Welcome to the Inland Bays Foundation

league of women voters

The League of Women Voters of Sussex County

Land Use Committee Forum

Educating the Public for the 2018 Comprehensive Plan

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 7:00 to 9:00 PM at County Council Chambers, 2 The Circle, Georgetown

Program

Welcome: President Jane Lord Moderator Carol Jones

Overview: Sue Claire Harper, Land Use Chair

Speakers

  • County Administrator Todd Lawson on Council’s proposed “Carrying Capacity Study”; introducing new Planning Manager
  • Assistant County Attorney Vince Robertson on implementation of 2008 Plan, and why proposed ordinances have not been adopted
  • State Planning Director Connie Holland, AICP on the key legal issues necessary to drafting an effective 2018 Comprehensive Plan.
  • Sussex County Circuit-Rider Planner Dorothy Morris on the "process" of compiling and reviewing the County’s 2018 Comp Plan.

Question and Answer Period to Follow

Part of a 2015 Spring series of Land Use Forums to be held throughout Sussex County in preparation for developing the 2018 Comprehensive Plan.

Find updates on our website www.sussexlwv.org or call 302.200.1073


Inland Bays Foundation 2014 Annual Report

January 25, 2014 501(c)(3) nonprofit)

Fostering Environmental Awareness and Action

Inland Bays of Delaware

Fig. 1 Inland Bays of Delaware

Executive Summary

The Inland Bays Foundation (IBF) based its 2014 strategy on achieving clean waters in Delaware's Inland Bays, shown in Figure 1 above, by first going after low hanging fruit that will achieve clean waters without costing the taxpayer any or very little of their hard earned income. The Foundation's 2014 tactics were to use existing, proven technology that will support this strategy and allow for growth in business opportunities and new jobs.

The Board of Directors of the Foundation met in Executive Session to define their 2014 priorities and they are:

 Define and implement an Advocacy Program that will utilize lobbying techniques and strategies to influence our elected and appointed officials at the local, state and federal levels to accomplish our goal of clean waters in Delaware’s Inland Bays. The Foundation will define and support the key elements of the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative and call for new initiatives required to accomplish our goal.

 Continue and expand our Public Information Program to aggressively grow the Foundation in both size and funding to make the Foundation a more effective advocacy and lobbying organization.

 The Board expressed a need to continuously monitor and report to the public potential “toxic” situations like the coal ash pile on Burton’s Island located on the banks of the Indian River. If necessary, take action to protect the citizens and wildlife of the Inland Bays Watershed and encourage effective remediation of said potential “toxic” hazards. Sampling locations along Inland and Pepper Creeks are shown in Figure 2.

Sampling Locations

Fig. 2 Sampling Locations along Inland and Pepper Creeks


Highlights of 2014

1. Conducted monthly Board of Directors meetings with citizen involvement.

2. Attended the Univ. of Delaware “Coast Day” event to educate stakeholders and solicit new members.

3. We are also appealing the DNREC remediation plan, which only calls for monitoring, no remediation of contaminates. They call this a “no action remediation plan. “ We are being represented by Kenneth T. Kristl, J.D. and the Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Wilmington, DE.

4. Guest Speakers included:

  • a. Ray Bivens, State Parks Director, state parks director, discussed improvements that might be made to Holts Landing State Park.
  • b. Jessica Valesquez, DNREC Septic Remediation Forum
  • c. Charlie Gifford, US Agrisoils Chicken Litter Composting Science

5. Awarded Governor Jack Markell the first annual Inland Bays Foundation Environmental Advocacy Award at the annual Love Our Inland Bays Dinner in October, 2014. The award presentation is shown in Figure 3, below.

Gov. Markell

Fig. 3 Inland Bays Foundation and League of Women Voters ® award to Governor Jack Markell (photo by Dottie LeCates)

6. Met with Delaware Governor Markell in December to discuss our priorities and issues. The IBF Board and Governor Markell are pictured in Figure 4, below.

Met with Delaware Governor Markell

Fig. 4 Inland Bays Foundation meeting with Governor Jack Markell (photo by Dottie LeCates)

7. Signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Parks Division, the Inland Bays Foundation and the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation creating the Friends of Holts Landing State Park on Oct. 8, 2014 at the South Coastal Library. The signing ceremony is shown in Figure 5, on the next page.

Hotl's Landing

Fig. 5 Signing the Friends Of Holts Landing State Park Charter (photo by Dottie LeCates)

8. On May 15, the Inland Bays Foundation hosted a Sea Level Rise Seminar in the Bethany Beach Library. Over 60 people attended to hear Kenneth T. Kristl, J.D., Professor of Law at Widner University, lead the discussion of the legal implications of Sea Level Rise in Delaware and the subsequent flooding issues.

9. The Inland Bays Foundation established the month long Foundation Public Exhibit at the Rehoboth, Delaware, Public Library on April16, 2014.

2014 IBF Officers:

Ron Wuslich – President

Henry Glowiak – Vice President

Frances Hart – Secretary

Dave Jaeger – Treasurer

 

Officer Reports

President’s Report

In 1972, when the Federal Clean Water Act became law, 40% of America's waters were "fishable and swimmable" and 60% were "impaired /polluted". Included in the 1972 Impaired /Polluted category were our inland bays. The act's goal was that all of America's waters would be "fishable and swimmable" by the end of 1987.

At present, despite this 1987 goal, only 60% of our nation's assessed waters are "fishable and swimmable" and 40% remain "impaired /polluted". Regrettably, our inland bays remain in the latter category.

On March 4, 2014, Governor Markell introduced his "Clean Water for Delaware's Future " Plan to the General Assembly during his "State of the State Address". In introducing his plan he said he was embarrassed by the water quality status of Delaware's bays, rivers, and streams. All Delawareans should be embarrassed considering that over 90% of our waters are not "fishable" and over 85% are not "swimmable." In light of these statistics, Delaware's combined surface waters are the dirtiest in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Nevertheless, Governor Markell's proposed plan has yet to be introduced in the state's general assembly for legislative consideration.

The situation we find ourselves in did not occur overnight. Over the last half century, Delaware's elected officials and the State's Department of Natural Resources have chosen not to place a premium on the water quality of our inland bays. As a result of this inaction, it will now cost more to restore our inland bays to their original "fishable and swimmable" condition and remove our inland bays from the EPA's list of impaired waters.

In closing, the following three sentences sum up what our long term goal is for Delaware's Inland Bays:

* We want the bays full of fish and crabs,

* We want to wade along the shore and see our feet, and

* We don't want to get sick after swimming or waterskiing.

Vice President’s Report

The Inland Bays Foundation Vice President, Henry Glowiak, is shown in Figure 6, below, presenting a Foundation Polo shirt to Jessica Prayer, Assistant Director, Rehoboth, Delaware Library in appreciation for her assistance in setting up the month long Foundation Exhibit in the Library.

IBF Shirt

Fig. 6 IBF VP Henry Glowiak presenting an IBF shirt to Assistant Director Jessica Prayer

Secretary’s Report

Frances Hart was appointed Secretary, to replace Helen Truitt, when she withdrew in October 2014.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Total Income for 2014 was $11,291.36
  • Total Expenditures for 2014 was $8,868.56
  • Ending Cash balance was $9,284.25
  • 2014 began with 50 members and ended with 65 members.

Coordinator Reports

Lobbying Report

 A Lobbying Coordinator was appointed mid-year to harmonize Foundation activities concerning legislators and administration officials who may have influence over and/or a role in cleaning up the Inland Bays. A constituent lobbying effort was launched to build responsive relationships between our members and their legislators. Nine members of the State General Assembly and three members of the Sussex County Council were selected for attention. A similar effort was underway for the Governor and the Secretaries of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

 One lobbying goal was approved by the Board (by consensus) this year. It was to support the Governor Markell’s "Clean Water for Delaware Future". Hereafter, lobbying goals will be adopted by vote of the Board. Under consideration for 2015, goals include enactment of an Inland Bays Protection Act, re-purposing of all chicken litter by the Agriculture Department, DNREC appointment of a Project Manager for Inland Bays Clean-up Effort, and binding conditions from the Governor's Office of Planning for the approval of development projects. Each goal will be supported a Fact Sheet and Talking Points.

Science Report

 The Foundation and the Protect Our Indian River (POIR) presented extensive research at the December 2013 Public Meeting relating to the Millsboro Pinnacle “Brownfields” site remediation plan, and made a recommendation to DNREC for further testing before approval of the plan.

 December 24, 2013, DNREC approved their own Remediation Plan

 The Foundation attended the DNREC Proof of Concept Trial for the Chesapeake Agrisoil’s Chicken Litter to Compost Recycling Plant in Seaford, Delaware. This plant has since been approved by DNREC. This is 2014 Initiative number 2 for the Foundation.  The Foundation and the POIR team sampled 13 private wells on January 7, 2014, in the area of the Pinnacle plant, and found evidence of Cobalt contamination in 8 of the 13 wells along Iron’s Branch Road, in the down-plume area of the Pinnacle plant.

 February- The Foundation and the POIR appealed the approval of the plan before the DNREC Environmental Appeals Board

 June 24, 2014, the Foundation and the POIR presented about a whole day of testimony to the Board about why the plan should be restudied. The Appeal was summarily denied.

 September 2014, the Foundation and POIR brought suit in Superior Court to send the above decision back to the Board of Appeals.

 November 16, 2014, Foundation and POIR submitted a legal brief to the Superior Court. A decision is expected in 3- 4 months.

State Parks and Recreation Report

 January – Inland Bays Foundation Coordinator appointed and started with a wish to protect and enhance the natural resources at the hidden gem- Holts Landing State Park. The entrance to the park is pictured in Figure 7, below. We held our first meeting with Delaware Seashore State Parks (DSSP) Superintendent and staff.

Holt's Landing

Fig 7, Entrance to Holts Landing State Park (photo by Dottie LeCates)  These meetings followed monthly.  March - Attended the first meeting of the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation (DSPF). They are an umbrella fund raising arm of (DSSP).

 May - The DSPF offered us the use of their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

 June - District Chairman of the Boy Scout's Community service Committee joined our group. He has served as a liaison with the scouting community. He is guiding projects with scouts at Holts.  August - Attended a Board meeting at Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park (FOCHSP). We now have a working relationship with them. They have served as a model and given guidance on our structure as well as projects, etc.  October – Friends of Holts Landing State Park (FOHLSP) was formed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Parks Division of DNREC, Inland Bays Foundation and DSPF. Our draft bylaws are approved.

Holt's Landing

Fig. 8, signing the FOHLSP MOU (photo by Dottie LeCates) The signers are, left to right: Ron Wuslich, Shirley Price, and Ray Bivens,

 November - We signed our first founding sponsor Atlantic Resource Management, Inc., and our first sustaining member. We met with representatives of AARP, the Millville United Methodist Church and the staff of the DSSP. We heard that a large outdoor fire pit with a circle of stone benches will be built near the pavilion before the summer season.

 December - We obtained our business address – Friends of Holts Landing State Park, P.O. Box 1488, Ocean View, Delaware, 19970. We also opened our checking account and are accepting members as well as donations.

Environmental Partners Report

 IBF continues to work with the Delaware Environmental Working Group, a consortium of 30 environmental organizations.  Critical issues include the Governors Clean Water Initiative, Sea Level Rise, and the Alan Harim Chicken Processing Plant.

 IBF participated in the DNS Legislative Day and met with many legislators on issues critical to the Inland Bays.

 IBF continues to be committed to building partnerships with the Group on critical environmental issues.

Public Information Report

 We started the year with a little over 50+ “Friends” on our Facebook Page and now have 155.  On May 15, the Inland Bays Foundation hosted a Sea Level Rise Seminar in the Bethany Beach Library, to a packed conference room. The League of Women Voters attended and provided valuable support for this effort. Over 60 people attended to hear Kenneth T. Kristl, J.D., Professor of Law at Widener University, led the discussion of the legal implications of Sea Level Rise in Delaware and the subsequent flooding issues.

 We have consistently had approximately 1,000 visitors to our Web site monthly; about 50% are new visitors. Most read 2-3 pages, and many visit our Membership page, http://inlandbaysfoundation.org.

 PayPal option added to our Web site.

 Multiple Events supported- Sea Level Rise, Governor’s Dinner.

Membership Report

 The IBF’s new membership chair, Dr. George S. Cole, was elected in November of 2014. Development of objectives has begun. Membership outreach, especially recruitment and renewal, is challenging.

 Efforts to expand the membership database include selectively:

 adding contact names from the ‘dinner with the governor’ list;

 adding names of concerned individuals with published letters in local media;

 continue using our Facebook© page to present the message of the IBF; and exploring options for using both Twitter© and Linkedin© as venues to develop contacts.

 Various message content options are being examined for possible use in both membership renewals and new memberships.


Welcome

The Inland Bays serve as a valuable recreational asset for residents and visitors, and as a diverse habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic life. We hope to educate the public on the importance of maintaining a healthy watershed in Sussex County Delaware protecting wildlife, water fowl and sandy beaches for us all.


Help Us to Keep You Informed

Your generous donation will assist us in our efforts by helping to fund this website, our participation at environmental events, etc.


Join us so we can count on you to be a supporter of our efforts to advocate and if necessary litigate to achieve our goals of clean waters in our watershed. We need for the Foundation to have a larger voice through increased membership and funding!

Annual membership per family or individual is $25.




"Please take the time to view the YouTube video: Clean Water for Delaware's Future prepared by the Governor- Jack Markell (and undoubtedly with the assistance of DNREC) early in 2014. It shows violent agreement with the views of The Inland Bays Foundation that much more could be done to clean the waters of Delaware, perhaps without busting the budget.