Vision, Mission, Values and Priorities

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) envisions a Delaware that offers a healthy environment where people embrace a commitment to the protection, enhancement and enjoyment of the environment in their daily lives; where Delawareans’ stewardship of natural resources ensures the sustainability of these resources for the appreciation and enjoyment of future generations; and where people recognize that a healthy environment and a strong economy support one another.


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.


As employees of DNREC we pledge to keep these values in a constant state of use, challenge and renewal for the good of our colleagues and the people we serve.

We make and keep our agreements that are specific, measurable and time-sensitive. If changing situations make this impossible, we explain our inability to those concerned. We take responsibility for our actions and the quality of our work. We use our mistakes to create a learning environment.

We communicate calmly, openly, honestly, directly, professionally and respectfully without sarcasm, profanity and condescension. We listen attentively and without interruption. We demonstrate our commitment to understand one another by asking clarifying questions. We acknowledge and are considerate of others’ points of view and are nonjudgmental.
We continuously improve internal and external customer trust. We work with customers to understand and anticipate their wants and needs. We welcome customer suggestions. We make suggestions and recommendations that may better suit our customers’ needs. We always keep our customers informed and acknowledge their requests promptly.
We execute our duties in an open and public manner.
We value innovation and continuous improvement in the quality of everything we do. We encourage all Department staff to think creatively and suggest new or better processes, products, or services.

Equal Opportunity Employment

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) continues to promote a diverse workforce in which each employee at every level of the organization is valued and respected. The department is focused on ensuring a workforce climate that is inclusive by continuing to promote equal opportunities to all persons of diverse backgrounds regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and veteran or military status.

FY22 Equal Opportunity Employment/Affirmative Action Report and FY23 Action Plan

Strategic Priorities

Preserving Outdoor Heritage and Promoting Tourism

Includes maintenance of parks and wildlife areas, the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, open space conservation and ecological preservation through easements and other cooperative efforts, redevelopment of strategic sites, and preservation of the coastal zone.

Supporting Healthy Families

Includes supporting outdoor recreation, the Children in Nature Initiative (“No Child Left Inside”), and working with DelDOT and others to complete the First State Trails and Pathways Plan to connect public open space throughout Delaware.

Improving Delaware’s Preparedness

Includes investing in critical infrastructure such as dams, impoundments, dikes and other water control structures, wetland conservation to reduce flooding (and improve water quality and enhance wildlife and fisheries habitat), shoreline nourishment and beach protection, mitigation and adaptation planning for sea level rise and other effects of climate change, reducing the production of greenhouse gases, improving stormwater management, maintaining emergency response preparedness, and developing environmental indicators to track progress.

Creating Cleaner, Lower Priced and More Reliable Energy

Includes implementing energy efficiency recommendations, investing in clean and renewable energy infrastructure, modernizing power plants, working to reduce cross-state air pollution, and promoting cleaner transportation solutions.

Ensuring Clean Water

Includes investing in clean water infrastructure, watershed-based and cooperative restoration projects for the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, the Nanticoke River, the Inland Bays, the Ocean shore, and other areas, supporting conservation cost-share projects for Delaware farmers, groundwater protection, removing toxics from Delaware waters, and supporting beneficial re-use of treated wastewater.

Supporting Safe and Sustainable Communities

Includes providing targeted financial assistance to support local and regional environmental initiatives, supporting recycling, cleaning, managing and returning to use lands that had been polluted, providing waste management solutions, and providing technical assistance to county and local governments to assist in land-use, water supply, wastewater management and other governmental functions.

Organizational Development

Includes continued reevaluation, re-engineering and improvement of DNREC functions, support for workforce diversity, training, and promotion, providing a safe workplace, building and supporting inter-agency collaboration and teamwork, and creating a culture of continuous improvement.

Providing Core Services

Includes meeting or exceeding permitting performance standards, maintaining core customer services, providing prompt, friendly and effective assistance to the public, and maintaining agency-wide openness and transparency.

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