Plans to preserve, protect, and enhance Inland Bays
DEWEY BEACH, Del. – Friday morning marked the start of a plan to make sure inland bays become sustainable environments for generations to come. Now with funding in hand, agriculture and environmentalist officials throughout the state say they can make it happen.
“We have been planning for so long and now it’s just time to get in the field and get these projects implemented,” says Michelle Schmidt, Watershed Coordinator at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.
The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) addresses oyster restoration, natural watershed filters, land protection, pollution, and much more.
Schmidt adds, “We’re looking at agriculture and how we can reduce pollution coming from ag, we’re also looking at the landscape and our increasing population.”
Schmidt also tells us, they’re taking a look at how agriculture plays a big role in these efforts.
“The agriculture community has also been making great strides to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, so this whole agricultural community takes a great pride in what we’ve been able to do to improve water quality for the waterways Delaware base as well as the Chesapeake.” He adds, “When you look over the last 20 years in the improvements that have been made we’ve made great strides and it’s proving waterways quality to the inland Bays but there still a lot of work to do.”
Part of the day was also dedicated to signing the CCMP.
“And what we sign today is again that commitment by all the parties to continue to make those improvements so that future generations can enjoy the things that we’ve had an opportunity to enjoy in our lifetime,” says Sec. Scuse.
U.S. Senator Tom Carper, who helped spearhead legislation to secure funding says, between his previous work during his time as governor to now, reflects how important this issue is.
“We’re doing this as a team not just as a government that is just a state not as a just center for the Inland Bays as important as they are, but we’re doing it together. We had a dream a long time ago that these Inland Bays the National Estuary would be a lot healthier than they used to be, and we’re on the way, we’re not there where we want to be but we’re on our way,” said Carper.
We’re also told, the Delaware Center for Inland Bays is always looking for volunteers to help with current and future projects.
If you’d like to find out more about the projects and how you can help, just head to the Delaware Inland Bay website.