As it updates its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is seeking public input.
A public forum in Millsboro July 23 offered a look at the proposed update, called an addendum, which seeks to address nutrient pollution and habitat loss, attributed not only to sea level rise and climate change but also to increased development in the Inland Bays watershed over the past decade.
Watershed Coordinator Michelle Schmidt, who has been spearheading the plan update, was joined by Executive Director Chris Bason and Outreach and Education Coordinator Amy Barra.
Core elements of the plan include living with climate change, healthy agricultural landscapes, reducing pollution from developed landscapes, protecting and restoring thriving habitats for fish and wildlife, coordinated land and water use management, and education and outreach. The update addresses these elements with attention to industrial, municipal and septic system sources of pollution, land use and habitat protection. Agricultural sources of pollution are also addressed.
"Our organization has had the pleasure of building commitments with our partners and hearing directly from you, the residents that make up this nationally recognized estuary," Schmidt said. "The community is integral to making a positive change, and outreach is key."
Schmidt also told those who attended the forum, "Although our plans may seem ambitious, we believe that these are integral to the health of our ecosystem and natural environments."
Bason echoed most of the crowd's concerns when he said, "This plan has developed goals to better monitor all aspects of the bay and river areas, most notably our unique habitats and species that inhabit these three bays and surrounding areas."
The center continues to accept public comment on the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan update. The plan is expected to be released in early 2019.
For information or to submit comment, contact Michelle Schmidt at email@example.com or at 302-226-8105, Ext. 107.