Public Participation & Partnerships

Your voice is important
DNREC has a transparent regulatory development process. The Department announces all proposed actions to the public and to all interested parties who want to be a part of the regulatory development process. DNREC also welcomes  comments at public hearings for regulations under development because input is critical and invaluable throughout the process. Existing DNREC regulations and draft versions under development are accessible through the DNREC website. To encourage more public awareness, a list of all DNREC advisory council and committee meetings can be found on the statewide Public Meeting Calendar. Subscribe to receive emails on current issues and stay up to date with environmental news and health advisories, including the daily air quality forecast and toxic pollution alerts.
If you would like to report an environmental offense or concern, there are many ways to do so. DNREC has a Tip411 app to allow convenient communication between the public and the Delaware Natural Resources Police (DENRP). The DENRP Tip app is free to download from the Apple Store or Google Play. Text anonymous tips to TIP411 (847411) with a keyword and short report or call in using the phone numbers below:
Environmental Complaints and Emergency Response
800-662-8802
Text ECUTIP to TIP411
Hunting, Fishing, and Boating Violations
800-523-3336
Text FWTIP to TIP411
State Parks Enforcement Dispatch
302-739-4580
Text STATEPARKSTIP to TIP411
Open communication
In 2001, the Community Involvement Advisory Council (CIAC) was created to increase community participation in, and awareness of, the Department's decision-making process. The Council holds open public meetings every two months to maintain a connection with communities and facilitate a dialogue among all stakeholders for any given issue. The CIAC also strives to ensure that communities are not disproportionately impacted by decisions and activities in their area. Issues of environmental justice are particularly important in Delaware's urban and industrial areas.
Community Environmental Project Fund
The Community Environmental Project Fund (CEPF) was created to support restoration measures in Delaware communities that are determined by DNREC to have been harmed by environmental pollution. This fund consists of money collected from DNREC penalties for violations of environmental regulations. The funds are distributed as competitive grants to nonprofit organizations in the communities where the violations occurred. The grants must be used for at least one of three project types: pollution mitigation, recreational opportunity, or environmental enhancement.

CEPF projects are diverse and can include, but are not limited to, monitoring air and water quality, providing student scholarships for summer camps, and creating community gardens. The graph illustrates the many pollution mitigation, recreation, and environmental enhancement projects that have occurred in different drainage basins in Delaware from 2012 to 2017 with CEPF funding.
Resilient and Sustainable Communities League
DNREC is integral to a network of organizations and agencies throughout the State that formed to promote the resiliency and sustainability of Delaware communities. Through technical assistance, guidance, tools, and collaboration, the 18 groups that make up the Resilient and Sustainable Communities League (RASCL) help communities adapt, mitigate, and respond to environmental changes. In 2017, RASCL held its first summit to connect communities with organizations from various sectors who focus on resiliency. In its second year, the audience has become more balanced as interest levels continue to increase outside of government agencies. Both years had more than 150 people in attendance.
RASCL Summit Attendance by Sector
2017
2018
Delaware Living Shorelines Committee
Protecting Delaware's shorelines from erosion is a very important component in adapting to changes in the environment. Hard structures, such as bulkheads and riprap, have often been used in the past to armor shores, but research shows that living shorelines made of natural materials can be more sustainable and effective at preventing erosion. Delaware is working to increase the implementation of these tactics statewide.

Many programs within DNREC, along with other agencies and academic, non-profit, and consulting partners, work together on the Delaware Living Shorelines Committee. The Committee, in an effort to put knowledge into practice, provides training and user-friendly tools for landowners and professionals to increase the understanding and benefits of living shorelines.

Page reviewed 5/14/19