delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

03/19/2012 -


Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Blue River Resources recycling facility, first of its kind in Delaware, receives operating permit from DNREC

DOVER (March 19, 2012) – Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has issued a solid waste resource recovery permit for the first private materials recovery facility (MRF) in Delaware. The MRF operated by Blue River Resources LLC will sort and separate recyclables, then market the materials to commodity buyers or recycling processors. Blue River Resources, located on a former brownfields site, is the newest of several recycling entities in an area of south Wilmington and across the state that have parlayed Delaware’s universal recycling law, which went into effect last year, into a business opportunity.

Environmental impact: Green Liaison sustainability lecture focuses on creating a personal sustainability plan
03/14/2012 -

The question of how to live a sustainable life will be the heart of the next lunchtime Green Liaison Sustainability Lecture Series session on Wednesday, March 14, from noon to 1 p.m., in the Gallery at the Perkins Student Center.

Rich Chapas, adjunct faculty of business administration in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, will lead a discussion about individual value chains and the choices individuals make, from purchasing and logistics to product usage and disposal.

Two in one: Algae species explored for both biofuel source and pollution control
03/14/2012 -

The tiny, plant-like Heterosigma akashiwo is too small to see with the naked eye, but the microscopic algae may pack a big environmental punch. University of Delaware researchers are studying whether the species can neutralize harmful smokestack emissions – and also serve as a source of eco-friendly biofuel.

The project is an outgrowth of biochemist Kathryn Coyne’s study into the ecology of H. akashiwo, which thrives in Delaware and worldwide. Coyne and her postdoctoral fellow, Jennifer Stewart, found that the algae contain a special enzyme with the unusual ability to detoxify nitric oxide, one of multiple contaminants released through industrial chimneys as flue gas.

Based on the discovery of that enzyme, Coyne and Stewart decided to explore the possibility of recruiting the algae for pollution control. They knew that other scientists were trying to use different types of algae to reduce emissions of another flue gas component, carbon dioxide, since algae need carbon dioxide to grow.

'Crowdsourcing': Volunteers to help scientists analyze images on sea floor
03/12/2012 -

Digital cameras make it easy to take a lot of photos – so many, in fact, that they can be difficult to sort through.

Try having more than 250,000. That is how many images researchers took of the ocean floor last summer as part of a new approach to estimating the mid-Atlantic sea scallop population. Now they are tasked with examining each photo, searching for scallops within the frame and counting exactly how many and what size.

Global vision: Chinese oceanographers from Xiamen University visit UD
03/09/2012 -

The South China Sea may be half a world away, but University of Delaware oceanographers are interested in understanding ecosystem dynamics there. The sea is roughly comparable in size to the Mid-Atlantic Bight, receives even higher nutrient inputs from rivers and bays, and experiences analogous water shifts driven by currents.

03/09/2012 -

The University of Delaware’s Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an industry-wide group of leading apparel retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, academics and non-governmental organizations formed in 2011 to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products.

03/09/2012 -

Carrie Parry, a student in the graduate certificate program in the University of Delaware’s Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, recently won the Green Fashion Competition at Amsterdam International Fashion Week (AIFW). Parry used her courses at UD to develop a sustainable fashion business strategy, and launched her line last year.

April 18: Plastic Day  Working group talk, film, discussion begin Earth Week activities
03/09/2012 -

Are our lives too plastic? That will be the question of the day on Wednesday, April 18, when the Environmental Humanities Working Group in the College of Arts and Sciences sponsors a talk and a movie about plastic, the material that defines so much of modern life.

Both events, which kick off the University's Earth Week activities, are free and open to the public.

At 12:15 p.m., in Multipurpose Room A of the Trabant University Center, author Susan Freinkel will talk about her book Plastic: A Toxic Love Story. In the second event of the day, the documentary film Bag It will be shown at 7 p.m. in 127 Memorial Hall. Freinkel's book explores society's troubled relationship with plastic, while Bag It is the story of a man who becomes obsessed with figuring out the complex consequences of the use of plastic.

Environmental ed:  Delaware Association for Environmental Education holds conference
03/08/2012 -

More than 70 educators and representatives from local and state environmental agencies recently gathered in Lewes, Del., to attend the third annual conference of Delaware Association for Environmental Education (DAEE). The conference, which was held Feb. 25 at the Officer’s Club in Cape Henlopen State Park, celebrated the theme “Turning the Tide Toward Environmental Education.”

The daylong conference opened with a keynote address from Tom Horton, an award-winning environmental educator and writer. A variety of educational sessions and field trips followed, including an outing to UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.

03/07/2012 -

The University of Delaware Sustainability Task Force has announced that UD has joined the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Consequently, all UD administrators, faculty, staff and students are entitled to full membership benefits.