Delaware Native Species Commission

The Delaware Native Species Commission was formed by the Delaware General Assembly to continue the work started by the Statewide Ecological Extinction Task Force and to implement recommendations made in the final report of the Task Force.

Jennifer Childears
DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife

Meetings of the Delaware Native Species Commission are open to the public and are posted on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar. Meeting postings contain the official agendas and minutes of all meetings as well as any additional materials.

The Commission, made up of a diverse group of 15 individuals reflecting a balance of interests between environmental professionals, government, and business stakeholders, began its work in the summer of 2018. The Commission is staffed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Its mission, as set by the General Assembly, is to:

Reverse the trend of decline and extinction of Delaware’s local plant and animal native species.

Work to implement the recommendations of the Statewide Ecological Extinction Task Force.

Provide expertise and assistance to state and local lawmakers, policy makers, educators, and other stakeholders.

The Commission is to report back to the General Assembly each year on the progress it has made.

Commission Members

By Virtue of Position

David E. Saveikis, DNREC
Jessica Inhof, Department of Agriculture
Tracy Surles, New Castle County
Michael Petit de Mange, Kent County
Michael Costello, Sussex County

Environmental Organizations/Delaware institutes of higher education

Sarah Cooksey, The Nature Conservancy
Christopher Heckscher, Delaware State University
Ashley Kennedy, University of Delaware
James White, Delaware Nature Society
Jeffrey Downing, Mt. Cuba Center

Commercial interests: Land Development/Farming/Business

Katherine Holtz, Delaware Farm Bureau
James McCulley, Watershed Eco, LLC
Robert Thornton, Silverstock Developers
Lori Athey, Guided Path, LLC
Janice Truitt


The Ecological Extinction Task Force provided the basis and direction for the Native Species Commission. The Task Force submitted a series of recommendations for further action in its final report. These recommendations span nine categories — Education, Incentivizing Private Landowners, Government Leads by Example, Legislation Affecting Development, Funding Open Space Program at Statutory Level, Legislation to Prohibit the Sale of Invasive Species, Deer Management, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, and Formation of the Delaware Native Species Commission.


Related Topics:  , , , , ,