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Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Oceans Day puts focus on climate change and island communities
12/19/2010 -

Oceans Day, held Dec. 4 at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 16) in Cancun, drew high-level attention to the critical need to protect the central role of the oceans as the Earth's life support system. This was the second Oceans Day to be held at a meeting of the UNFCCC and was co-organized by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, which is housed at the University of Delaware.

Attending the event were more than 90 participants from governments, international organizations, business, academia, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who emphasized the need to address the implications of climate change for oceans and coasts by reducing greenhouse emissions and implementing adaptation measures. (Full article)

Fish and Wildlife Service grant funds research on salt marsh birds
12/19/2010 -

Greg Shriver, assistant professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, has received a $300,000 collaborative grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct research on salt marsh birds from Maine to Virginia as part of the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Project (SHARP).
The short-term goal of the SHARP project is to provide the information necessary for all states in the bird conservation region stretching from New England through the Mid-Atlantic coast to protect regionally important habitats for tidal marsh birds, especially the saltmarsh sparrow which is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has a limited breeding range from Virginia to Maine. (Full article)

Department of Transportation agreement to help make freight movement greener
12/17/2010 -

University of Delaware Professor of Marine Policy James Corbett, together with colleagues at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has signed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a series of joint research initiatives designed to analyze and reduce the environmental impacts of transportation.

The five-year collaborative agreement with the department's Maritime Administration will include examination of multiple alternative energy technologies and the use of intermodal transit options -- including rail, ship and truck -- to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and American dependence on fossil fuels. It also seeks to better inform American policy makers on the best climate change mitigation strategies. (Full article)

Creating clean energy economy focus of UD conference
12/16/2010 -

Creating environmentally friendly high technology jobs for Delawareans was the focus of the “Creating the Clean Energy Economy” conference, held Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 13-14, at the University of Delaware's Clayton Hall.

The conference, attended by some 250 leaders of government, business and academia, included a series of workshops highlighting the potential of clean energy initiatives to create jobs and address long-term environmental challenges.

12/16/2010 -

A new provisional major and honors major in ecology were among the items approved by the University of Delaware Faculty Senate during its regularly scheduled meeting, held Monday, Dec. 6, in Gore Hall.

12/08/2010 -

Sudarshan Dutta, a doctoral student in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Delaware, has been cited for his paper published in the Journal of Environmental Quality for research involving hormones in poultry litter.

Dutta's study was conducted on experimental plots receiving raw and pelletized poultry litter on the coastal plain agricultural soils in Middletown, Del., and from those plots he evaluated estrogen concentration in surface runoff.

Over a four-month period, Dutta performed sampling from 10 natural storms and, according to a Journal of Environmental Quality press release, “found that the amounts of estrogen were lower in plots fertilized with pelletized manure and plots that received no-tillage treatments.”

DENIN Dialogue speaker discusses economics, environment, 'global weirding'
12/03/2010 -

Michael P. Totten, chief adviser on energy, climate and green technology at the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business of Conservation International, delivered the 2010 DENIN Dialogue lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 30, in Mitchell Hall, speaking on the topic “Water in an Uncertain Climate Future.”

The DENIN Dialogue Series is a semiannual lecture series sponsored by the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) that brings experts of international renown in environmental research and policy to address the public at UD's Newark campus.

Totten said it is vital that economics and environmental awareness go hand in hand at this time in human history when there are vast numbers of poor people “alongside far more wealth than we've ever seen.”

11/30/2010 -


Contact: Melanie Rapp or Joanna Wilson, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Delaware submits the final Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan to EPA  for cleaner streams and the Chesapeake Bay

DOVER (Nov. 30, 2010) – Delaware’s final long-range plan for reducing pollutants from entering local waterways that lie within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, meeting the EPA’s Nov. 29 deadline for Delaware’s final Phase I of the Chesapeake Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). The plan was also posted on the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s website,

11/24/2010 -

Vol. 40, No. 392
For more information, please contact Robert Newsome, Site Investigation and Restoration Branch, 302-395-2600, or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
DNREC announces proposed plan of remedial action for Chrysler Newark assembly plant site
NEWARK (Nov. 24, 2010) – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control today announced the proposed plan of remedial action for a portion of the Chrysler Newark Assembly Plant site, formerly an automaking and Army tank assembly plant. The site is currently owned by 1743 Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Delaware, which plans to redevelop it for furthering educational and technological opportunities.

Kirchman presents inaugural Alison lecture on microbes, oceans
11/24/2010 -

As a microbial ecologist, University of Delaware Prof. David Kirchman used to have the luxury of being left alone to do his work with no one bothering him.

Not any more.

With alarming increases in carbon in the Earth's atmosphere, scientists and policy makers across the globe are interested in his knowledge about the role of microbes in the carbon cycle and other bio-geochemical processes of the oceans.

Kirchman, the Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies, shared some research highlights from his 25-year career at UD during his Francis Alison Inaugural Lecture, “A Journey Into our Unseen World: Marine Microbes and Global Cycles,” on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the Roselle Center for the Arts.