Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Deadline approaching for 2012 Wetland Warrior nominations
Award honors exemplary efforts that benefit Delaware wetlands
DOVER (June 5, 2012) – The June 8 deadline is fast approaching to nominate candidates for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s 2012 Delaware Wetland Warrior Award.
The award is presented annually to a citizen, organization, business or other group that has demonstrated outstanding efforts to benefit Delaware wetlands through outreach and education, monitoring and assessment, or restoration and protection. The presentation will take place on Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 26, at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington.
Information on submitting a nomination can be found on DNREC’s Wetlands website. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, June 8. For more information, contact Wetland Outreach Specialist Rebecca Rothweiler at 302-739-9939 or Rebecca.Rothweiler@state.de.us.
“This award recognizes efforts that help ensure future generations can enjoy the natural services wetlands contribute to our quality of life including clean water, flood and storm protection, and wildlife habitat,” said Rothweiler. “Wetland Warriors are Delaware’s environmental heroes – working to slow wetland loss, help restore degraded wetlands, preserve habitat, increase awareness of the value of wetlands and bolster support for their protection.”
Delaware has more than 320,000 acres of wetlands, about 25 percent of the state’s area. Wetlands are directly tied to our quality of life in Delaware, protecting lives and property from the impacts of floods and storms, filtering pollutants and improving water quality, reducing erosion and providing critical habitat for fish and wildlife. Almost every part of our state is within one mile of a wetland – making wetland protection vital to our health and safety.
Over the centuries, Delaware’s wetlands have suffered terribly. Since Delaware was first settled by Europeans in the 1600s, more than half of our original wetlands have been lost, and while much of wetland loss has occurred in years past, it is still happening today – and at an accelerated rate.
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control studies indicate that over the past 15 years, more than 3,896 acres of wetlands were lost due to conversion to other land uses statewide. This acreage is significant because in the previous 10-year period, the total statewide wetland loss was 1,996 acres.
For more information, visit the Delaware Wetlands webpage, www.dnrec.delaware.gov/admin/DelawareWetlands.
Vol. 42, No. 211