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Lewes, Delaware
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September 17, 1999     Cape Gazette
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September 17, 1999

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22 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 17 - September 23, 1999 Above, Hurricane Floyd never did reach the Board- walk in Rehoboth Beach, even at high tide on Thurs- day. At right, Beebe Medical Center boarded up the large plate glass windows on the first floor of the Rollins wing to be prepared for Hurricane Floyd. Dennis Fomeyphoto Bob Bowden photo Floyd suer means and bays get a break from sea lettuce plague Continued from page 21 evening, bringing flooding to low- lying areas. The Sussex County Office of Emergency Management contin- ued to advise residents of low-ly- ing areas to evacuate. And dark storm clouds appeared on the southern horizon, announc- ing the approach of Floyd's back side By Michael Short These have not been salad days for sea lettuce populations. Sea lettuce and other nuisance seaweed in the inland bays creat- ed a major problem in the summer of 1997 But last year and again this year, the seaweed has created fewer problems. 'q'he season was shorter," said Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Environmental Scien- tist Jenny McDermott. "This year, it just petered out earlier." McDermott said she could not confirm that the hot dry weather this summer helped keep seaweed levels more tolerable, although she said it may have helped. But she noted that the seaweed reached its peak by July and never got as bad as expected. It tends to grow best in cooler conditions, she noted. "I think the season ended early, perhaps because of the drought," she said. She said there was abundant seaweed in Indian River, but it did not cause shellfish kills like it did last year. The nuisance seaweed is con- sidered different from healthy plant life that provides habitat for animals Excessive amounts of seaweed "bloom" in the inland bays when conditions are right and can rob the water of oxygen, leading to shellfish kills or smoth- ering of healthy beds of sea grass. The "blooms" are linked to high nutrient quantities in the bays and the decaying seaweed can form thick, smelly mats that can literal- ly smother everything in its wake and can make life around the bays almost intolerable for local resi- dents. Sea lettuce is one of several va- rieties of seaweed which can be- come "nuisances." Because of major problems two years ago, Delaware began a pro- gram to gather or harvest the sea- weed. That still continues on a limited basis with Delaware offi- cials being wary that harvesting too much would mean they de- stroy too many small crabs, which often are found in seaweed. Instead, Delaware now limits its harvest to mostly dead sea- weed or to large, dense areas that may cause environmental prob- lems like last year's major clam kill in the inland bays. ... , .: .... 5th Annual ..... t. oastal Muslco Arts F ." P L .Saturday, .S.e. tember 25th. 10 a.m. til 4 p.m. f o.. Lrd Admission: $3.00 adis $1.00 chddren Baltimore Elementary School, Route 26, Ocean..View, DE ake home Pumpkins  Strawbale7"' " "  Face Painting, Banoons . ..  """ They will be on sale at Jewelry magi,g, Sand Sculptures .... ' , . " -. the end of the festival for !'" IP HalloweenDecorations. '**,im The Coastal Musc iFestival " !, " . . , , .... .  .  -  , xs sponsored in part ," ' . " F r .... _b_ "_Ira ..................... . .... ,,,  aene ous donations from -P "  "  ttltaN oat, ctudl i :::  Band is sponsored in part  a trom the Delaware Division of the Arts. "'-.. , r "--'" "% . -" " ;" COAtT,'L Food Court "... Entertainment i Chesapeake Silver Coronet Brass Band Environmental Learning Cen.ter Piano Recital; Mock Alternative Music ." Barbershop,Quartet, Bluegrass Music Silent Auction Interactive Storytelling, Reggae Music "" lqany Gifts, Pieces of Art, 'Restaurant & Golf Gift " Childre.n Activity Area Certificates, Set of Laura Hickman Demonsations by Mid @oast,Gymnastics i Prints, Prints by Ellen Rice Karate Demonstrations by Students of KP '-, Artwfirk from Local Artists Kar,te, Interactive Storytelling by the " Delaware Music School ""'.. - Childrens Arts & Crafts Juried Craft Show