parks and recreation

Preventing Pollution at a Popular Park

by Jennie Saxe

A view from the Delaware coast

A view from the Delaware coast

I have fond memories of growing up in Delaware, and of the special places that dot the First State’s 2,491 square miles.  Cape Henlopen State Park stands out as one of those places, thanks to an unforgettable school camping trip where my classmates and I had the chance to explore the park and wade out into the Delaware Bay to get a close-up look at the diverse aquatic life just a few yards offshore.

Turns out I’m not the only one who enjoys Cape Henlopen State Park – I was amazed to learn that the park has about one million visitors each year. That’s more than the entire population of the state! I was also surprised to learn that over one mile of sewer lines at the park lead to a wastewater treatment plant that is almost a century old. Those old, cracked pipes let groundwater and stormwater enter, resulting in stress on the pumps at the treatment plant, and increasing the potential for failure.

EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program helped the Division of Parks and Recreation in Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control fund a sewer pipe lining project at the park, just one of several projects that will upgrade the park’s wastewater system. By relining the pipes, flows to the treatment plant were down more than 90%. Keeping groundwater out of the sewer pipes – and keeping the sewage in the pipes – is critical for environmental and public health protection, and it helps maintain the natural beauty of this scenic location. A portion of the fees charged for staying overnight in the park will repay the loan, and help to fund even more water quality projects in the state.

Spring is just around the corner – make plans now to get out and enjoy a park near you!

 

About the author: Dr. Jennie Saxe joined EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region in 2003 and works in the Water Protection Division on sustainability programs.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Upcoming Weekend Activities: Take Advantage of the Last Few Weeks of Summer!

Shake up your weekend with some outdoor activities, all while reducing your carbon footprint. Be sure to leave us a comment if we left out something in the NYC Metro area.

Bird Walks in the Bronx – Early birds (no pun intended), this one is for you! Saturday, August 13, at 8:00 a.m.

Hang out on the High Line – Chelsea’s elevated park provides a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Not to worry, the High Line features an array of food trucks, so you can grab a bite while enjoying the greenery. Open Daily from 7:00 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival – You won’t want to miss this day-long cultural gathering in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Sunday, August 14, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mini Golf at Pier 25 – We’re not sure this counts as exercise, but hey, it’s fun and it’s outdoors! (And if you are looking to work up a sweat, you can always bike or run there via the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.) Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m – 10 p.m.

Summer on the Hudson: Amplified Sundays – Los Soneros de Oriente – What better way to end your weekend than by attending a free jazz performance on the waterfront? Sunday, August 14, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Volleyball at Pier 25 – For a mere $30/hour, you and your friends can chip in to enjoy a few friendly (or competitive!) games of volleyball. Reservations can be made online. Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge – Sometimes our schedules are so hectic that we forget to stop and look around. Remind yourselves how lucky you are to live in this bustling metropolis by walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and checking out the iconic skyline. The best part? It’s free! (Remember to stop over at Brooklyn Bridge Park and take part in one the of many summer festivities happening there.)

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.