Coastal Zone management goals and indicators, developed in 1999, were never adopted
From 1998 to 1999 the Coastal Zone Environmental Indicators Technical Advisory Committee, which was comprised of government officials, private citizens, education, industry and conservation organizations (including the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club, Delaware Wild Lands, the Delaware Nature Society, and the Delaware Audubon Society) met to develop a set of tools to be used by the State of Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to measure and monitor the health of Delaware’s Coastal Zone. The recommendations were published in March 1999 in a 108-page report entitled “Environmental Goals and Indicators for Delaware’s Coastal Zone.”
Since the publication of this report, DNREC has neither adopted the goals and indicators of this report, nor has it implemented these recommendations.
Without the use of goals and indicators to assess progress towards these goals, permit applicants are unable to describe how their projects will impact the environment and the Coastal Zone. As a result, all decisions made regarding offsets in the Coastal Zone remain arbitrary and capricious, as they are decided upon as individual value judgments rather than regulatory decisions based on predictable criteria and objective merits.
Delawareans worked long hours in a process that incorporated numerous technical experts, DNREC staff and stakeholders, to develop these goals and indicators to protect Delaware’s Coastal Zone. We would like to see these guidelines adopted as regulations by DNREC and recognized by the State of Delaware soon, as they are long overdue.