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Lewes, Delaware
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September 2, 1994     Cape Gazette
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September 2, 1994
 

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12 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 2, September 8, 1994 ZEBRA MUSSEL ALERT! A native of the Black Sea, the zebra mussel has infested the Great Lakes and many other U.S. 'eshwtter areas and may be heading our way. The mussel is causing big problems, from clogging industrial intakes to damaging boat engines. Since adult mussels and their microscopic young can attach to boats/trailers and bait buckets, boaters and anglers may unknowingly transport this mussel to uninfested waters. Bdp I1[o00-Ihe IIelwa Ilmmal 0111" of 00dmmm: Zolwa Ilmmol ',About 1 inch, with dark and light stripes) • If yOU boat in known infested waters, wash your boat/trailer and let them dry before relaunching. • If you fish with live bait in infested waters, empty your bait bucket before leaving. • If you spot the zebra mussel in local waters, call the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program at (302) 645-4346 or the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife at (302) 739-3441. A  Ef[ort ef the Mid.Adamir Sea Csrant Nemarrk  tht DNREC Diion of luh e W'dlz Scientists work on zebra mussel defense By Penny Chancy When many of us think of mussels, we may think of harmless little freshwater creatures that sometimes serve as tasty cuisine. However, there are some mus- sels that are not as harmless as they first appear. The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) is currently causing havoc in the Great Lakes region, and its ar- rival to North American waters south of central Canada and north of the Florida Panhandle seems imminent. The National Sea Grant College Program estab- lished by Congress in 1966 is working to determine how to best control the zebra mussel and to decrease the negative effects of its presence. There is a Sea Grant program at major academic institutions in every coastal state. The University of Delaware has such a program at its College of Marine Studies in Lewes. The common goal of each Sea Grant pro- gram, as stated in A Report from the Mid- Atlantic Sea Grant Network, is "to foster the wise use, conser- vation, and management of marine and coastal re- sources." James M. Falk is a zebra mussel outreach coordi- nator who works at the College of Marine Studies. He explained that the Sea Grant Program receives both federal and state funding in order to study and pursue the best methods in dealing with the zebra mussel• "About two and a half years ago, the Great Lakes region was targeted as an area where the zebra mus- sels were becoming a problem. There was concern that the mussels would spread rapidly. Two years ago, the Sea Grant Program received federal funding to make people aware of the problem zebra mussels pose," Falk said. Explaining the damage the mussels cause, Falk said, "Zebra mussels are about an inch-and-a-half long and they grow in clumps. If they are located near a water intake pipe, they will clog it up. Munic- ipal water plants and power companies have lost enormous amounts of money due to lost time spent cleaning out the pipes. Another problem is that the zebra mussels go into an area and overtake the native shellfish•" They eat the other organisms' food sup- ply, and the native shellfish either die or move else- where. Falk explained that the zebra mussel comes from Europe and Asia arm is known as a "nuisance species" or an "exotic species." In A Report from the Mid-Atlantic Sea Grant Network, the black and white striped zebra mussels are identified as "natives of the Black Sea that apparently hitched a fide to the United States in the ballast water of Eurasian tankers bound for the Great Lakes." In an effort to reduce the possibility of zebra mus- sels reaching North American freshwaters, the Uni- versity of Delaware Sea Grant College Program dis- tributed informative decals to boaters and anglers who "may unknowingly transport tiffs mussel to un- infested waters•" The decal lists steps to keep the zebra mussel out of Delaware. Two steps are to wash your boat/trailer and let them dry before relaunching after boating in known infested waters and to empty your bait bucket before leaving if you fish with live bait in infested waters. Though the zebra mussel has already spread into the southern Mississippi River Valley, Falk said, "It is not known when the zebra mussel's arrival to our area will be, but experts say they will be found." It seems that our best defense at this point is to become aware of how to most effectively respond to the ze- bra mussel when it finally makes its entrance into our waters. Lewes BPW budget By Dennis Forney Lewes Board of Public Works expects to generate revenues of $4,948,200 in the fiscal year that begins at the end of this month and ends on Sept. 30, 1995 and expenses of $4,471,050. After depreciation is figured in, the BPW expects its net income for the year to be $139,900. Board members unanimously approved the Fiscal 1995 budget at their Thursday, Aug. 25 meeting. No increases in water, sewer, and electric rates are antic- ipated unless Delmarva Power and Light passes an increase in their cost of wholesale power it sells to Lewes. In that case the BPW would consider passing on the expense to its customers, Glenn Barlow, an accountant with Robert M. Hoyt and Co. which serves the BPW, said the budget was formulated following discussions with employees of the water, sewer, and electric departments which the BPW oversees. "We've found that developing the BPW budget from the bottom up really works well," said Barlow. 'qrhe employees know whgt needs to be spent and how their operations work.,' contains no rate increase The BPW's income is generated from the sale of electricity and from sewer and water fees. It also ex- pects to earn $40,000 this year in interest on nearly a million dollars in invested funds. The net surplus of funds is directed each year to a contingency fund maintained by the BPW for capital expenses and to have on hand for emergency situa- tions. The Board of Public Works generates most of its profitin the electric department where it expects a net income of $276,400. The electric department, with sales of $4,245,000 and expenses of $3,849,450, is by far the largest part of the utilities budget. The BPW's sewer operation loses money because its expenses (including heavy depreciation of equipment) outstrip its revenues. The BPW ex- pects the sewer 0peraUon to operate m Fiscal 1995 at a $159,950 loss. The BPW water department expects to generate $22,650 in net income on the basis ofi$315,500 in revenues and $248,850 in expenses and $44,000 in depreciation. Dennis Forney photo Rehoboth's guarded beaches shrinking Rehoboth Beach Lifeguard Captain Jate Walsh, shown here, and other members of his depleted crew were busy painting signs this week to post on beaches that will be un- guarded at times between now and Sept. 11 when the life- guards finish their season. "Delaware State and University of Delaware started early this year and our guard numbers have dropped from 42 down to 14," said Walsh. "We'll have a full staff for the Labor Day weekend but next week we will be down to guarding just a couple of beaches." Walsh said as he loses guards, the area guarded shrinks starting from the north and south ends. "These signs will let people know. An- other way people will be able to tell if a beach is guarded is by looking at the lifeguard stands. If they're turned down and pulled back from the surf a long ways, that means that beach is unguarded." Jazz Festival organizers seek float approval Organizers of the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival came before the city's board of commissioners Aug. 29, seeking approval to al- low the Beck's Beer float to be placed on both Wilmington and Baltimore avenues the Saturday of the event, to be held in October. Beck's is a sponsor of the festival and the float would carry a band performing live entertainment• The matter has been placed on the agenda for the Sept. 9 meeting• DNREC receives rash of burning complaints Environmental Protection Offi- cers with the Department of Nat- ural Resources and Environmen- tal Control (DNREC)are remind- ing Delaware residents that it is il- legal to burn household trash. According to officer William Hill, the recent weather patterns over the state have prompted a number of complaints from resi- dents about open trash burning, especially in Sussex County• Hill said many people use barrels to burn household trash, which is il- legal. Under the state's burning regulations, a fine of $70 is levied when someone is caught burning household trash. Acres to appoint board members Oct. 7 The Town of Henlopen Acres had only two candidates to fill four seats when annual elections to their board of commissioners rolled around Aug. 27. H.H. Mc- Farlin and James Knott, both in- cumbents, retained their seats, while John Clark and Sprague Thresher declined to seek re-elec- tion. It is expected that two new board members will be appointed at the Friday, Oct. 7 meeting.