University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UDaily: Support for offshore wind - 77 percent of Atlantic City residents favor offshore wind energy project
04/15/2014 -

The majority of residents in Atlantic City, N.J., and surrounding communities favor the construction of an offshore wind power project, based on surveys conducted through the Delaware Sea Grant College Program

Results show that 77 percent of residents are inclined to support a demonstration project of five offshore wind turbines visible from the shore, versus 20 percent leaning the other way. The remaining three percent were undecided.

UDaily: 'Poison Spring'  - UD's Jenkins co-authors insider's account of pollution, EPA
04/15/2014 -

McKay Jenkins, Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English at the University of Delaware, is the co-author of a new book about chemical pollution, its effects on public health and the environment and the failures of government regulators.

Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA, published this month by Bloomsbury Press, is the personal account of E.G. Vallianatos, whose career at the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spanned 25 years. Vallianatos has used his own eyewitness experiences at the agency, in addition to interviews with former colleagues and material from hundreds of documents, to explore what he describes in the book as the EPA’s history of corruption, unscientific research and coziness with industry.

News Journal: UD researchers test shore plant for chicken bedding
04/12/2014 -

In a small lab west of Georgetown, poultry extension agent William R. Brown III and Dr. Daniel Bautista, Lasher Lab director and diagnostician, are managing four, mini poultry plots – each a microcosm of a much larger chicken house.

The 200 birds here – 50 in each of the trial plots – have the same genetic makeup, brothers and sisters all. The humidity and temperature, the food and watering regime are identical. The only difference is that each plot has a different kind of poultry bedding – the soft, fluffy material that goes on the floor of chicken houses to absorb waste, spilled water and feed.

DNREC: Wilmington a top U.S. city for solar energy;  No. 3 nationally in solar power per capita
04/11/2014 -

With a new 230-killowatt (kW) solar carport at Delaware Technical Community College’s Wilmington campus as a backdrop, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams and Delaware Tech Exec. Vice President Dr. Mark Brainard joined with Environment America Advocate Adam Graber to announce Wilmington’s ranking as one of the nation’s “Solar Stars” – a top city in the U.S. for solar energy. 

UDaily: Airborne wind energy - High-altitude wind turbines have potential to generate large amounts of electricity
04/11/2014 -

Wind turbines hovering high in the air and tethered to the ground, like kites, have the potential to generate huge amounts of electricity, based on a recent wind availability study led by the University of Delaware.

Researchers pinpointed tracts of the atmosphere ideal for locating airborne wind energy (AWE) devices, which convert kinetic energy from wind into electricity. Findings published in the April issue of Renewable Energy show that there are enough areas usable by airborne turbines to produce several terawatts of electric power annually — more than enough needed to meet worldwide demands.

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.