Fenwick committee looking for rain-garden site

The Fenwick Environmental Committee met this week to discuss several places to place a demonstration rain garden in the town. They listened to a talk given by Sally Boswell of the Center for Inland Bays last October and have been discussing getting a demo garden ever since. They decided they would try to talk to several homeowners concerning a garden and also talk to the town about considering property they own that would be readily accessible for people to come and view the garden.

Committee members at this week’s meeting also decided they did not feel comfortable sending a letter to DNREC regarding the Phase II fly ash permit at the power plant in Millsboro as a town-formed committee, but they did say they could express their opinions individually. They also discussed attending the EPA appeal by Bill Zak of Citizens for Clean Power, tentatively scheduled for March 10 in Dover, to show support of the appeal, and the Sierra Club’s informational talk on fly ash on Feb. 25.

The committee also discussed a light-pollution survey regarding the streetlights in town. The goal of the project is to cut costs and cut artificial light in town. They now plan on doing more research into the Dark Sky organization’s suggested regulations, as well as researching the town’s current ordinances concerning lighting. They also discussed researching costs for solar-powered street lighting and shields for current lamps, and decided to get opinions from the police chief and the state of Delaware concerning safety and minimum requirements.

“We are going to have to build a case,” said town council and committee member Vicki Carmean. “There are some people that are die-hards that think bright lights equals safety, and that’s just not true. It’s going to be an educational process.”

Harry Haon also discussed looking at current lighting ordinances to see what is already written and whether it is being enforced or not.

The committee members also spoke of ways to increase membership and public attendance at their meetings and briefly discussed suggesting an ordinance requiring 3-foot-buffers landward of bulkheads and riprap, and also about possible ordinances concerning fertilizer use.

Under new business, the committee members said they were still looking for volunteers to remove abandoned crab pots and co-chair Buzz Henifin offered an online calculator for people who want to check out their nitrogen footprint, at www.cbf.org.

The next Environmental Committee meeting will be on Wednesday, March 11, at 2 p.m.