Contact: Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902; or Mark Davis, DDA, 302-678-4500.
Additional public forum scheduled March 7, 2012 on Delaware’s
plan for cleaner waterways that drain into Chesapeake Bay
Public comment period continues through March 21, 2012
DOVER (March 1, 2012) – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will hold a public information forum on the state’s Draft Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed on Wednesday, March 7. The final WIP will serve as Delaware’s long-range plan for using the most cost-effective means of reducing pollutants that enter instate streams and rivers that drain to the Chesapeake Bay.
Delaware has spent more than a year seeking public comments and input to help develop Delaware’s Phase II WIP, including hosting multiple public forums, conducting extensive outreach to industry and local government, establishing numerous stakeholder groups, and providing frequent email updates for interested groups and individuals. Following the initial rounds of public outreach, the state published its Draft Phase II plan on December 15, 2011 and will continue to accept comments on the draft plan through March 21.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
4 to 7 p.m.
Farmington Volunteer Fire Co.
20920 S. Dupont Hwy. (U.S. Rt. 13)
Farmington, DE 19950
Written comments will be accepted at the forum.
Anyone who is planning to attend and is hearing impaired may request an interpreter to be present at the forum by giving five working days' notice to Jennifer Volk at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 302-739-9939.
Continues through March 21, 2012 for Draft Phase II plan. Visit DNREC’s website, http://de.gov/cheswip, to view the plan. Send comments by email to: email@example.com (preferred) or mail comments to:
Jennifer Volk, DNREC Watershed Assessment Section
820 Silver Lake Blvd., Suite 220
Dover, DE 19904
For questions, please contact Jennifer.Volk@state.de.us
Delaware is among six Chesapeake Bay Watershed states – Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York – and the District of Columbia required to develop a plan to help restore water quality of the Bay and its tidal waters by 2025, with 60 percent of the work to be completed by 2017. EPA has established a Total Maximum Daily Load which limits the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment each jurisdiction can contribute to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
According to a University of Delaware study, the state’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed supports thousands of jobs, contributes roughly $1 billion in annual economic activity, and provides at least $3.1 billion annually in natural goods and services – drinking water and irrigation supply, agriculture, wetlands, habitat, forests and recreation. However, the water quality of Delaware’s rivers and streams that flow into the Bay is being degraded by excess nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. Restoring water quality will have far-reaching benefits for Delaware’s economic and environmental health.
Delaware’s WIP is being completed in three phases. In December 2010, Phase I was approved by the EPA. The Draft Phase II was submitted to EPA on December 15, 2011, with the final Phase II of the plan due on March 30, 2012. Delaware’s Phase III WIP must be received by EPA in 2017.
To create Delaware‘s Draft Phase II WIP, the Phase I document was reviewed by numerous stakeholder groups and revised to provide more details regarding how implementation will occur at the local level. The draft plan identifies partners, program locations, cost-effective actions, and the resources needed to reach milestones and meet implementation goals for 2017. The wide-ranging collaboration and cooperation which went into the plan continues with DNREC seeking additional public participation in developing the WIP.
For more information, please visit http://de.gov/cheswip
Almost 35 percent of Delaware lies within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and includes land in all three counties. Approximately one-half of Sussex County, about one-third of Kent County and about 10 percent of New Castle County drain into the rivers and creeks that eventually drain into the Chesapeake Bay. Delaware communities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed include: Middletown; Hartly: Farmington; Greenwood; Bridgeville; Seaford; Blades; Bethel; Laurel; and Delmar. The Watershed also includes some of the state’s most prized waterways: Broad and Marshyhope Creeks; and the Nanticoke, Chester and Choptank Rivers.
Vol. 42, No. 66