DNREC Seeks Help To Stop Vandalism In Nanticoke Wildlife Are - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

DNREC Seeks Help To Stop Vandalism In Nanticoke Wildlife Area

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John Smith Memorial, Phillips Landing John Smith Memorial, Phillips Landing

LAUREL, Del. – The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife needs your help to stop illegal activities at the Nanticoke Wildlife Area near Laurel. This area includes access for anglers and boaters to the scenic and historic Nanticoke River via Phillips Landing public boat ramp. Anyone who witnesses dumping, vandalism, violations of fish and wildlife regulations or other illegal activities at the boat ramp or elsewhere on the wildlife area is asked to report such activities by calling 800-523-3336.

"We encourage the public to enjoy our Fish and Wildlife areas and the unique outdoor experiences they offer. However, state wildlife areas are public lands with a conservation mission – and the Division of Fish and Wildlife's mission is to protect and conserve these areas for future generations," said David Saveikis, director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife. "As stewards of this land for Delaware, we cannot allow a few people who do not respect this mission to ruin things for the many who do."

In recent months, the 4,415-acre Nanticoke Wildlife Area has been plagued by a variety of violations, including: dumping trash, furniture, appliances, scrap tires and yard waste; damaging access roads with vehicles; smashing access gates; and spray-painting graffiti on wildlife area signs. In April, an 8-foot tall granite monument commemorating Captain John Smith's historic 1608 expedition and mapping of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries was pulled off of its base at Phillips Landing, resulting in $2,500 in damages. With assistance from the public, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents investigated the incident, which resulted in four arrests. Violators' penalties included probation, community service and paying fines. Full restitution for the damages was ordered by the Court. 

"Most visitors to the Nanticoke Wildlife Area and Phillips Landing treat this beautiful area with respect and enjoy the fishing, boating, picnicking, horseback riding and other outdoor activities that it offers," said Chief James Graybeal of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. "However, this area also seems to be a popular target for vandalism and criminal mischief by a few who would spoil the enjoyment for others. To anyone considering actions that damage this area, be warned: we have zero tolerance for your illegal activities."

Enforcement agents monitor the Nanticoke Wildlife Area closely, Chief Graybeal added. However, with thousands of acres of state lands and waterways throughout Delaware to watch over, they cannot be present in one location 24/7. "We rely on the people of Delaware to share and support our role as good stewards of our natural resources – and that includes reporting those who abuse these valuable resources," Graybeal said. "And, those who are caught will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."


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