Contact: Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902 or Anne Fitzgerald, Delaware Dept. of Agriculture, 302-698-4522.
Public Forums set for Aug. 4 and 11 on Delaware’s Progress Improving Water Quality in the Chesapeake Watershed
(DOVER/SEAFORD, July 21, 2011) – Residents of Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed are invited to attend a public forum on the state’s progress in improving water quality in the rivers and streams that drain into the Chesapeake Bay. The public can meet one-on-one with scientists and engineers, learn about efforts underway to reduce pollutants from entering our waterways, and find out what actions individuals can take to make a difference in the health of the Watershed.
Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011
6 to 8 p.m. 6 to 8 p.m.
DE Technical & Community College Seaford Vol. Fire Company
Terry Campus 302 E. King Street
100 Campus Drive Seaford, DE 19973 Dover, DE 19906
Conference Room 400 A/B
Approximately one-third of Delaware’s land drains into the Chesapeake Bay, including land in all three counties – about half of Sussex County’s land area and one third of Kent County. 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.
Delaware’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed supports thousands of jobs, generates significant economic activity and provides valuable goods and services. Currently, Delaware’s rivers and streams that flow into the Chesapeake Bay receive too much pollution for these waterways and the Bay to be healthy and productive. Restoring water quality will have far-reaching benefits for Delaware’s economic and environmental health.
At the forum on Aug. 4 DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara and on Aug. 11 Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee will outline accomplishments of Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) – the state’s long-range plan for reducing pollutants from entering local waterways.
Last December the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Delaware’s WIP (Phase I). The WIP, which was shaped by extensive public and stakeholder input, includes pollution reduction targets by geographic area and source - agriculture, urban stormwater, septic systems and wastewater treatment facilities.
Delaware is among six Chesapeake Bay Watershed states – Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York – and the District of Columbia committed to a federal-state initiative to develop a pollution “diet” that will help restore water quality of the Bay and its tidal waters by 2025, with 60 percent of the work to be completed by 2017.
At the forums, DNREC Environmental Scientist Jennifer Volk will make a presentation highlighting WIP Phase I and outlining the implementation goals for Phase II. Delaware’s draft Phase II WIP, due to the EPA by Dec. 1, will include more detailed pollution reduction strategies at the local level and how resources needed for implementation will be secured. Forum attendees will learn how they can become involved in developing and implementing portions of the Phase II WIP.
Two workshops are being planned for later this fall that will include more information and the opportunity for public input on the Draft Phase II WIP.
For more information, contact Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, Melanie.Rapp@state.de.us.