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February 3, 1995     Cape Gazette
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February 3, 1995

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4 -CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, February 3 ' February 9, 1995 Center for Inland Bays anxious to get up and running By Steve Hoenigmann The fledgling Center for the In- land Bays, created by the Delaware General Assembly last year, is still struggling to get orga- nized. But the enthusiasm of its leader- ship - Dr. Kent Price, chairman, and Bill MeGowan, vice chair- man, was indisputable as the lO- member group met for the second time last Friday, Jan. 27. The meeting was dominated by discussion of the organization's bylaws, the strategic plan and funding sources, the job descrip- tion and hiring of an executive di- rector and an update on the Com- prehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) - the plan the Center for the Inland Bays is charged with implement- ing. Anxious to get the organization up and running, members were buoyed by the optimism ex- pressed by Environmental Protec- tion Agency official Richard Pepino, who told the group that $200,000 in EPA funding was waiting in the wings. The only roadblock in applying for the funding was establishing articles of incorporation (as a 501C3 non-profit organization) and final approval of the organiza- tion's bylaws. Georgetown attorney Richard Stokes, who will Charge the group only $500 for his legal work, told members that he has talked with Internal Revenue Service officials who feel the organization should have little trouble establishing its non-profit status, which could take up to three months. He said he also will add several new pro- visions to the organization's by- laws which can then be approved at the Center's n.ext meeting in February. In addition to the $200,000 funding from the EPA, the Citi- zens Advisory Committee (CAC) to the Inland Bays Estuary Pro- gram, announced last month that it is willing to give the Center for the Inland Bays up to $10,000 in funding to hire an interim person to begin fund-raising. Along that line, the board of di- rectors ap- proved a five- member ad hoc commit- tee who will develop a "re- quest for qualifica- tions," which will be adver- tised in the future. The PRICE committee will then interview prospective candidates and recommend one person to be hired by the Center's executive committee. In other interesting develop- ments, new member Patricia Campbell-White said she has been contacted by somebody who is in- terested in donating land and fa- cilities to the Center for the Inland Bays. It also was mentioned that Sussex County Councilman George Cole has in the past sug- gested that the Center for the In- land Bays couldutilize about 140 acres of land in the Ocean View area. That land, donated to the county by the Lighthipe family, would he ideal for the Center, according to Cole. "The property is worth mil- lions," said Cole over the week- end. "The potential is there. It's ideal because it's right on Indian River Bay. I think all they [the Center] would have to do is come to the county with of good- ies - a proposal that we could live with. The county already owns the land. I don't know if we'd want to put any money into it." In other business, the Center's board of directors also was briefed on the progress of the CCMP, which is hoped to he approved by the EPA by June 30. John Schnei- der, coordinator of the Inland Bays Estuary Program, told the group that he is currently meeting with members of the Sussex County Farm Bureau in hopes of reaching a compromise on revi- sions to the CCMP that had been suggested by the EPA. Members of the Farm Bureau have been reluctant to endorse the CCMP, charging it points a finger at agriculture as one of the main culprits polluting the Inland Bay estuaries. "We've made over 100 changes to the CCMP," said Schneider, noting that he has made a presentation to the Farm Bureau. Schneider said state offi- cials will be meeting with EPA of- ficials in late February to discuss the progress of the CCMP. Who's part of Center for Inland Bays? There have been a few changes in the membership of the board of directors of the Center for the Inland Bays. The 10 members now include: Kent Price of Lewes, chair, program director at the College of Marine Studies in Lewes. Bill McGowan of Laurel, vice chair, will be replaced by Grace Pierce Beck, a Dover environmentalist, who this week became the new chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to the Inland Bays Estuary Program. (The chair of the CAC automatically is ap- pointed to the Center's board.) Patricia Campbell White* of Rehoboth Beach, who recently was appointed to the board by the speaker of Delaware's House of Representatives, is a resort area Realtor who has long been involved in the Inland Bays. Danny Magee* of Ocean View, another new member who was appointed by state Sen. Richard Cordrey, who serves as President Pro Tern of the state Senate. Magee is a former Sussex County Planning and Zoning commissioner. He serves as treasurer for the Center. John Johnson of Ocean View serves as a representative of the Sussex County Association of Towns. Greg McCabe of Selbyville, who operates McCabe Enterprises, serves as a representative of the Sussex Conservation District. Richard Pepino*, chief of the Environmental Assessment Branch, serves as a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency, Region HI based in Philadelphia, Pa. Robert Stickels, Sussex County Administrator, serves as a rep- resentative of the county. John Tarburton, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Agri- culture. Christophe Tulou, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. * - designates ex-officio, or non-voting members of the board of directors. However, it was a consensus of the board on Jan. 27 to have that status upgraded to voting members, and the board will seek an amendment to the legislation that created the Center for the Inland Bays. State Rep. John Schroeder (D-Lewes) has indicated that he is willing to introduce such legislation. - Steve Hoenigmann Inland Bays group pleased ditch won't lead to creek By Denise M. Marshall Members of the Citizens Advi- sory Committee for the Delaware Inland Bays Estuary Program em- braced news this week that a pro- posed tax ditch in the Long Neck area would not divert stormwater into Guinea Creek. "It does not move towards Guinea Creek," William Me- Gowan, an extension agent with the University of Delaware, an- nounced during the committee's meeting on Monday, Jan. 30. Instead, the proposed ditch will dead-end in a large field owned by Townsends, Inc., McGowan said. "I think the saga is over on the ditching through the treatment plant," he said. The purpose of the proposed ditch would be to drain stormwa- ter from Townsends' farmland, as well as drainage from a road ser- vicing the Inland Bays Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Long Neck, explained John Bis- ter, program manager for the drainage section of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Bister confirmed that DNREC is looking at the option to con- struct a ditch that ends in one of Townsends' farm fields. "We're not pursuing any other options at this time," Bister said. Until recently, the plan was ve- hemently opposed by Mary Bur- ton, a committee member who represents the Sierra Club. Burton expressed concern that chlorinat- ed water from the treatment plant would flow into Guinea Creek and kill fish. "If they're not going to take it into Guinea Creek, then rm very pleased," Burton said. Bister, who noted that another option would be to "do nothing," explained that a specific plan has not yet been finalized and that it could be years before a plan was actually implemented. Approximately 50 pe.ople at- tended the Citizens Advisory Committee's meeting Monday at the Indian River Yacht Club. In other business, the committee: Affirmed the appointment of Grace Pierce-Beck, who previous- ly served as the group's vice- chair, as chair of the committee. Pierce-Beck, who represents the Delaware Audubon Society, suc- ceeds McGowan. Elected Jim Alderman, a teacher at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, as the new vice- chair. Listened to John Schneider, coordinator of the Inland Bays Es- tuary Program, talk about spon- soring an Inland Bays Day in ear- ly August to celebrate the adop- tion of the Comprehensive Con- servation and Management Plan (CCMP). As part of the celebra- tion, the regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would sign the CCMP. The plan outlines the problems facing the inland bays and offers a string of action plans for saving the bays. Established a subcommittee to revise the committee's bylaws so they are in line with the bylaws of the Center for the Inland Bays. Members of the Citizens Advisory Committee have agreed to donate up to $10,000 to assist in start-up fund raising for the Center for the Inland Bays. The Citizens Advisory Commit- tee, which is comprised of repre- sentatives from 33 organizations, is concerned with improving the water quality of the inland bays. The committee's next meeting will be held on Monday, April 10. Reducing phosphorus overload in Inland Bays to be forum topic Feb. 13 Delaware's Inland Bays are suffering from too much of what we usu- ally view as a good thing - nutrients. This nutrient overload causes a chain reaction of events in the bays that may lead to fish kills and other serious effects. The two chief components of the Inland Bays' over-en- richment problems are nitrogen and phosphorus, which reach the bay through a variety of human activity, ranging from farmland to sewage, lawn fertilization, and urban and industrial runoff. The Citizens Advisory Committee of the Inland Bays Estuary Pro- gram will host a forum on one of these key nutrients, phosphorus, on Monday, Feb. 13 at 9 a.m., in the Virden Center, College of Marine Studies, Lewes. The forum will determine the best way to reduce its impact on the Inland Bays. "We want to bring scientists, resource managers, elected officials and interested members of the public together to discuss the phosphorus problem in estuaries, and how phosphorus gets into the Inland Bays," said Joe Farell, resource management specialist for the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the Citizens Advisory Com- mittee member who organized the event. "Once we've laid out the ex- tent of the phosphorus problem in the bays, we want to consider differ- ent options to reduce loadings from various land-use practices. Our goal is to come up with a cost-effective approach to phosphorus reduction that will improve the water quality of the Inland Bays," Farrell said. "Options for Reducing Phosphorus in Delaware's Inland Bays: Look- ing for Solutions" will begin with an introduction by 37th District Rep. John Schroeder. Speakers from the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies and Sea Grant College Program, College of Agriculture, and Cooperative Extension Agency, along with Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Sussex Conservation District, coastal towns, industry and wastewater engineer- ing firms will participate. During lunch, keynote speaker Royden Pow- ell, assistant secretary of agriculture in the Office of Resource Conser- vation for the State of Maryland, will relate Maryland's efforts to enlist grassroots support in developing a tributary-based strategy for reducing the level of nutrients that reach Chesapeake Bay.