This enewsletter from the Delaware Coastal Training Program (CTP) features resources that are available for Delaware's community leaders and natural resource managers to help us plan smarter for safer and more sustainable communities! 

This roundup includes highlights of upcoming trainings, tools, technical assistance programs, and funding sources from the CTP as well as other local practitioners and technical experts.  This enewsletter will be distributed quarterly - p lease be in touch if you have more updates to share or are looking for additional info! 
Kelly Valencik
Coastal Training Program Coordinator
Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve
Upcoming Trainings and Webinars
Creating a Flood Ready Community Training
May 19, 2017 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
University of Delaware Paradee Center, Dover, Delaware

Registration Deadline: May 18, 2017
$50 Registration fee covers lunch and refreshments.  Funding assistance is available for a  limited number of municipal officials,  based on financial need f rom the DNREC Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve. Contact Kelly Valencik at  for details.

This course, held in partnership with the University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), reviews the multiple sources of flood risks to Delaware communities that can be addressed and mitigated through planning, codes, and ordinances.

The course begins with an overview of flood risks, covers floodplain requirements for municipalities, and discusses statewide sea level rise adaptation recommendations applicable at the community level. Tools for adapting to flood risk and sources of funding and technical assistance will also be introduced.
photo by Bill McSpadden
You will learn how to:
  • Identify Community Flood Risks
  • Assess Vulnerability to Flooding
  • Develop Strategies for Reducing Flood Vulnerability
  • Find Funding and Technical Assistance

Who should take this course:
County, municipal and community leaders, regional and municipal planners, floodplain managers, community resilience and adaptation practitioners and more. 

This session qualifies for certificate credit in the UD Academy for Excellence in Local Government Leadership, and the Delaware Planning
Education Program.

Three CM AICP credits will be available for participating American Planning Association professionals.

  How to Consider Climate Change in Coastal Conservation
Self Guided Training 

Climate change is affecting coastal environments and the way coastal conservation is approached. It is increasingly important to consider climate change impacts during conservation planning and action in order to protect natural habitat and allow it to adapt and continue to provide natural protective benefits for communities over time.

This step-by-step approach can be used to create a new conservation plan or update an existing one that incorporates climate change information. It is suitable for anyone working to manage or conserve lands in coastal areas. This includes wetland, floodplain, or emergency managers; planners; or conservation organizations. The six iterative steps draw from existing strategic conservation planning frameworks; however, the steps here focus on climate considerations and key resources relevant to the coastal environment, including coastal watersheds.

Read more here...
More details and additional supporting resources can be found in the accompanying document, Guide to Considering Climate Change in Coastal Conservation
OpenNSPECT Webinar
May 25, 2017   2:00 PM EDT - 5:00 PM EDT            
On-line Live webinar from the NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Free event, registration required.  

About the webinar
A land cover analysis can be used to help planners better understand the relationships between land use and water quality. Join this course to learn the technical aspects of OpenNSPECT, a GIS-based tool used to estimate runoff, nonpoint source pollution, and erosion. Participants listen to an introductory lecture and perform hands-on exercises to practice using various tool functions.

You will learn how to:
  • Recognize and access the functionality available in the OpenNSPECT software
  • Identify data requirements
  • Explore the impacts of different land uses and land management scenarios
  • Interpret tool outputs
  • Apply OpenNSPECT for your project needs
Who should take this course?
This course is designed for GIS professionals, including regional and municipal planners and natural resource managers, working on land use and watershed management projects.

Participant requirements:
  • Competence in GIS
  • MapWindow GIS (Local administrator permissions are needed to install)
  • OpenNSPECT software
  • User instructions and mandatory setup meeting held in advance of the workshop.
  • Internet and speakers (or headphones)

For additional information, email:

Community Resources and Tools
New Report on Delaware Tourism and Business Resiliency Available

The 29-page document, “ Coastal Delaware Resiliency Report—Response, Recovery and Adaptation by the Tourism Industry to Natural Hazards and Climate Change” is a recently released collaborative effort between Delaware Sea Grant (DESG) and University of Delaware’s Sustainable Coastal Community Initiative.

The report, available in a downloadable format , highlights existing Delaware resources that can help business owners:
  • identify business activities that are essential for continued operation
  • prepare for risks, and
  • create a recovery plan in the event of a natural disaster.
Tidal wetland flooding, beach erosion and infrastructure damage are expected to be costly for Delaware coastal communities. Sussex County, Delaware, is particularly vulnerable and the data suggests that nearly 99 percent of the county’s 21,090 acres of saltmarsh could be underwater by 2100. Additionally, nearly 40 percent of state park land in Sussex County may be underwater if sea level projections continue to be accurate. The report further estimates that between 27 and 39 miles of evacuation routes would flooded with a sea level rise of 1-1.5 meters, including much of Rt. 1. 

During Hurricane Sandy, storm emergency plans and protective building codes helped spare many of New Jersey’s newer structures. States like Maryland, which have adequate setbacks and stormwater, wetland and zoning laws, fare far better in storm events than other, more permissive states. Communities without rebuilding plans, however, take substantially longer to recover from natural disasters. The DESG report suggests that all recovery strategies should include plans for how to allocate relief dollars so places like boardwalks, beaches and Main Streets can quickly entice and reassure tentative tourists. Delaware currently does not have such a plan.

For more information, visit this Delaware Sea Grant webpage

  Resource Guide on Resilience Available

In the context of its work to improve the governance of systemic or emerging risks marked by uncertainty, IRGC developed a web-based resource guide on resilience for researchers and practitioners.

The resource guide is a collection of authored pieces that review existing concepts, approaches and illustrations or case-studies for comparing, contrasting and integrating risk and resilience, and for developing resilience.

Most papers focus also on the idea of measuring resilience, including on-going efforts for evaluating resilience, developing resilience indicators, and measuring the effectiveness of actions taken to build resilience. These efforts are worth considering because indicators and metrics for resilience are needed to trigger interest and investment from decision-makers.
Papers can be searched for key words. They are listed by author (in alphabetical order) and allocated to one type:
  • Concept
  • Approach
  • Illustration or case study

and one sector:

  • Engineering / infrastructure
  • Ecological
  • Social / community
  • Business
  • Cross-cutting


Should you have any questions or require additional information, contact: Marcel Bürkler at

Funding Opportunities
Sustainable Communities Planning Grants Now Available

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)  Division of Energy & Climate invites municipalities, county governments, and academic and non-profit partners to apply for competitive grants of up to $80,000. Grants support the development of sustainability plans and assessment of local needs towards building strong and resilient communities.

Who is eligible for the grant? 
Delaware municipalities, county governments, and academic or non-profit partners working in tandem with a Delaware municipality or county government.

How can the grant be used?
Grant funding through this program can be used toward reasonable costs directly associated with assessment, planning and development of recommendations. Grant funds can be utilized for a variety of expenses including but not limited to: consulting services, verifiable (and reasonable) staff costs, supplies, purchase of software, data acquisition, staff training and education, conferences directly related to project goals, printing and publication costs, public notices, meeting and workshop costs as well as costs associated with community outreach events.

Awards will be granted for development of plans that lead to tangible actions that improve community sustainability and resiliency within Delaware municipalities and counties. Development of such plans can include assessment of existing practices and programs, assessment of existing assets, mapping, community sustainability planning, public engagement, and education. To be eligible, a proposed project must include development of a set of goals and tangible actions that can be taken to reach those goals. 
Grant applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on June 2.

Surface Water Matching Planning Grants

There is $169,019 available in grants for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 for Surface Water Planning Projects within Delaware’s developed landscape to improve water quality in impaired watersheds with established and proposed total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). The projects will be selected for funding by the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council through a competitive grant process.

Who is eligible for the grant?
Only Delaware state agencies and programs, governmental subdivisions, counties and municipalities are eligible to obtain a Surface Water Matching Planning Grant. A 1:1 cash match is required for the grant. Non-profit organizations, educational institutions, community organizations, and/or homeowner’s associations within the State of Delaware that do not have taxing authority are ineligible to apply directly but may partner with an eligible applicant.

How can the grant be used?
The Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council (WIAC) developed the Surface Water Matching Planning Grant program to support the planning/preliminary engineering/ feasibility analysis of surface water improvement projects and activities that focus on the developed landscape to improve water quality in impaired watersheds in Delaware. The grants are intended for the planning/preliminary engineering/feasibility analysis of stormwater retrofits, green technology practices, stream and wetland restoration projects, small watershed studies, development of master surface water and drainage plans, and other point and non-point source water pollution control projects. 
Grant applications must be submitted to the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship no later than 4:30 pm, May  24, 2017.

Additional grant announcement details and application information available here

Find additional grant opportunities by searching the Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities!

Storm surges, nor’easters, heavy precipitation events, and sea level rise threaten municipalities around the state, and climate models predict that these hazards will increase in severity and frequency in the future. Financial assistance programs are available to support the implementation of projects to prepare for and adapt to these threats. The Institute for Public Administration (IPA) at the University of Delaware, with support from DNREC Delaware Coastal Programs office, compiled relevant financial assistance programs into a searchable web database for Delaware’s local governments. 
Guide to using the database 
As a part of our mission, the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve is committed to promoting informed decision making through the Delaware Coastal Training Program. This program addresses critical coastal resource management issues in Delaware by providing current scientific information, access to technologies and skill-building opportunities to Delawareans responsible for making decisions about the state's coastal resources.  

Requests for submittal: Have a great resource, training, or program that you want to share with Delaware community leaders  and natural resources managers to help make our communities safer and more sustainable? Please submit information for inclusion in this e-newsletter to the contact below by April 15 (for spring issue), July 15 (summer), October 15 (fall), January 15 (winter). 
cover photo by Eric Crossan
Kelly Valencik | Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve | 302-739-6377