Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife receives
National Park Service grant to potentially enhance access
to Nanticoke River’s John Smith Trail
DOVER (Oct. 9, 2014) – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), Division of Fish & Wildlife has received a $30,633 award from the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office to design a potential water access project at Woodland Wharf on the Nanticoke River.
The grant is one of eight awards made by the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office to assist local partners who are designing and implementing projects that provide citizens with recreational access to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers.
This design project for Woodland Wharf will develop the engineering for a potential public canoe and kayak launch. The Woodland Wharf is strategically located between the Seaford Boat Launch site and the Phillips Landing Boat Launch site, thereby providing a trailhead to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail at a distance preferred by paddlers along the water trail.
“DNREC is privileged to be working with the National Park Service and the Chesapeake Conservancy on this project that could lead to a new access site on the Nanticoke River, if future construction funding is secured. Delawareans and our visitors alike value wildlife-oriented and outdoor recreation opportunities that connect them with nature and the history of our communities and landscape,” said Rich Phifer, project manager with DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. “This project can provide that, and we look forward to getting started.”
“I am thrilled that the public will have this additional access to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail,” said NPS Superintendent Chuck Hunt. “In my travels around the watershed, I frequently hear how improved access to the rivers and Bay leads to a greater quality of life and appreciation of our need to protect and restore the Chesapeake.”
Funding for public access projects serving local communities comes through the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network, a congressionally authorized program of the National Park Service. The Chesapeake Bay Office of the National Park Service administers the Gateways Network of partner sites, and also manages two of the nation’s 19 national historic trails – the Star-Spangled Banner and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.
“Creating access that connects people to the Chesapeake Bay and its great rivers protects our heritage and our understanding of the great outdoors,” said Joel Dunn, executive director of the Chesapeake Conservancy, which is the lead partner with the National Park Service in developing the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. “We are grateful to the Chesapeake Congressional delegation for continuing to champion the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network and the ways in which it benefits people and local communities.”
The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office has committed to helping communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed develop 300 new public access sites by the year 2025. NPS made this commitment in response to a presidential order to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.
In addition to DNREC, the 2014 NPS Chesapeake Bay awardees include: the Borough of Jersey Shore and the Mifflin County Department of Planning and Development in Pennsylvania; the Otsego Land Trust in New York; and the Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Department, the County of Accomack, the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center and the Menokin Foundation in Virginia.
The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office connects people to experiences of the natural and cultural heritage of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. We help to conserve special places important to visitors, residents and the nation, for this and future generations. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/chba.
Vol. 44, No. 351