Thursday, September 21, 2017

Delaware updates approval process for shellfish aquaculture leases

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) recently approved a new, abbreviated review and approval process for shellfish aquaculture leases that will allow for easier development on 343 of the 442 acres available for aquaculture, the state said on its website.

The DNREC approved a Statewide Activity Approval (SAA) for the acrage, making the approval process for leases there much quicker. The decision makes House Bill 160, signed into law in 2013, simpler to implement while discouraging the use of approved areas near homes in Little Assawoman Bay. As those areas potentially used for recreational boating, kayaking and paddleboarding are not included in the SSA, the DNREC expects that most aquaculturalists will opt to forgo those areas in favor of the easier approval process.

“Approval of this process addresses concerns we have heard from waterfront property owners around the Inland bays and still allows certainty for small business interests who wish to pursue growing oysters and clams in the Inland Bays,” DNREC Secretary David Small said. “DNREC had an obligation to develop a process for implementing the law allowing aquaculture, and this approach does so in an equitable manner. This is a major step in moving the program forward.”

Organizations in this story

Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control 89 Kings Highway Dover, DE - 19901

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