Delaware Public Media

Jon Hurdle

Contributor

Jon has been reporting on environmental and other topics for Delaware Public Media since 2011. Stories range from sea-level rise and commercial composting to the rebuilding program at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the University of Delaware’s aborted data center plan.

A native of the U.K., Jon trained as a print journalist with a British newspaper chain and has since worked for Bloomberg News, Reuters, and Market News International, a capital markets news service. In addition to WDDE and two other local news outlets, he now contributes to The New York Times, covering general news and features around his adopted home city of Philadelphia. He has written two hiking guidebooks to the European Alps; lived in Australia, Switzerland, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and visited many countries including Ethiopia, Peru, Taiwan, and New Zealand.

Outside of work hours, Jon can be found running or biking along the banks of the Schuylkill River; cooking, and, when weather permits, gardening in the back yard of a Philadelphia row home where he lives with his partner, Kate.   

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For DeBorah Gilbert White, ending homelessness won’t be achieved through short-term handouts of food, clothing or legal advice; it can only be accomplished by helping affected individuals recognize that they have the power to get a roof over their heads and to get their lives back to full function.

Delaware breathed an audible sigh of relief when the federal government announced this week that it would no longer pursue oil and gas development off the mid-Atlantic coast.

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Delaware is pressing ahead with plans to comply with the federal government’s ambitious program to cut carbon emissions from power plants despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to put the plan on hold while a multi-state lawsuit against the regulation makes its way through the courts.

The Markell administration said on Feb. 15 that it will continue to look for ways of meeting the requirements of the Clean Power Plan even though the program is suspended for now.

Jon Hurdle/Delaware Public Media

The dune breaches are filled, the beach restoration is nearly done, and the dredging of 22 miles of coastal channels is on track for completion this summer.

At Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge on the southern Delaware shore near Milton, a $38 million project to stop the waters of the Delaware Bay flooding important wildlife habitat while building it up against future sea-level rise is well on its way.

Delaware Public Media file

Delaware cities like Wilmington, New Castle and Dover could avoid the worst effects of long-term sea-level rise if global carbon emissions are sharply reduced, according to a study released on Monday.

The study by Climate Central, a research group based in Princeton, NJ, looked at the areas of coastal cities around the country that would be flooded under different concentrations of greenhouse gases in the next century.

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Oil trains en route to Delaware City Refinery could be made safer with the adoption of more than two dozen measures recommended this week by a University of Delaware expert.

Prof. Allan Zarembski, Director of the UD’s Railroad Engineering and Safety Program, called on railroads and government officials to implement the measures in a report commissioned by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in response to growing public concern about the risks of a catastrophic event like that which a runaway oil train exploded and killed 47 people in Lac Megantic, Quebec, in 2013.

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New federal regulations designed to improve the safety of oil trains may be a step in the right direction but they don’t necessarily help Sally Milbury-Steen feel more comfortable about living 100 yards from the tracks.

Dr. Gerald J. Kauffman/University of Delaware Water Resources Center

Dozens of dark shapes gliding through White Clay Creek would have been easily overlooked by nearby golfers unless they were aware of the historical, environmental, and cultural significance of what was passing by their greens.

The creatures were shad, a formerly abundant species of fish whose advance guard swam along a stretch of the creek near Delaware Park Racetrack on April 18 for the first time since 1777.

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

More than five years after the dunes near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge were first breached by waters from the Delaware Bay, a massive effort to restore the preserve and hold back rising seas from a vulnerable area of the southern Delaware coast is about to begin.

Delaware Public Media

Delaware's state government Monday stepped up its plans to respond to climate change by publishing a wide-ranging and detailed action plan for state agencies.

The Climate Framework describes some 150 initiatives that will be undertaken by agencies including health, economic development, transportation and environment to help prevent the worst effects of climate change or to adapt to them.

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