Love Your Inland Bays Dinner a night for ‘movers and shakers’


It’s a night to fundraise and reignite a passion for saving the environment.

The Inland Bays Foundation hosts its third Love Your Inland Bays Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

The special event is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Irish Eyes restaurant in Lewes.

The event includes dinner, cash bar, entertainment, door prizes and a raffle for an inland bays quilt.

Two IBF Environmental Awards will also be presented to individuals who help further the mission of a cleaner planet.

“It will be fun. It’s a chance to meet the movers and shakers of the environmental community, and it’s expanded from last year,” said IBF President Nancy Cabrera-Santos. “We expect a bigger crowd from last year, more fun. Dinner will be spectacular; the keynote speaker will be spectacular.”

The keynote speaker is Collin O’mara, president/CEO of the National Wildlife Federation and former secretary of Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Other special guests include current DNREC Sec. David Small, State Sen. Bryan Townsend, State Sen. Gerald Hocker and others.

“It brings together just about the whole environmental community who are stewards of the environment in Sussex County,” like local civic organizations, ecological and clean water agencies and more. “We’re all getting together to address the situation in the inland bays and have some fun as well,” said Cabrera-Santos.

This is an all-volunteer organization.

“We’re our own lobbyists,” Cabrera-Santos said of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

“We’re doing so much with such a little staff,” she said. “The two main organizations working for clean water are the Center for Inland Bays and the Inland Bays Foundation. The CIB does a lot of public awareness projects, but what we do is advocacy, so the two go hand-in-hand.”

The IBF envisions Sussex County’s waterways restored to good health, suitable for fishing and swimming, and free from the impacts of toxicants.

Current project include lobbying for Delaware cover crops; monitoring the Rehoboth Beach outfall; and pushing the EPA for more stormwater oversight (in a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, or “M4”).

She mentioned the horror of an Ocean City, Md., man who recently died after an open wound became infected with flesh-eating bacteria in the Big Assawoman Bay.

“We want federal funding finally to clean up our inland bays. We’re not going to let it go,” Cabrera-Santos said.

Tickets are $40 online at www.inlandbaysfoundation.org or by mailing a check to IBF; PO Box 521; Bethany Beach, DE 19930. Deadline for tickets is Nov. 28.

The IBF mission is “to advocate and promote the restoration of the Inland Bays watershed by conducting public outreach and education, tracking restoration efforts, encouraging scientific inquiry and sponsoring needed research, in order to establish a long-term process for the protection and enhancement of the Inland Bays.”