DNREC Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus and DNREC

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) takes a proactive and preventive approach to keep communities and employees safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Department staff continue their mission to serve the people of Delaware, but with some changes based on guidance from state and federal health agencies.

The goal is to provide core services at the highest level of competency while protecting the health of staff and customers. That means using social distancing and face coverings or masks to limit group contact and reduce the spread of the virus.

For the latest on Delaware’s response statewide and government-wide, go to

We’re “Here” to Help

DNREC is operating, but with most staff working remotely. We remain available by email and phone as resources to the public, contractors and consultants.

During the outbreak, some office staff may be reassigned to field inspections and site visits as needed in low-risk areas where individual contact may be limited.

Meetings and Events

DNREC has canceled most in-person group meetings and events until further notice. Cancellations are posted on the DNREC events calendar.

All DNREC public hearings will be virtual hearings until further notice. DNREC hearings will continue to be as transparent and accessible to the public as possible, given public health concerns. The new approach will ensure that the public continues to hear all details about the subjects of all DNREC hearings.

There will continue to be verbatim transcripts prepared by a court reporter. DNREC will continue to post all exhibits entered into the hearing record on hearing-specific web pages. The public will be able to submit comments about the subject of each hearing verbally, via email, using an online form, or through regular mail. (Please note, written comments are accepted before or after the hearing.)

Each hearing record will remain open for at least 15 days following each hearing date. This will ensure that everyone wanting to offer comment for inclusion into the hearing record will be able to do so. For details about an upcoming public hearing, please visit the webpage dedicated to that hearing.

Moving Business Online

DNREC offers online options for many of its licenses and permits, reporting requirements, and passes related to outdoor recreation.

The Division of Water has expanded online submission of applications and payments.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers licenses, permits, registrations, stamps and conservation access passes online.

Submittals (permit applications, monitoring reports etc.) should be made online or via email. Make payments online, where possible, or by check via mail. Find information on specific permitting and licensing programs on their web pages.

Submittals and payments can be dropped off at the DNREC Visitor Center in Dover or at most satellite offices. DNREC will hold dropped-off materials for at least 24-hours before sorting and processing.

Any walk-in customers should call ahead and schedule an appointment before coming to a DNREC Office. Contact information is available on the main website and on Division-specific web pages.

The Great Outdoors is Open to Delawareans

Delaware’s state parks and wildlife areas are open, though access may be restricted, or areas may be closed if it is determined there are too many visitors to safely maintain social distancing requirements.

All visitors must maintain at least 6 feet apart from others who are not in their household. It is recommended that groups of visitors be from the same household.

Face coverings are required in state parks, wildlife areas and reserves. Visitors (kindergarten age and up) must wear a face covering at all times.

State park offices are open with limited hours.

While state park bathrooms close each winter and portable toilets will remain in place at select sites, guests are asked to plan accordingly as restrooms may be unavailable in some areas.

Park visitors are encouraged to purchase Annual Passes to avoid delays for daily entrance payments.

Annual Passes and Surf-Fishing Permits are available for sale online and at all park offices.

Surf Fishing is permitted for those with a current surf fishing permit. Users must maintain a distance of 20 feet between vehicles on the beach. Drive-on beaches may be closed to additional vehicles when the carrying capacity to implement social distancing is not possible.

Parking and fishing at the Indian River Inlet within Delaware Seashore State Park is permitted.

Charter and head boat fishing operations are allowed with restrictions.

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