Going Green!

Eagle Scout revitalizes outdoor classroom at Showell

Kids at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School can now go outside the classroom to learn, thanks to the help of Eagle Scout Michael Thompson.

Delaware ranked seventh in nation for solar energy

Delaware is again among the states leading the nation in solar energy — ranked seventh per capita for cumulative solar installations, according to a report released this week by Environment America Research & Policy Center, “Lighting the Way: The Top Ten States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2013.”

DNREC announces changes to Delaware’s Green Energy Fund

DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate and the state’s Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) recently announced the Aug. 4 launch of the Joint Green Energy Program, with the intention of increasing small-scale photovoltaic installations in Delaware through the state’s Green Energy Fund.

Online registration open now for Coastal Cleanup vols

Online volunteer registration is now open for the 28th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 20. Sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, the cleanup spans the First State’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes river and ocean shorelines, as well as wetland and watershed areas.

Odd algae bloom in Salt Pond gets attention from State

Special to the Coastal Point • Monica Scott: This algae bloom in Salt Pond created quite a stir recently.Special to the Coastal Point • Monica Scott: This algae bloom in Salt Pond created quite a stir recently.To Pat Sned, whose home backs up to the Salt Pond, a large apparent algae bloom that caught her eye about a month ago seemed a little out of place. She said that, in her 15 years of owning her home, she had never noticed anything like it.

“It’s quite extensive” she said, of the yellowish muck that sits on the edges of the southeast corner of the Salt Pond. What Sned can see out her back door in the Villas of Bethany West is the area where the Bethany Loop Canal meets the Salt Pond, coming from the Bethany Beach side (behind the Army National Guard building on Route 1).

“The people from DNREC came, and they said it isn’t so unusual that it’s growing here, but none of us had ever seen a growth like that. I have not seen any growth, and never algae. My concern was “what has changed?”

She said Bethany Beach town officials and DNREC came out, but she was told the water was too shallow for them to use their machines to cut the algae.

Playing in the dirt

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Children have planted this garden in May, in partnership with the Selbyville Public Library, and continue to maintain it.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Children have planted this garden in May, in partnership with the Selbyville Public Library, and continue to maintain it.For once, kids are being encouraged to get dirty, and the Selbyville Public Library is leading the way.

The Selbyville Children’s Garden was planted in May by about 12 children in the library’s summer reading program. Now, every Tuesday at 4 p.m., children can attend the reading program — but they can help take care of their garden all week long. That means pulling weeds and watering the many plants.

“They love it,” said children’s librarian Ronshell “Shelly” Purnell.

They’re growing tomatoes, peppers, radish, cucumbers, squash, basil, parsley, cantaloupes and more. A line of sunflowers along the side of the library building is expected to reach 7 feet tall.

The veggies will be used in the teens’ Chop Challenge cooking program. They’ve even made a few dollars selling vegetables in the library.

“The parents say, ‘How do you get kids to come out and play in dirt and we can’t get ’em to clean their rooms?’” Purnell laughed. “It’s all about putting fun in little stuff like this.”

Volunteers needed for Inland Bays Cleanup

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section and the Division of Parks & Recreation are seeking volunteers and boats for the 10th annual Inland Bays Cleanup. The Cleanup will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 12, and end about 1 p.m.

Delaware beaches again top in nation for water quality

Putting it in World Series terms, Delaware has just made a “cleanest sweep,” for the fourth straight year, capturing the crown for the country’s cleanest beach water quality. The acclaim came from the National Resources Defense Council, the non-partisan international environmental advocacy group that annually assesses all beaches in the 30 coastal states.

Oysters and islands focus of effort to clean up South Bethany canals

The Centre for the Inland Bays wants to improve the water quality in South Bethany’s canals, and they’re floating a couple new tools for their environmental toolbox there: islands and oysters.

‘The whole Eastern Seaboard is lagging behind’

Crops delayed after frigid winter

If the cold weather this winter didn’t get you, the repeated snowstorms did, as the farming season has been delayed across the board — from fruits to grains, from Delaware to Georgia.

Local farmers’ markets opening for the season

Area farmers’ markets are preparing to open for the summer season.

The Fenwick Island Farmers’ Market has done so well in the past few years that Market Manager Ellen Magee said the market will now have a second location in West Fenwick, at Bayside.

Bethany Nature Center to celebrate World Oceans Day

June 8 marks World Oceans Day, an annual observation to honor the world’s oceans and celebrate the products the ocean provides, such as Maryland blue crabs and marine animals kept as pets.

To show its appreciation of the world’s oceans — especially the Atlantic — the Bethany Beach Nature Center will celebrate World Oceans Day on Saturday, June 7.

Time for the talk: Expert says discuss sea level now, or lose land later

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Kenneth Kristl discusses sea level rise at a workshop held at the Inland Bays Foundation in Bethany Beach.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Kenneth Kristl discusses sea level rise at a workshop held at the Inland Bays Foundation in Bethany Beach.Delaware’s sea and the land it surrounds could change shape by the year 2100, which means now it the time to discuss legal ramifications. Law professor Kenneth Kristl led a workshop last week as part of an effort to start public conversation on how Delaware could develop a comprehensive sea-level rise strategy. The Inland Bays Foundation hosted him May 15 in Bethany Beach.

“The citizens of Delaware have to start thinking: Where do we want to put our effort? How do we want to spend our money?” Kristl said. “This is enormously complex and, yet, it has practical consequences for anybody that’s living along the coast.”

Kristl and students authored the report “Assessing the Legal Toolbox for Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Delaware: Options and Challenges for Regulators, Policymakers, Property Owners and the Public.”

“It is a roadmap for how to confront some of the obstacles that exist in … sea-level rise adaptation.”

The book doesn’t recommend “Tool A” instead of Tool B,” but lays out the facts of existing policies and challenges. Kristl received a grant to write the 188-page report, begin public outreach and start the public conversation.

First, Kristl emphasized, sea-level rise is happening even if people don’t believe in overall climate change.

Public can offer input on master plan for James Farm

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) will host a public workshop on Thursday, May 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach, to solicit community input on the development of a Master Plan for the James Farm Ecological Preserve (JFEP).

Flower and bake sale to support Indian River VFC

Those looking for last-minute treats for the mom in their lives can head out to the annual Mother’s Day Flower & Bake Sale fundraiser hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary of Indian River Volunteer Fire Company on Saturday, May 10, in Long Neck.

Gardeners by the Sea offer plant parents the chance to adopt hydrangeas

Those looking for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift need look no further. For the second year, Gardeners by the Sea will be holding their Adopt a Baby Hydrangea sale, this weekend.

Barefoot Gardeners plant sale is for green thumbs and sandy feet

Kids, or kids at heart, can get a last-minute gift for Mom, or let her choose, at the Barefoot Gardeners Garden Club annual plant sale, on Saturday, May 10, in Fenwick Island.

“There are quite a few small ones that people can get for Mother’s Day gifts. The plants are grown locally,” said Karen Dudley, chairperson of the event.

CIB to launch ‘Your Creek’ initiative at May 15 meeting

The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) will launch the “Your Creek” initiative at its May meeting, on Thursday, May 15, at 5 p.m. The meeting will be held at the CIB office on Inlet Road in Delaware Seashore State Park, just north of Indian River Inlet Bridge, and the public is welcome to attend.

Yard sale to benefit marine mammal group

Donations sought for May 17 event

Yard sale shoppers never know what they might find at a sale, and sometimes that can even include the good feeling of having supported a good cause.