Reject Plan to Pump Waste Water into Ocean


Target: Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control David Small

Goal: Stop plan to build pipeline that will pump waste water into the ocean.

Among the already 200-plus existing ocean outfalls that are already dumping different forms of treated waste into the ocean each day, Rehoboth Beach in Delaware is planning to add another one as a solution to the abundance of chemicals in the Rehoboth Bay. Though this outfall would clean the waters closer to the shoreline, the waste would be polluting other areas of the ocean and potentially destroying ecosystems that are already struggling. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has cited no extreme impact on on the environment, while environmentalists argue that scientific, peer-reviewed evidence shows results to the contrary.

Not only has this project been delayed due to negative environmental implications, but the cost will also be tremendous; officials plan to request a $25 million loan to begin with (plus $10 million to upgrade the waste plant) and tax rates are going to increase for residents. A slightly more expensive alternative to the ocean outfall was also proposed but rejected by Secretary Small: constructed wetlands, which would do less damage, naturally filtering out the negative aspects of the treated waste and creating new habitats for wildlife instead of destroying them.

The wetlands alternative was mainly rejected due to ‘little interest’ from surrounding landowners and cost; essentially, the ocean outfall and destruction of marine ecosystems was just easier. DNREC cannot begin its construction on the outfall until a study has been done on Rehoboth Beach’s stormwater drainage system; in this time, DNREC should search for other alternatives for dumping waste. The ocean is already used by hundreds of facilities for dumping waste water and other harmful substances; sign this petition and don’t let it and marine life be put in further danger when there are other options.


Dear Secretary Small,

Recently you cleared your department to start construction on yet another ocean outfall, one of over hundreds that are already pouring millions of gallons of waste water into our oceans daily. Though it may seem that the ocean is big enough to diffuse all of this waste, marine ecosystems are already in danger, and the ocean is not infinite. Portions of the waste still contain harmful metals and debris that are negatively impacting the natural environment.

One of the alternatives presented was the option of discharging the waste water into constructed wetlands. This would allow the pollutants to be filtered out while creating a new, healthy environment for wildlife to thrive. Costs may be slightly higher for this option, but would benefit everyone in the long run.

This project has been long in the making, and I urge you to reconsider before starting the construction of another harmful ocean outfall that will cause more pollution and take marine life with it.


[Your Name Here]


Picture credit: Mikhail Rogov via Wikipedia

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