Delaware Native Species Commission

The Delaware Native Species Commission was formed by the Delaware General Assembly to continue the work started by the Statewide Ecological Extinction Task Force and to implement recommendations made in the final report of the Task Force.

Administrative Contact

Lisa Myura
DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife

The Commission, made up of a diverse group of individuals reflecting a balance of interests between environmental professionals, government, and business stakeholders, began its work in the summer of 2018. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control provides staff support to the Commission.

Its mission, as set by the General Assembly, is to:

  • Reverse the trend of decline and extinction of Delaware’s local plant and animal native species.
  • Work to implement the recommendations of the Statewide Ecological Extinction Task Force.
  • Provide expertise and assistance to state and local lawmakers, policy makers, educators, and other stakeholders.

The Commission is to report back to the General Assembly each year on the progress it has made.

Meetings of the Delaware Native Species Commission are open to the public and are posted on the DNREC Calendar of Events and on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar.

Public Meeting Calendar postings contain the official agendas and minutes of all meetings as well as any additional materials.

Commission Members

By Virtue of Position

David E. Saveikis, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
Jessica Inhof, Department of Agriculture
Darin Callaway, Department of Transportation
Tracy Surles, New Castle County
Laura Wisler, Kent County
Michael Costello, Sussex County
Matthew Sarver, Botanist

Environmental Organizations/Delaware Institutes of Higher Education

Christopher Heckscher, Delaware State University
James White, Delaware Nature Society
Jeffrey Downing, Mt. Cuba Center
Susan Barton, University of Delaware
Sheila Smith, Delaware Ornithological Society

Commercial Interests: Land Development/Farming/Business

Janice Truitt, Delaware African American Farmers Association
Valann Budischak, Delaware Nursery & Landscape Association
Terry Lemper, Forest View Nursery, Inc.
Joseph Wick, Joseph Wick Nurseries LTD
Katie Short, East Coast Garden Center


The Ecological Extinction Task Force provided the basis and direction for the Native Species Commission. The Task Force submitted a series of recommendations for further action in its final report. These recommendations span nine categories — education, incentivizing private landowners, government leads by example, legislation affecting development, funding open space program at statutory level, legislation to prohibit the sale of invasive species, deer management, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, and formation of the Delaware Native Species Commission.

Links and Documents

Invasive Plants Law (3 Del.C. Ch. 29), to prohibit the import, export, sale, transport, distribution, or propagation of invasive plants.

Certified Nursery Professionals – Certification Exam Information and List of Professionals

GreeNCC (An initiative of New Castle County)

Mt. Cuba Center Nursery Survey

Delaware Native Species Commission Top Ten List

Presentation by Senator Stephanie Hansen

Education Subcommittee Resources

Establishment of the Native Species Commission
(29 Del. Code, §8071 – 8077)

Final Report of the Ecological Extinction Task Force


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