delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

03/20/2014 -

The Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment, a comprehensive statewide report produced at the direction of DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara and DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate, is now available on DNREC’s website. The Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment provides a summary of the best available science on the potential impacts of climate change to people, places, and resources in Delaware. The purpose of the Climate Change Impact Assessment is to increase Delaware’s resiliency to climate change by understanding and communicating the current and future impacts of climate change.

03/20/2014 -

Before a crowd of 700, a deadlocked Newark board on Wednesday effectively upheld the city's decision to permit a gas-fired power plant at the former Chrysler site as part of a large data center. Following a three-hour hearing, the Board of Adjustment deliberated for more than 70 minutes on several issues related to the city staff's Jan. 17 zoning decision permitting the power plant. Members voted 3-1 to find that on-site generation would not impair the neighborhood. They split 2-2 on two other issues: Whether on-site generation is customary in the data-center industry, and whether the project would contradict Newark's future land-use plan by having negative effect on the local and regional environment.

UDaily: Worth its salt - Salt-tolerant crop shows promise as chicken bedding, helping farmers with flooded fields
03/19/2014 -

Jack Gallagher grew up on a farm, but he never cared much for the squawking chickens pecking around. The Pennsylvania farm boy gravitated toward the coastline, where he built a career studying salt marsh vegetation as a marine scientist in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment(CEOE). 

Yet the professor emeritus of marine biosciences has returned to his agricultural roots, having found a potential new use for salt marsh plants: chicken bedding. 

03/18/2014 -

A 39-year study of wildflower blooms in a Colorado Rocky Mountain meadow shows that more than two-thirds of alpine flowers have changed their blooming patterns in response to climate change. Not only are half the flowers beginning to bloom weeks earlier, but more than a third are reaching their peak blooms earlier, and others are producing their last blooms later in the year. The blooming season, which used to run from late May through early September, now lasts from late April to late September, according to University of Maryland ecologist David Inouye.

The wildflower records, made up of more than two million blooms, suggest that flowering plants' responses to climate change are more complex than previously believed, with different species responding in unexpected ways. The combinations of flowering species that bloom together are changing, too, with potential effects on insects and birds.

UDaily: Alvin test - UD scientists assist field test of newly redesigned Alvin deep-sea submersible
03/14/2014 -

Plunging into the depths of the ocean in the research submersible Alvin is like descending into another world. The inside of the sub is very dim, letting occupants’ eyes adjust to darkness as daylight fades away. Bioluminescent fish and sea jellies flash their bluish lights outside the portholes. Scientists prepare their sampling equipment as the pilot maneuvers to the research site and then turns on the vehicle’s headlights to get to work. 

“It’s one of the most intense days of science,” said George Luther, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE). “You’re working the whole time, and you lose track of time a little bit. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting.” 

UDaily: ISE Lab impact - Faculty, students featured in video share how ISE Lab is making its mark at UD
03/05/2014 -

The story of the University of Delaware’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab), as told by those whose lives have greatly benefited from the new facility, is featured in a new video produced by University Media Services and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

“We wanted to capture the spirit of the building, which is seen and heard in the students and faculty who are learning, teaching and researching within it,” says Chris Sweeney, associate director of donor relations.

03/04/2014 -

After getting approval from council Monday night, the city can now move forward with its newest plan to make Newark a more bicycle-friendly community over the next several years.Two years in the ma

03/04/2014 -

Thousands of miles of water run through Delaware, in creeks and streams and rivers and bays, and very little of it is considered healthy. Nearly all of the state's rivers and streams – 94 percent, the highest amount in the region – are so bad that fish can't thrive. In 85 percent of them, Delawareans can't swim. Exempt from these dubious distinctions: the 24-mile Delaware Ocean coast and the Delaware Bay shore. Many days, Delawareans look out over the state's waters and see only calm and beauty. But the problem of dirty water is real, a product of dangerous toxins, unsanitary runoff and destructive deposits creeping in unseen. If left untouched, Delaware runs the risk of endangering its drinking water supplies, leaving fish caught in state waters too contaminated to eat and losing a multimillion dollar tourism industry built on a promise of clean, clear water.

03/04/2014 -

The Newark Board of Adjustment has set a March 19 special meeting to hear the appeals of a city zoning decision permitting a gas-fired power plant as part of a data center at the former Chrysler site. Due to high public interest in the matter, the city has reserved Newark High School’s auditorium to accommodate a large crowd, officials said. Two appeals are pending before the board, which hears and decides appeals involving interpretation of Newark’s zoning code.

UDaily:  Earth Week planning - University community invited to help plan Earth Week 2014
02/28/2014 -

The University of Delaware community is invited to join the Earth Week Working Group at 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28, in the Perkins Student Center West Lounge to learn more about the plans currently in the works for this year’s Earth Week celebration.

The planning committee invites University students, faculty and staff to propose and spearhead additional programs that celebrate sustainability in the spirit of Earth Day.