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DNREC seeks FY 2020 beach replenishment funding amid new climate change report


The Delaware Department of Natural Resources is looking for a nearly 4 percent bump to its budget next year.

DNREC is asking for $38.96 million in operating revenue and $56.8 million in capital funding in Fiscal Year 2020.

The agency’s list of capital projects includes beach replenishment, shoreline management and open space conservation.

DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin is asking for $5 million for shoreline and waterway management with an eye toward doing more sand replenishment projects on coastal and interior beaches.

“There’s also looking at adjusting Bayshore with climate change, sea level rise. Those communities are seeing more of an impact, figuring out how we make some investments in those areas.”

A new climate change report released Friday by the Trump administration said even if the needed significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are made, many communities will continue to face chronic high-tide flooding.

The report adds lasting damage will lead to financial losses, with the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts facing above-average risks.

Garvin said he’s also working to leverage federal funding to pay for clean drinking water and wastewater projects in underserved communities.

“We’ve been putting together a plan identifying 91 communities that might fall under this conversation and I’ve been reaching and coordinating with both my colleagues in DHSS and Housing,” he said.

Garvin said DNREC is also close to finalizing rules regulating the outdoor removal of lead paint.

Two New Castle County residents spoke at the recent DNREC budget hearing. They argue it should do more to protect the public from possible lead contamination when companies sandblast lead paint off outdoor structures.

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