the Gape Gazette….
Earth Day Message from DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara
Imagine the lengths that we would go if a multibillion-dollar industry supporting thousands of jobs said it was leaving the state. We would use every tool at our disposal to save those jobs.
Would it surprise you to learn that from our stunning beaches and waterways to our unrivaled parks and wildlife areas, Delaware’s natural environment supports billions of dollars of economic activity and is a critical job generator in the state? We don’t often think or talk about our natural resources this way, but on this Earth Day, I propose that protecting and restoring our natural resources is essential to our state’s economic well-being and provides one of the greatest opportunities for job growth in the years ahead.
Thousands of Delaware jobs in businesses like hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, bait and tackle shops, recreational equipment stores, boat sales and commercial fishing depend upon a healthy environment. In addition, our natural resources provide hundreds of millions of dollars of irreplaceable economic value purifying air and water, mitigating flooding, and supporting diverse species. And recreational amenities, such as biking and walking trails, reduce health care costs.
For many years, the long-term implications of various decisions regarding Delaware’s natural resources were too often an afterthought. The waters of the Inland Bays, the Nanticoke River watershed, and the Delaware River basin were allowed to be polluted without regard to the long-term economic consequences.
This is all changing. More and more Delawareans recognize that a healthy environment plays an integral role in the state’s economic success. Visitors come to Delaware to experience the pristine beaches, rustic landscapes, world-class birding, hunting, fishing, biking, and hiking. Clean air, clean water, safe soils, and memorable recreational experiences are absolutely necessary to attract visitors and new companies, not to mention retain businesses and their top talent.
Delaware is working to demonstrate that strong environmental protection can help drive economic prosperity. As a result, the health of Delaware’s environment is getting stronger every day. And although there is still much work to do, we are emerging as a national leader in several key areas:
» Local air quality is improving significantly with sharp reductions in pollution resulting from improvements at the Indian River Power and Edgemoor/Hay Road power plants, the Delaware City Refinery, Dover Energy Center, Evraz-Claymont Steel, Mountaire, and Perdue, and increased energy efficiency and adoption of cleaner energy sources and vehicles. These actions will improve public health and the quality of life for our residents, as we work with EPA to reduce the substantial pollution coming into Delaware from upwind states.
» Over the past two decades, water quality has improved steadily as a result of investments in wastewater treatment plants. Despite these efforts, there is much more effort needed, as important commercial and recreational waterways like the Christina, Inland Bays and Nanticoke are suffering from run-off and other pollution that prevents them from being fishable and swimmable.
» Delaware has developed some of the best brownfield and leaking tank programs in the nation to remediate contaminated sites that are a lingering reminder of polluting companies from our past. Studies have shown that every dollar invested in our brownfields program returns $17 to the state’s economy. Right now, we are cleaning up dozens of sites, including the former Chrysler site and NVF property in Yorklyn, to prepare them for a new, more sustainable future.
» Over the past year, Delaware has become a national leader in recycling. Half a dozen new companies have opened to process and re-sell materials that for decades went to landfills.
» Delaware is blessed with remarkable fish and wildlife habitat and some of the best hunting, fishing, birding, and other outdoor activities on the East Coast. These activities already drive hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity every year, and through our Delaware Bayshore Initiative, Nanticoke Watershed Restoration Plan, and Inland Bays strategy, we will restore wildlife habitat, provide low-impact recreational amenities, and spur new economic opportunities.
» Through the “No Child Left Inside” initiative and First State Trail and Pathway Plan, we are working to ensure that young and old alike have access to outdoor amenities and experiences that are fundamental to good health.
» Delaware has a comprehensive approach to reduce our state’s vulnerability to flooding risks and extreme weather events. We are working to protect wetlands, which naturally reduce flood surges, repair failing dams and dikes and modernize approaches to drainage and stormwater management.
So on this Earth Day, let us celebrate Delaware’s extraordinary natural environment and the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of activity that depend upon their stewardship. Let us pledge anew to enjoy all that Delaware’s natural wonders have to offer and to protect, preserve, and defend that which we hold dear and keep our covenant with future generations.
Inland Bays Foundation Seeks Members to Help in Mission
Date Published: March 30, 2012
By Monica Scott
Coastal Point Staff Reporter
The Inland Bays Foundation is up and running and ready to recruit members. They had their first official meeting as an established 501(c)3 organization in October 2011 and have a mission “to advocate and promote the restoration of the Inland Bays watershed by conducting public outreach and education, tracking restoration efforts, encouraging scientific inquiry and sponsoring needed research, in order to establish a long-term process for the protection and enhancement of the Inland Bays.”
“We feel we are now well enough organized and ready to go to get members,” explained IBF President Bill Moyer. “We are ready to let people know who we are, what our objectives are and why they should join.”
He added that, simply, anyone who “cares about the inland bays and wants to return them to their fishable and swimmable state” should become a member.
Moyer explained that the IBF will do education and outreach, which has already been done for many years, but also has a mission to have more direct contact with state, county and local governments on issues that they feel need to be addressed.
He added that they are prepared to also do “more heavy lobbying and possibly litigation,” if need be.
Many of the members of the group’s board of directors are either former or current members of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), but Moyer has said he wanted people to know they plan to work with the CIB.
Many of their members are also involved with Citizens for Clean Power, the Town of Fenwick Island’s Environmental Committee and/or the Sierra Club, as well as other environmental advocacy groups. Moyer himself was born in Lewes and raised in Laurel and worked for DNREC as the manager of the Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands section for 30 years before retiring.
In 1969, Moyer explained, the results of environmental studies done on the Rehoboth and Assawoman bays were presented to then-Gov. Russell Peterson. He said those reports stated that stressors on the bays needed to be addressed or conditions in the inland bays would worsen. As an employee of DNREC, in 1981, he chaired the inland bays study group that charged DNREC, DelDOT and Sussex County to look at the bays to see what could be done to improve their quality.
In 1983, they made recommendations to the governor’s task force that eventually led to the formation of the CIB, which was established as a nonprofit organization in 1994 under the auspices of the Inland Bays Watershed Enhancement Act (Title 7, Chapter 76).
What led to the Inland Bays Foundation, formed in 2011 as an independent organization, explained Moyer, was the fact that a number of the recommendations made in 1983 have yet to be implemented.
Moyer said land use, habitat protection and water quality remain the top issues that need to be addressed.
“There is strength in numbers,” he concluded. “We have 15 directors that are extremely dedicated to the cause and are working diligently to make this work. The more people we can get the more effective we can be.”
Joining Moyer in the group’s leadership are President-Elect Ron Wuslich, Vice-President Harry Haon, Secretary Helen Truitt, Treasurer Robert Adams, Robert Cubbison, Gary Jayne, John Austin, Robert Chin, Carl Mantegna, Martha Keller, Doug Parham, William Wickham, Robert Gallaghar and Shirley Price.
For more information on membership or on the foundation, visit www.inlandbaysfoundation.org online or email email@example.com.
Wetlands Lost: NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902 or Mark Biddle, Division of Watershed Stewardship. 302-739-9939.
New report shows Delaware continues to lose valuable wetlands despite conservation efforts Report demonstrates importance of wetlands in cleaning water, reducing flooding, protecting the coast and providing habitat.
DOVER (Feb. 27, 2012) – A new report released this week prior to the biennial Delaware Wetlands Conference concludes that despite heightened public awareness of the importance of wetlands and stronger conservation efforts throughout the state to combat their loss, Delaware continues to surrender critical wetlands at an alarming rate. “Delaware Wetlands: Status and Changes” documents that the loss of quality wetlands in the state far outpaces the acres of wetlands that have been created and restored. The report describes the valuable functions of Delaware’s wetlands, including helping to purify the state’s waters, reducing flooding by capturing and holding water, contributing to groundwater supplies, protecting the coast from storms, and providing critical habitat for fish and wildlife species. The report also references recommendations made in an earlier report by national wetlands experts on best practices adopted in other states which could prove effective at reversing the trend of significant losses in Delaware.
The status and changes report is now available online at: www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/DelawareWetlands/Pages/DelawareWetlandsStatusandTrends.aspx LINK to Report.
As wetlands are lost or degraded, their ability to improve water quality and reduce flooding in a cost-effective way is greatly diminished. DNREC is committed to working with other regulatory agencies, land-use decision makers, planners, and the public to share this important information and improve wetland protection throughout the state. The status report also contains information on wetland health, wetland characterization by county and drainage basin, and functional analysis (how natural functions provided by wetlands are affected). An earlier trends report on change to wetland acreage was done for the 10-year period ending in 1992, but did not include assessment of function.
The report was released concurrently with updated wetland maps for the entire state, which will improve DNREC’s ability to provide more accurate data for environmental decision making. The recent mapping effort documented 320,076 acres of wetlands.
DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara expressed the importance of slowing the decline of Delaware’s wetlands. “Wetlands are critically important to public health and safety of all Delawareans,” he said. “We must work together to protect these valuable resources that help provide clean water, reduce flooding and storm damage, and provide important fishery and wildlife habitat. Through a combination of incentive programs, market-based mechanisms, and appropriate regulatory requirements, I am confident that we can protect these critical natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations.”
A comparison was made between the 1992 and 2007 maps detailing where there were losses, gains, or changes in wetland resources, and whether causes were natural or man-made during the 15-year span. Man-made causes associated with development or lands transitioning to development contributed to 58 percent of loss through the filling or draining of wetlands. During this time period, Delaware experienced a net loss of 3,126 acres of vegetated wetlands. This represents an almost 10 percent increase in acres lost per year from the 1992 status and trends report. “Delaware has already lost over half of its original wetlands, and the losses continue,” said Mark Biddle, environmental scientist with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship.
“DNREC is not only evaluating losses, but is also considering the health of our remaining wetlands. We have incorporated functional analysis in this new report as a barometer for wetland health and how well wetlands are performing the beneficial services that contribute to our quality of life,” Biddle noted. “Through this report and other wetland health sampling, we are seeing an increase in degraded wetlands due to secondary impacts such as increased pollutants coming from surrounding land use. Therefore we’re not only losing wetlands and their services in entirety due to direct impacts, but we are also finding diminished wetland function due to secondary impacts. Additionally, we are in the beginning stages of evaluating economic and societal costs of losing wetland functions.”
Causes of wetland losses remained relatively the same, with forested wetlands as the most impacted during both reporting periods. While losing vegetated wetlands, Delaware experienced a net gain of 2,285 acres of ponds. However, many of these non-vegetated ponds were for stormwater control in new developments – and while important for surface water detention, these ponds do not provide the level of benefits as yielded by natural wetlands.
Delaware has benefitted from a strong state law protecting tidal wetlands passed in 1972 and the associated regulatory program administered by DNREC. Tidal wetland losses have been minimized due to the implementation of the law – the report shows a loss of just over 38 acres with more than 21 acres being created between 1992 and 2007.
Already, DNREC scientists are meeting with the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to zero in on why these alterations are occurring to the wetland landscape. While many factors can affect wetlands, the new mapping effort may help determine exact causes. Once closer analysis is complete, this information will be incorporated into existing wetland programs in Delaware for improved protection of these precious natural resources.
To become more involved in wetland protection please find details on DNREC’s “How You Can Help” webpage www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/DelawareWetlands/Pages/Howyoucanhelp.aspx. For landowners who wish to enroll in voluntary wetland restoration and protection programs please see the Wetland Restoration Guidebooks for Landowners at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/DelawareWetlands/Pages/Restoration.aspx. LINK to Restoration Guidebooks.
This report and additional information on Delaware wetlands can be found at: www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/Delaware Wetlands. LINK to Report.
Vol. 42, No.61
Public Affairs-Office of the Secretary
Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control