University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

09/09/2014 -

Delaware is again among the states leading the nation in solar energy – ranked 7th per capita for cumulative solar installations – according to a report released today by Environment America Research & Policy Center, Lighting the Way: The Top Ten States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2013. The report attributed Delaware’s leadership, energy legislation, strong public policies and innovative financing options for the solar boom in the state.

“Encouraging solar power is the right thing to do for the environment and our economy,” said Governor Jack Markell. “We are aggressively working toward a clean energy future in Delaware, demonstrating we can have both a strong economy and a healthy environment. That means creating a robust market for solar and other clean energy systems, creating clean energy jobs, expanding our solar industry, and improving air quality.”

According to the report, solar energy has tripled nationwide in America between 2011 and 2013. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and more and more Americans are reaping the benefits of solar’s clean, sustainable, locally-generated power.

09/04/2014 -

Delaware taxpayers are out $8 million and growing, and the odds of a payback have dwindled as the state heads to an appeals board for its first environmental "chronic violator" declaratio

09/04/2014 -

Across the farmlands of America, there are acres upon acres of corn. Corn planted over roads that used to subdivide cropland. Corn planted on ground once considered too wet for cultivation.

09/04/2014 -

The issue, something many weren’t even aware of until recently, became hard to ignore after the derailment of a train that spilled more than a million and a half gallons of oil in Lac-Magéntic, Quebec in July of last year. That derailment led to an explosion that killed 47 people and destroyed much of the town.

09/04/2014 -

In the time and a place for everything category, brown marmorated stink bugs have it nailed.

From spring through summer, they are drawn to one another and send out a chemical signal – a specialized, brown marmorated stink bug pheromone – that alerts other stink bugs, young and old, to come hither.

A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland has isolated the chemical and is testing it in the field, as nearby as Elkton, Maryland, where it is being tested in traps at Milburn Orchards.

For Elkton farmer Nathan Milburn, the pheromone that is being tested is a new tool in his integrated pest management program at the orchard and one that can help him know when the insects are building to levels where they could jeopardize his fruit crops.

UDaily: Research set-aside helps sustain Atlantic sea scallop fishery
09/04/2014 -

A recent article in Nation’s Restaurant News calls the scallop “the mollusk of the moment,” but just 20 years ago, the U.S. fishery for Atlantic sea scallops was unsustainable, with the population near record lows and fishing at a record high.

Fortunately, the industry underwent a complete turnaround in the late 1990s through the collaborative work of scallop fishermen, scientists, fishery managers, and environmentalists. Now, a research set-aside program, funded entirely by proceeds from selling a portion of the annual sea scallop quota, is helping to ensure that the fishery remains healthy.

09/04/2014 -

In December 2013, Honda supplied an Accord Plug-In Hybrid with a bi-directional on-board charger to the University of Delaware's Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. In conjunction with the university and NRG Energy, Honda will investigate the potential of V2G technology to benefit the grid, vehicle owners and society.

In March 2014, Honda launched Honda Smart Home US at the University of California, Davis, which seeks to investigate the integration of the home with distributed renewable energy, the smart grid and the electric vehicle.

UDaily: Predicting pollution - UD scientists co-author article on how small-scale ocean currents spread pollutants
08/25/2014 -

Considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in history, April 2010’s Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico challenged scientists to think about the way in which oil and other pollutants move in the ocean.

Scientists in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment(CEOE), in partnership with other researchers, conducted the largest deployment of ocean drifting instruments to date and found that small-scale ocean currents play a major role in the spread of pollutants at the ocean surface. 

UDaily: New book promotes plant functionality as priority in landscapes
08/19/2014 -

Rather than being designed simply for aesthetic beauty, home gardens need to be livable, layered, and functional in order to support viable food webs, according to the new book The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden by the University of Delaware’s Doug Tallamy and Rick Darke, a UD graduate and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Distinguished Alumnus and landscape consultant who spent years as curator of plants at Longwood Gardens.

The book is published by Timber Press and while it is not a simple step-by-step instruction manual, it does lead readers through the process of designing and building a beautiful, enjoyable, layered garden that also supports wildlife.

UDaily: College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment celebrates new research vessel, robotics lab
08/19/2014 -

Joanne Currier Daiber gave up a career in marine science for love, but she never gave up her love of marine science.

Now, a new ship to support coastal research and education at the University of Delawarehas been named for Daiber, who was the first female marine scientist hired by UD — in an era when few women entered scientific fields.