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Lewes, Delaware
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May 2, 2003     Cape Gazette
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May 2, 2003
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 2 - May 8, 2003 - 17 DNREC orders Millsboro resident to cease wetland activities By Andrew Keegan Department of Natural Re- sources and Environmental Con- trol (DNREC) Secretary John Hughes told a group attending a subaqueous land workshop in April that his department is al- ways willing to listen. Daniel Wien, who was just slapped with a cease and desist order from DNREC, April 24, feels the state agency is doing everything except listening. Wien, who owns a home in Bay City Park, Millsboro, was in the process of shoring up erosion on his property when DNREC offi- cials served him documents to suspend all work on the project. Wien's property adjoins a man- made lagoon that contains state regulated wetlands that adjoin Re- hoboth Bay. According to Laura Herr, program manager for wet, lands and subaqueous lands, Wien is in violation of placing fill mate- rial' in wetlands as well as con- structing a concrete-bag dike in tidal wetlands - both without se- curing permits. For Wien, the incident is just another in a long running affair with DNREC, and specifically, Bill Moyer, who heads the wet- lands division. "I moved here in 1972 when no one wanted to live here," said rmn, whose property is slightly more than two acres. "I began ex- periencing severe erosion in 1990 and began the permit process with DNREC to see what could be done. After spending about $7,000 on the process alone, I just got fed up. Bill Moyer annoyed me so much I gave up." The nor'easter of 1998 washed the lagoon and eliminated a great deal of wetlands, said Wien. "I didn't want to go through all that aggravation with DNREC again so I bought concrete bags and built a stabilizing wall. When the outer bag disintegrates it leaves a rock solid, natural color wall. I know you can't Stop Mother Na- ture but I would like to protect my property." He estimates more than 200 feet of his property has al- ready been lost to erosion. Wien said the cease and desist order from DNREC makes no sense. "In Dec. 2002 1 had an in- spector from DNREC come out to talk to me because I wanted to dredge a spot in the canal so I could get my boat out," he said. "He was impressed with the wall and the fact it was working, Al- though he saw no problem with my dredging a few truckloads of muck, he wanted to touch base with Moyer. Next thing I know, Moyer tells me I need a full re- view, which could take another year. The state is losing hundreds Andrew Vamgan photo Daniel Wien stands near the shoreline retaining wall he constructed on.hls property. The Bay City resident said he has been trying to work with DNREC for 10 years but with little sue- eess. of acres of wetlands and is doing nothing about it. I don't think crabs care if their livelihood is on private !and." Moyer was out of the office un- til May 6 and unavailable for comment. However, Herr said Wien's actions are not helping re- store tidal wetlands. "He needed permits for both procedures and filling in a wetland area probably would not have been permitted," said Herr. 'q'hat's not protecting wetlands, that's destroying them." The agency is conducting an in- Continued on page .18 BPW Continued from page 15 have dramatically declined in ef- fluent with the implementation of nutrient removal technology. Nu- trient enrichment is now princi- pally attributed to non-point sources, like agricultural facilities, septic systems and urban develop- ment. Seymour said from all the ideas mentioned - shallow and deep well injection, spray irrigation and ocean discharge - nutrient trading appears to be the most reasonable solution to date. "A dye study showed less than 5 percent of our effluent is ending up in Rehoboth Bay," said Seymour, "and we don't plan to stand still. We will keep working on our system until we are down to three parts per million nitrogen and a tenth part per million phosphorous." The sooner the city and state reach an agreement the better, said Seymour. Figures released for February show the sewer depart- ment posting a loss of almost $55,000. A majority of that being spent on engineering and attorney fee's, said Seymour. "We have spent a lot of money trying to fig- ure this situation out," he said. 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