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NEWS and EVENTS FROM DELAWARE SEASHORE STATE PARK Winter 2020 (scroll down for details)

From February 01, 2020 12:00 am until February 29, 2020 12:00 pm

All the news you don't want to miss.

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NEWS FROM

DELAWARE SEASHORE STATE PARK

Winter 2020

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Out on the Trail

Project Updates

·     North Inlet Day Area Beach Replenishment - Sand is being pumped from the Massey's Landing area to the park; Watershed Stewardship project

·     Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation's rehabilitation of Tower 3 continues. Exterior concrete repairs, new door and permanent windows, ramp and sidewalk work, and electric service to tower in progress

·     The new marsh boardwalk at Holts Landing State Park is complete!

·     Extension of the Assawoman Canal Trail southward under the Route 26 Bridge has begun.

·     Six solar powered lights have been installed at the South Inlet Day Area for parking lot navigation; 3 solar lights at Holts Landing State Park installed

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From Whence We Came

Photographs From the Park Vault and Park Superintendent

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1978 - North Inlet Day Area

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2000 - Thompson Island Nature Preserve

This is the sight of RV Camping for 25 years on our "northside". What's that building? Well its the tiny park office, that somehow housed a Park Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, 3 admin specialists, camp hosts, 3 full-time rangers, and 10 seasonal rangers.

Chief Charles C. Clark Jr. of the Nanticoke Indian Association and former State Parks Division Director, Charles Salkin, speak during the signing ceremony of the written agreement between the two organizations for the management of Thompson Island Nature Preserve.

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1988 - Seasonal Orientation

From our headquarters of Delaware State parks in Dover, Delaware. Summer seasonal staff, including interpreters, lifeguards, and Park Patrol Officers meet and greet in the auditorium.

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1970 - U.S. Coast Guard Station

U.S. Coast Guard Station Indian River that still remains at this site today. Note the campground to the east and maintenance yard with a office trailer across the street. Courtesy of our Chief of Cultural Resources.

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Special Interpretive Inquiry!

Park staff at the Indian River Life-Saving Station are looking for a specialized and skilled volunteer. Delaware Seashore wants to build an intricate parade float, but don't quite have the time and manpower to do so. Carpenter? Retired engineer? Woodworker? If you, or someone you know, has a high quality set of skills to offer, and is looking for a volunteer project in the park, let us know!

Email inquires to Interpretive Programs Manager at Laura.Scharle@delaware.gov

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SAVE THE DATES

Call (302) 227-6991 for registration and details

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Winter Lecture Series

Every Tuesday in February

5 p.m.

Check our Facebook page for updates on presenter topics or call (302)-227-6991 for more information.

FREE

No pre-registration required

Meet at the Indian River Marina Conference room.

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Winter Hike Series

Thursdays in January and February

4 p.m.

 

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Get out of the house this winter and stay active. Each week will feature a different trail at either Delaware Seashore or Holts Landing State Parks.

February 6      Thompson Island Nature Preserve

February 13    Burton Island Nature Preserve

February 20    Prickly Pear Trail at Fresh Pond

February 27    Indian River Inlet Bridge

FREE (but pre-registration is required!)

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Coastal Heritage Dinner

Friday, May 15th

6 p.m.

This 4-hour experience includes a tour of the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station, one of the oldest oceanfront buildings along Delaware's coast, and learn about the daily lives of the surfmen that served at the station and the heroic rescues they performed. Then sit down to a locally-sourced, farm-to-table dining experience, with a 5-course menu inspired by what the surfmen may have been eating around the turn-of-the-century. Menu may include anything from steamed clams and sea bean salad to muskrat stew and beach plum cobbler! Top off the evening with a lantern-lit walk on the beach to hear local shipwreck tales, full of tragedy and mystery.

Pre-registration required by May 8

$90 per person (includes beverages)

Call (302) 227-6991 for more information

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Earth Day - Bayside Clean-Up

SAVE THE DATE!

Wednesday, April 22nd

10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! Join park staff in picking up litter all along the bayside of the park. Clean-ups will take place at different bayside locations at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Participate in the clean-up to receive a FREE program voucher to our Meteor Shower Stargazing event that same night at 8 p.m.!

We are still firming up the details of this event, so please check our facebook event page as we get closer to Earth Day!

No pre-registration necessary

FREE

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4th Annual Paddlefest

Saturday, August 29 2020

Paddlefest is returning and it's going to be BETTER THAN EVER. This year in 2020, we plan to do the even more than in the past - so save the date! If you haven't been before, this is a premiere outdoor event you don't want to miss. Discover the park through a 4-mile kayaking excursion, filled with sights and park staff along the way.

We're revamping the course interpretive stops, adding more food and beverage options at the after-party, bringing in new vendors and activities. Plus Big Oyster Brewery and Developing Artist Collaboration will be sponsors of drinks and an amazing art activity!

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More details about registration, sponsors, logistics, and after-party COMING SOON. Be sure to check back on the event page or call the Indian River Life-Saving Station at (302) 227-6991 for the latest updates.

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Park Personnel

We Spent Time with Bridge Engineers

Laura Scharle, Kenneth Horowitz, and Olivia McDonald of the Indian River Life-Saving Station visited DelDOT Headquarters in Dover to meet with one of the Indian River Inlet Bridge Design Engineers as well as the Chief of Bridges and Structures to discuss how to better inform the public on bridge history and structure.

It ended up being a fun and very informative meeting! DelDOT staff were thrilled to share their knowledge, and were very passionate about the work that they do. Park staff learned all about the inlet, the bridge construction process, and myths and legends of the iconic bridge. The best part is that we are now able to include new information in our guided bridge hikes!

Interested in iconic bridge information? Click HERE

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We're Hiring!

Summer Internship Program

Summer Park Interpreter - EVENING

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We are accepting applications for our summer internship program, now with housing and an Americorps education award available! Spend YOUR summer in the sand and make amazing memories with beach park staff.

Apply Today!

Looking to spend your summer evenings at the park and teaching visitors about our natural and cultural resources? Have experience in intepretation or education?

Apply Today!

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A Pit-Stop in Time

Click, flip, repeat! National Archivists

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On December 16th, park staff left the Indian River Life-Saving Station at six in the morning to travel to far-off Philadelphia. What could motivate park interpreters to drive almost 150 miles on a Monday morning? Why, photographing hundred year old log books of course!

For every day during the “active” season (the colder months when shipwrecks were more likely), the keeper of the station was required to fill out an entry in the log book. Each wreck that the surfmen responded to also got its own separate entry, a wreck report. All of these log books and reports for our station (as well as all other stations from our Life-Saving Service district) are kept at the National Archives’ regional facility in Philadelphia, PA.

Park staff has made trips in the past to copy the log books, but those trips were limited to making scans of the individual pages. Each individual scan also cost money to make, so previous missions to the archives were often limited with how much research they could get done while still bringing new information back. We had all of the big dates – each shipwreck and wreck report, big days in station history, such as Keeper Vickers’ first day, etc. However, some things surprised us – for example, some log book entries spoke of the station leasing oxen! That was certainly never mentioned in shipwreck reports. Big dates were easy to track down and find, but surprising new information entered on otherwise ordinary days? That was another story.

This trip was different – instead of doing research at the archives, our team would take photos of the log books to create a digital record we could draw on at any time. Unbeknownst to us, the National Archives staff had begun to make digital copies of all Coast Guard and Life-Saving Service records. After arranging the trip, park staff were surprised to get a phone call offering the use of the National Archives’ own resources to digitize the records. The plan was simple – they provided the tools and know-how, and we provided the operators. Using cameras mounted on special stands, the log book or wreck report was placed and centered below. Then, one staff member would take the picture, while another one flipped and smoothed the page immediately after. Working in two teams of two, park staff digitized all log book entries from January 3rd, 1877 to December 24th, 1881; all entries from January 11th, 1911 to February 16th, 1916; and all wreck reports from 1883 to 1915. That’s over 5,000 images!

Already, the information gleaned from the day-to-day entries at the station has changed how we viewed the surfmen. While the Life-Saving Service became part of the civil service in 1903, they did not lose their “part-time” status. Surfmen were not on active duty from early June through August 1st every year. Keeper Hickman even got in on this “vacation” time, having one of his men substitute as keeper for an average of two weeks each summer. Surfmen near the end of the service could also request to go home for 24-hour periods during the active season. For the most part, they kept to the time limit; as long as they did so, they were able to see their families every month at least. All of a sudden our remote station was not so remote.

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Other entries were interesting because of what they lacked. Keeper Vickers’ last entry was, true to form, nothing out of the ordinary: he reported taking the men out to drill with the beach apparatus, and that surfman Harvey James was out on leave. The next day, he left his post of 24 years to take command of the Bethany Beach station; the somber old keeper was never one to make anything about himself, and went out of his way to avoid it. His log entries were just the same. 

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Park history was included in the logs as well. On October 20th, 1915, acting keeper Alonzo Evans noted that the Indian River Inlet had closed, “for the first time in this station’s history.” That event would lead to a 14-year crusade to open a man-made inlet, which is now in the center of our park. Temperature readings throughout the day were also recorded in later log book entries, providing climate data we can sue today.

All of that is just the start of what we’ve learned by having the logs on file at the station itself. Already, park staff have another trip planned in March to finish digitizing the logs. Decades after the log books left the station, they’re all coming back home – they’ll just look a little different!

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News in Nature: Consciously Informed

An Earth Day Focus: Plants on the Brink

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When you think of the word "endangered" usually what comes to mind are images of rare mammals and butterflies, albino alligators or tropical birds. But believe it or not over 800 plants are listed as endangered or threatened under federal jurisdiction. And thousands of more species are at threat state wide and in need of acknowledgement and protection. This Earth Day, a celebration of 50 years of awareness, a team of researchers and artists at NetCredit and NeoNam Studios have created an illustration tribute to the most endangered plant in every state. Many of these plants are weirder, wilder, and just as gorgeous as their animal counterparts on the list. As climate action and the planets health makes it to the forefront of environmental minds, we now put our plant life in the spotlight. The posters created by the joint forces raises awareness of plants on the brink through modern visualization.

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"Also known as Canby’s Dropwort, this perennial herb stands up to five feet tall in wetlands such as sloughs and savannas. Meanwhile, underground, the herb’s wiry stems form networks with each other to create rhizomatic colonies. Great numbers of the plant get chewed through by the caterpillars that emerge from black swallowtail butterfly larvae. But the real threat to Canby’s Cowbane comes from industrial agriculture and foresting as well as fire suppression."

Check out the entire collection of the most endangered or threatened plant in every US state, and browse the created a series of posters up close HERE

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Division Wide: Updates from

Delaware State Parks and DNREC

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DNREC breaks ground on Brandywine Zoo Madagascar exhibit ...

The DNREC's Division of Parks & Recreation Brandywine Zoo broke ground this week on its Madagascar Exhibit, an outdoor space that will soon be home to several new animals. The newcomers will include the Radiated Tortoise, and three species of...

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news.delaware.gov

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Youth-Waterfowl-day NEWS and EVENTS FROM DELAWARE SEASHORE STATE PARK Winter 2020 (scroll down for details) - Rehoboth Beach Resort Area

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife promotes additional...

DNREC's Division of Fish & Wildlife is promoting additional hunting opportunities in February with a second special youth waterfowl hunting day on Feb. 8, the one-day reopening of the regular snow goose hunting season Feb. 8, and the opening of...

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news.delaware.gov

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Weddings and Events

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An Amazing Venue for Any Couple

That feeling when you're now booking weddings in 2021. Set the stage for your special day with Delaware Seashore.

Photography: Amanda Souders Photography - Wedding and Senior Photographer

Contact our Events Coordinator for more information on hosting your wedding or special event at:

Martina.Adams@delaware.gov

 

Is your date not available at the Indian River Life-Saving Station? Be sure to ask about our other wedding sites at Holts Landing State Park and the Indian River Marina.

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Delaware Seashore State Park

Indian River Life-Saving Station

(302)-227-6991

25039 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach 19971

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