The mission of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is to engage all stakeholders to ensure the wise management, conservation and enhancement of the State’s natural resources; protect public health and the environment; provide quality outdoor recreation; improve the quality of life; lead energy policy and climate preparedness; and educate the public on historic, cultural and natural resource use, requirements and issues.
The functional units of the department are divided among three offices, each focused on different parts of this mission.
The Office of the Secretary provides leadership, overall policy guidance, and central services to support the various parts of the department. The office includes human resources, budget, planning, fiscal, and information technology services.
The Environmental Justice Office works to ensure that all DNREC decisions are executed to promote the meaningful involvement and fair treatment of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the implementation of DNREC’s mission. DNREC strives to provide equitable access to green spaces, public recreation opportunities, and information and data on potential exposure to environmental hazards.
The Environmental Finance Office administers the Delaware Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund and the financial components of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. It provides funding for wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure projects. It supports the Water Infrastructure Advisory Council. It provides engineering and planning assistance for priority ecological and restoration projects. And it underwrites grants and low-interest loans to homeowners, communities and agricultural producers.
The Division of Community Affairs oversees enforcement of Delaware environmental laws and regulations, provides assistance to businesses throughout the state, helps facilitate communications between the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the communities it serves, and acts as a liaison between the department and the General Assembly.
The Office of Environmental Protection helps manage sources and causes of pollution of the air, land and water.
The Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. It issues permits to construct and permits to operate air contaminant sources. It maintains emission inventories from business and industry. It develops the State’s implementation plan as required by the Clean Air Act. It adopts new regulations and supports enforcement of existing regulations. And it permits and inspects asbestos removal efforts. Organizational Chart
The Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. It encourages waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The division leads the investigation and clean-up of hazardous substance release sites. It regulates installation, operation, removal and remediation of tanks storing petroleum and hazardous substances. It ensures boilers and pressure vessels are inspected to prevent catastrophic failures. The division provides comprehensive emergency planning and pollution prevention. It provides 24-hour response to time-critical emergency and non-emergency environmental and hazardous materials incidents. Organizational Chart
The Division of Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. It provides technical assistance, laboratory services, and regulatory guidance and implementation. The division performs applied research and provides educational services. And it helps finance water pollution control measures. Organizational Chart
The Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy leads statewide climate change mitigation and adaptation programs. It provides grants for energy efficiency and clean fuel technology. It supports energy policy development. It provides coordination and assistance to support sustainable land use and building practices. And it helps manage Delaware’s federal coastal zone by balancing use with protection of its resources. Organizational Chart
The Office of Natural Resources manages and provides access to the state’s parks, waters, wetlands, and nature preserves.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on approximately 68,000 acres of public land. Fish and wildlife resource conservation and safe boating are achieved through promoting public compliance with laws and regulations. We control mosquito populations to improve quality of life and protect public health. The division delivers hunter, boating and aquatic education programs, and provides licensing and boat registration services. Organizational Chart
The Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 20,000 acres in 17 state parks, including the Brandywine Zoo. The division manages 34 nature preserves and 12 other sites outside of the parks. It also monitors over 100 conservation easements protecting more than 4,000 acres. The division protects cultural and historic resources and provides a wide variety of recreational facilities for Delawareans and visitors.
The Division of Watershed Stewardship manages and protects the state’s soil, water and coastlines. It uses a comprehensive array of watershed-based programs to ensure proper stewardship of Delaware’s natural resources. The division protects and maintains the state’s shoreline and navigable waterways. It regulates changes to coastal and urban lands. It develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. It promotes wise land use, water quality and water management practices. And it works closely with Delaware’s Conservation Districts to manage stormwater and assist farmers.