We are your local chapter
If you are a member of the Sierra Club and live in Delaware, you are automatically a member of the Delaware Chapter! Welcome!
The Delaware chapter was established to work on projects to protect Delaware’s environment.
We work on water protection, including the defense of the Delaware River from destructive industrial development and dredging.
We work on climate protection, including the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency policies.
We work on habitat protection, including Delaware’s wetlands, critical habitat areas and coastal zone.
We are especially proud of our environmental justice initiative, as we seek to learn from our neighbors and share the resources and expertise of the Sierra Club with all of Delaware’s communities.
Early Sierra Club activities in Delaware began in the 1960s when a dam was proposed in White Clay Creek. Citizens and conservation groups, including the Sierra Club, joined together to stop the dam. The land slated for the reservoir has since been made into the White Clay Creek State Park. In 2000 White Clay Creek was designated as a National Wild and Scenic River.
The Delaware Chapter has worked to oppose a number of major projects that would have damaged our local environment, including: the deepening of the Delaware River by the Army Corps of Engineers, the disposal of VX nerve gas in the Delaware River by DuPont, dredging of the Assawoman Canal, the construction of a pier at the Logan Nuclear Generating Station on the Delaware River, the extension of the groin between Cape Henlopen State Park and North Shores, and the Wandendale Wastwater Treatment Facility.
The Delaware Chapter has also worked to establish improved environmental legislation and regulations in Delaware. We participated in the workgroup that created the MOU for the development of Coastal Zone Act regulations and indicators for these regulations. We joined other groups in the development of enabling legislation for the first offshore wind purchase power agreement between in the United States, as well as the legislation that enabled Delaware to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative ( a 10-state greenhouse gas cap and trade system that provides funds for energy efficiency and renewable energy in Delaware).
The Delaware Chapter has litigated to protect the environment in Delaware. Lawsuits include a 1996-97 case against the state for the development of water quality improvements, which was successful in that a settlement included the development of total maximum daily loads standards for Delaware. Most recently the Southern Delaware Group of the Delaware Chapter has sued against industrial development in Delaware’s Costal Zone. This case was argued in Delaware’s Supreme Court in May 2012.
Future goals for the Delaware Chapter include:
- an environmental justice partnership with the Delaware City Environmental Coalition to conduct citizen air quality monitoring;
- our Beyond Oil Campaign that addresses pollution, fish impingement and entrainment, the potential use of tar sands, and a proposed $1 billion expansion at the Delaware City Refinery;
- our Beyond Natural Gas Campaign, which opposes fracking in the Delaware Basin and the disposal of fracking waste in the State of Delaware;
- our Beyond Coal Campaign, which seeks to remedy the problem of coal ash disposal, which is eroding into the Delaware Inland Bays;
- the development of a comprehensive energy and climate plan for the State of Delaware;
- a solar homes program and community solar projects.
About the Sierra Club
Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself. We are the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.
To explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth;
To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources;
To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
History of the Delaware Chapter:
1950: the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club was formed as the first chapter outside California, and included just 150 members from all of the states east of the Mississippi River.
1968: the Atlantic Chapter was divided and the Delaware became part of the Southeastern Chapter, along with Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The Southeastern chapter was further regionally subdivided and Delaware became part of the new Potomac Chapter (along with Washington, D. C., Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia).
1992: Delaware separated from the Potomac Chapter and the Delaware Chapter was formed.