University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

06/20/2013 -

A regional cap-and-trade program raised more money than expected in its most recent auction, meaning more money for state energy efficiency programs. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a nine-state program designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fund programs that promote energy efficiency and renewable power and lower electric bills. In its June 5 quarterly auction, it raised $124.5 million, a record amount for a three-month period. It was the first time since 2010 that all of the allowances were sold in two consecutive quarters.

UDaily: PTAC helps environmental company shift gears after recession
06/13/2013 -

It took awhile for the recession to catch up with BrightFields, Inc., an environmental services company in Wilmington, Del. Launched in 2003, BrightFields had a healthy backlog of business in 2008, much of it focused on transforming Wilmington’s waterfront from an industrial wasteland to a vital urban center.

UDaily: Active microbes discovered far beneath seafloor in ancient ocean sediment
06/13/2013 -

Microbes are living more than 500 feet beneath the seafloor in 5 million-year-old sediment, according to new findings by researchers at the University of Delaware and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Genetic material in mud from the bottom of the ocean — called the deep biosphere —revealed an ecosystem of active bacteria, fungi and other microscopic organisms at depths deeper than a skyscraper is high. The findings were published in Nature on June 12.

UDaily:  Policy internship at DNREC leads to new oil spill legislation for Delaware
06/13/2013 -

Nearly 42 million gallons of crude oil move through the Delaware River and Bay each day, carried by approximately 3,000 deep-draft vessels a year and off-loaded at the nation’s largest receiving port for very large tanker ships.

At this level of traffic, an occasional oil spill is virtually inevitable, even with the best safety practices in place. Large spills such as the Mystras spill (20,000 gallons) in 1997 and the Athos I spill (265,000 gallons) in 2004 have previously soiled Delaware shores.

06/12/2013 -

So much has changed in Delaware since 1983, the last time a team of volunteers set out to assess the state’s breeding bird population. There are fewer farms, fewer forests and many, many more bald eagles nesting in the state.

06/12/2013 -

Delaware officials are reviewing their decision to allow the Delaware City Refinery to build a massive crude-by-rail yard outside its Coastal Zone boundary, and have agreed to pay an expert private lawyer $325 an hour toassist the state as threats of permit challenges loom.

UDaily: UD-based environmental monitoring system helped track storm conditions during local tornado
06/12/2013 -

The tornado that downed trees and damaged homes in Newark on Monday evening, June 10, was uncommon but not unprecedented, according to Delaware State Climatologist Daniel Leathers, who is also a professor of geography in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

UDaily: UD class displays "Who's Downstream?" project at Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts
06/06/2013 -

When students in an interdisciplinary class at the University of Delaware set up a “Who’s Downstream” exhibit at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA), they wanted to show the path that stormwater takes through urban and industrial areas -- specifically how the Brandywine River flows through the city of Wilmington -- and also find out what the city’s residents know about their drinking water and how concerned they are about its quality.

06/03/2013 -

It seemed like an easy task: figure out the chemical that makes horseshoe crabs such a desirable attractant to catch conch and eel.

“Mother Nature was unwilling to give up her secrets easily,” said Ann Masse, global safety, health and environmental strategy leader with DuPont Co.

She is not the only one trying to unlock nature’s secret about the marine arthropod that dwells in and around shallow ocean waters.

“We looked at eggs, females, males, different baits, different presentations. I think I have a shelf full of notebooks,” said Nancy Targett, dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and the Environment.

UDaily: New research on white perch has implications for consumption advisories
05/30/2013 -

White perch are a popular catch in the Delaware River and Delaware Bay, but contaminants can make the fish unsafe to eat. Officials advise against eating white perch caught north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and limiting consumption of those from south of the canal. The trouble is, the fish can swim through that border.