delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UDaily: Watershed investment - Nature Conservancy, UD partner on innovative funding mechanism for Brandywine-Christina
04/09/2014 -

Under a grant from the William Penn Foundation, The Nature Conservancy in Delaware (TNC) and the University of Delaware’s Water Resources Agency(WRA) are conducting a feasibility study on the implementation of a “water fund” for the Brandywine-Christina watershed.

At its most basic level, a water fund is a mechanism for downstream beneficiaries to invest in upstream conservation and restoration measures designed to secure freshwater resources -- both quality and quantity -- for people and nature. 

04/07/2014 -

If you plotted Delaware's total snowfall over the last decade, it would show an up-and-down graph from 2004 at 12.6 inches, down to 4.8 inches in 2012, back up to this winter at more than 50 inches. Temperature data shows a similar, up-and-down trend: 33 days above 90 degrees in 2012; just 6 in 2009. Even mean temperatures vary wildly from 62.8 in 2004 to 68.2 in 2012. Rainfall goes up and down too – except for one type: extreme rainfall. Those storms – downpours that bring 2 inches or more in one 24-hour period – seem to be on the rise in Delaware.

04/04/2014 -

A scheduling conflict has postponed the meeting where a Newark board was expected to formally uphold the decision permitting a gas-fired power plant at the former Chrysler site. A member of the Board of Adjustment who participated in last month's zoning appeal hearing couldn't meet April 17 as planned, so the board will convene on April 29, officials said Thursday.

04/04/2014 -

Now comes the hard part. After more than three years of planning and two major reports on Delaware’s vulnerability to sea-level rise and its options for adapting to it, officials are turning their attention to implementing the dozens of recommendations that have emerged from the painstaking statewide process. To that end, around 50 state and local officials together with nonprofit representatives and academic experts gathered at Delaware Technical and Community College’s Terry campus in Dover on March 26 to discuss ways of putting into practice the massive changes that would allow the state to live with an anticipated three feet of sea-level rise that officials say could inundate up to 11 percent of the state’s land by the end of the century.

UDaily: Researchers invited to explore ISE Lab core facilities during open house
04/03/2014 -

The science and engineering research community in and around the University of Delaware is invited to attend an open house at the W. M. Keck Center for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis and the Advanced Materials Characterization Lab on Friday, April 4, from 1-5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Both facilities are part of the “core research centers” available at UD’s new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory, or ISE Lab. The core center concept refers to collections of state-of-the-art research equipment that are accessible to many different researchers, both on and off campus, with knowledgeable research staff available to assist investigators.

UDaily: CEOE researchers update students from ship that is testing new Alvin submersible
03/28/2014 -

The deep-sea vehicle Alvin has been out of commission for three years as it underwent a major overhaul. The famous research submersible is now back in the water, and students in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) were among the first to get to ask about the success of recent test dives.

CEOE faculty members George Luther and Jonathan Cohen dialed in via Skype from the research vessel Atlantis, the Alvin’s mother ship, to Robinson Hall to share updates with marine science majors. The class was made up of juniors eager to gain field experience of their own.

03/27/2014 -

Even though spring officially started a week ago, only two days after the largest snow accumulation in the Milford region all winter, the snow continued to fall this week, for Delaware’s 17th snow event of the season. Kevin Brinson, director of the University of Delaware’s Delaware Environmental Observing System and associate state climatologist, said it’s not necessarily the accumulations that are remarkable, but rather the number of storms and low temperatures this season. “I think the frequency of events combined with the below-normal temperatures has been what’s so notable this year,” Brinson said. Of the 17 snow events throughout Delaware this year, the Ellendale, Harrington and Milford areas were affected by 14 snow events, with three of those resulting in minimal accumulation or flurries that could not be measured.

03/24/2014 -

If there was ever a spring that needed a good cleaning, it’s this one, said Joe Spadafino. The Newark recreation superintendent said there was plenty of trash alongside roads and park trails from a crazy winter, in which the relentless weather blew debris even farther off the road. Volunteers arrived in force on a surprisingly brisk morning Saturday to help make that trash go away. Newark’s annual Spring Community Cleanup attracted 200 participants, who arrived at City Hall at 9 a.m. to get their trash bags, day-glo green T-shirts, and assignments. They spent two hours out in the field, then returned for hot dogs and other refreshments provided by the Newark Lions Club.

03/24/2014 -

Mention the phrase “land use” in Sussex County and it's sure to attract a crowd with varied opinions. That's exactly what occurred during the Sussex County League of Women Voters most recent forum on March 11. The standing-room crowd listened as Ed Lewandowski explained land-use planning using the real-life scenario of a plan created for Bridgeville and Greenwood. Lewandowski, former Center for Inland Bays director, is a development specialist with the University of Delaware's Sustainable Coastal Coastal Communities Initiative: Enhancing Citizen Engagement in Participatory Planning Process.

03/20/2014 -

Gov. Jack Markell on Tuesday proposed an $800 million program to clean Delaware waterways, curb stormwater runoff and flooding, and protect drinking water, suggesting a statewide tax that would cost most homeowners $45 a year, and more borrowing to pay for the effort.

"Somebody has to do this," Markell said. "We have a fundamental responsibility, I believe, to leave the next generation cleaner water – water you can fish in, water you can swim in, not as many problems with drinking water, not as many problems with stormwater and all that flooding. ... It's just not acceptable and it's embarrassing."

The governor's plan relies on the new tax charged to property owners, which would generate $30 million annually, and a $60 million each year in new state borrowing or state-assisted loans by others. That money would be added to the current $30 million set aside for state water projects.