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Department of Natural Resources response to COVID-19

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced March 20 it continues to focus on taking a proactive and preventative approach to keep communities and employees safe in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, while maintaining operations and services as best as possible.

Detailed information about events, meetings and online options is available at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/coronavirus and destateparks.com/Covid19. A few of the updates include:

— All DNREC events and programs scheduled from now through May 15 have been canceled, consistent with the governor’s state of emergency order. The cancellations include private rentals and events at Delaware State Parks sites and facilities, such as picnics, 5Ks and parties. Organizers of events are being notified directly.

— All state parks and wildlife areas remain open and no entrance fees will be charged through April 30. Anyone visiting a park or wildlife area is encouraged to engage in responsible social distancing practices and avoid groupings of people. Annual park passes, good for the entire season, and surf fishing tags should be purchased online only or at any third-party agents instead of at park offices or in the Dover office. Purchased park passes will be mailed before April 30. Conservation access passes needed for state wildlife areas after April 30 should also be purchased only online or at any third-party agents instead of the Dover office.

— All state park campsites, cabins, bathhouses and cottages continue to be open at this time. There will be at least one-day break between rental periods of cabins and cottages to allow for thorough, increased cleanings between guests.

— Public hearings will be available via phone or video conference. The public will be able to submit comments about the subject of each hearing via email, online form or regular mail. Verbatim transcripts will be prepared by a court reporter while all exhibits entered into the hearing record will be posted on hearing-specific DNREC webpages. Specific information on how to access each hearing will be posted with individual hearing notices.

— Sales of fishing licenses, hunting licenses, wildlife area conservation access passes and boat registrations will be online transactions only or made at any third-party vendors that remain open. DNREC has provided links to these resources at dnrec.delaware.gov.

— Commercial fishing license sales will continue at the DNREC main office in Dover but by appointment only; call 739-9916 to make an appointment.

— Applications and information provided for well, septic, air, water and other permits are being accepted by email, mail and phone, reducing direct interchange of documents.

— Offices remain open, but with limited services. A limited number of staff are onsite, but many personnel are working remotely, and available by email and phone to provide technical assistance to the public, contractors, and environmental consultants on regulatory inquiries and permitting matters.

For more on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.