Nearly 40% of of the US population lives in a coastal county. In Delaware, everyone lives in a coastal county and many of us find ourselves on or near the shore on a daily basis.
Most of the information and services provided by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) have a coastal component. DNREC is part of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, a collaborative effort to increase conservation of and restoration of coastal resources, help connect people to the coast through recreation and education, and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.
DNREC is involved in efforts to manage ocean and coastal resources and coastal land uses that may affect those resources. DNREC works to enable communities to prepare for, manage and mitigate coastal flooding. The agency offers opportunities for coastal recreation and for folks to get involved and work with coastal resources.
DNREC provides ample opportunities to experience Delaware’s coastal resources, through the Divisions of Parks and Recreation and Fish & Wildlife and through the the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR).
Spend time at one of the coastal state parks: Fort Delaware State Park, Fort DuPont State Park, Fox Point State Park, Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware Seashore State Park, Fenwick Island State Park, and Holts Landing State Park
Follow the Bayshore Byway to learn how Delaware’s history is intricately tied to the Delaware River and Bay
Delaware’s beach and dune systems are a vital part of our coasts. They protect our homes and infrastructure. They are important habitat areas. And they provide a key part of our tourism economy. They are also constantly changing and subject to forces both natural and human-created. DNREC works to strike a balance among these factors in managing Delaware’s beaches and dunes.
Delaware’s beaches are important for recreation, storm protection, and habitat.
Learn more about the delicately balanced systems that are Delaware’s barrier beaches
Discover Delaware’s Coastal Dunes, including information on constructive and destructive forces, and native dune plants and animals
Review the state’s rules on construction along Delaware’s coastline
DNREC oversees several programs to manage coastal resources, and it works with county and municipal governments to use land use planning to help protect the coasts.
See how the Delaware Bayshore Initiative is building a collaborative approach to preserving, managing and enhancing public access to the shores of the Delaware River and Bay
Learn about Delaware’s role in the regional effort to preserve the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Get updated on work to achieve the Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy
Track land use change reviews under the Delaware Coastal Zone Act
Follow the process to develop Coastal Zone Conversion Permits to allow industrial reuse of 14 existing sites of heavy industry use within Delaware’s Coastal Zone
Learn how the state’s Coastal Zone Management Federal Consistency program helps guide federal actions throughout the state
See how DNREC works to maintain and improve Delaware’s navigable waterways
Find out how living shorelines have ability to protect shorelines naturally
There are many volunteer opportunities available up and down Delaware’s coast, from festivals and hands-on volunteer activities to hikes and canoe trips. And more.
Become a Delaware State Parks Intern
Take part in the Delaware Bay Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey
Plant some beach grass to help our dunes
Education & Outreach at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve
For information on coastal resources and processes, contact the Delaware Coastal Management Program: 302.739.9283
For information about Delaware’s estuaries, contact the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve: 302.739.6377
For information about Delaware’s state parks, contact the Division of Parks and Recreation: 302.739.9200
For information about Delaware’s beach and dune management program, contact the Shoreline and Waterway Management Section: 302.739.9921
For information about climate issues and sea level rise, contact the Division of Climate, Coastal & Energy: 302.735.3480
For information about about boating and fishing in Delaware, contact the Division of Fish & Wildlife: 302.739.9910
For information about aquatic resources education, contact the Aquatic Resources Education Center: 302.735.8652
Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve Updates (Send a blank e-mail to join)
The Delaware Coastal Zone Act (Send a blank e-mail to join)
Recreational Water Quality Monitoring (Send a blank e-mail to join)