The President's Message as published in the 2018 March edition opf the DMS Newsletter
Even though the groundhog said 6 more weeks of winter weather, the daffodils are up and blooming and so are the tulips. I had a house fly in my lighthouse table decoration at the DMS Annual Dinner. Hopefully warmer weather is on the way.
On February 9, 2018 George Mood (DMS Secretary) and I attended a Joint Finance Committee hearing at Legislative Hall in Dover. We were there on behalf of DNREC’s effort to get budgeting for more fulltime enforcement officers for our drive-on beaches. One at a time we both sat in front of the Committee and expressed our views as DMS officers and as people that see the need for more enforcement on our drive-on beaches.
On February 20, 2018 DMS had our yearly meeting with state officials. We felt honored with the presence of DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. It has been 10 years plus since John Hughes was Secretary and attended our yearly meetings. You can see the topics that were discussed in the article on page 2 or on the website at (www.dmsclub.org). It was good to see some of our state legislators present.
I truly believe that between these two events there will be changes in enforcement on our beaches. Time will tell.
Be sure to check the website and the DMS FaceBook page for more information on coming events of interest to the fishing community.
Please remember our troops and first responders in your prayers. God Bless you all and God bless America.
The President's Message as published in the 2017 May edition of the DMS Newsletter
Well, the stripers, blues, black drum, and now the flounder are here for the taking. You can’t catch them if you are on the couch.
It is summer so we will not have any monthly meetings until September 7, 2017. If you have any concerns or there is a topic of interest you want to discuss, please contact me or a Board member. It seems the Beach Coalition request to restrict access to the beach on Fenwick Island will be one of those topics and I get updates from time to time. Check our website and FaceBook page for the most current information.
The Annual Invitational Tournament is coming up and we will be needing members to help in a lot of areas. See the article on pages 2-3 for more details. We need your help if we are going to keep this tournament one of the best on the East Coast.
I hope everyone has a safe and funfilled summer. Please be safe on the beach. Stay aware of your surroundings. Be respectful of all the other people on the beach. We have great beach resources here in Delaware. I expect DMS members to set and maintain high standards of use on our beaches and those of other states when visiting out of state. Set the example others can follow.
May God bless you and God bless America. Be safe.
The President's Message as published in the 2017 January edition of the DMS Newsletter
I am honored and looking forward to serve you as President of DMS for the 2017 year. DMS has tremendous potential but it takes a significant amount of participation from the membership to accomplish our goals.
Committees were assigned at the January meeting [see page 3 for details]. We need you as a member to get involved with those committees. Please contact a Committee chair or myself and step up to help.
Participation by members like yourself is needed for the Club to grow. When I say grow I mean continuing the projects DMS does and increasing membership. My New Year’s resolution is to do my best to make these things happen.
As always be sure to check out the website for DMS events and things of interest in the community. Don’t forget our FaceBook page too. It has a lot of things to think about.
God bless America and God bless you in this New Year.
The President's Message as published in the 2016 November/December edition of the DMS Newsletter
I hope everyone got out and exercised their right to vote this election. It will take all of us to bring together this country in the future. A friend of mine from years past, whose grandfather was a native American, always would say whether it be the right wing or left wing, they are both part of the same bird. Always remember “We the People.”
The fall season is upon us and hopefully the fall run will start soon. Northern New Jersey is catching now so it shouldn’t be too long before stripers and blues arrive here.
Despite the nasty weather, our 10th Annual DMS Invitational Tournament was a great success. Participation was down due to the weather but those that fished the tourney fished their hearts out. A great time was had by all and I personally thank our sponsors, participants, judges, and Tournament Committee for an outstanding job done. Thanks to you all.
The Holiday Season will soon be upon us. It is my wish that you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. Take time to be thankful for what we have. Have a Merry Christmas, and don’t forget the reason for the season, and have a Happy New Year. Make some new resolutions.
Don’t forget prayers and thoughts for our first responders and our troops here and abroad. God bless America.
The following is an excerpt from the President's Message as published in the 2016 March/April edition of the DMS Newsletter. Please check your newsletter for the full message
I want to thank all of those who helped with the beach grass planting, both the volunteers and DMS members that transported the volunteers on the beach. We must not forget those that manned the DMS cook shack at Indian River Inlet. Thank-you to all that were involved.
TheNational Park Service has proposed a General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) for Assateague Island National Seashore. There are several options being considered and the public comment period will be open until May 1, 2016. Assateague Mobile Sportfishermen's Association (AMSA) is taking the lead in reviewing the options for the GMP/EIS for the Island. I have attended a meeting and spoken with AMSA President Bill Justice, Sr. about which option AMSA will support for the GMP/EIS. I am asking all DMS members to be ready and support AMSA by commenting on the best option.
This is about beach access. Many DMS members visit Assateague Island frequently. AMSA is reviewing the various options under the proposed plans. When they have finalized their decision on which option to support we will be mailing the details to you. In the meantime you can see updates on the DMS Facebook page and website. Be ready to respond and support a fellow organization fighting for continued beach access by sending in your comment to the National Park Service.
Always keep in mind there are organizations that want all our beach access done away with. We cannot let that happen. Your comment will help prevent adoption of a bad plan.
I hope to see all of you on the sand soon.
Bruce West, DMS President
Seismic Air-gun testing
As President of the DMS, I recently sent letters to Gov. Markell, Sens. Carper & Coons, Rep. Carney and various members of federal agencies regarding seismic exploration for oil and gas deposits off the Delaware coast. Those persons are: Eileen Soebeck, Ass't Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Abigail Ross Hopper, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Kathryn Sullivan, Secretary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In this letter, I outline the position of the DMS on this matter. That position, in the briefest of terms, is simply this: the actions for seimic testing and exploration for oil and gas deposits off the Delaware coast are without merit at this time.
This letter is adressed to Congressman Carney; the body of the letter was also sent to those persons identified above.
Hon. John C. Carney, Jr.
U. S. House of Representatives
1406 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
SUBJECT: BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT PERMIT REQUEST REVIEW - SUB-SEAFLOOR SEISMIC EXPLORATION BY ENVIRONMENTALLY HAZARDOUS METHODS
Dear Congressman Carney,
You are likely aware that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has proposed lease blocks along the mid and southern Atlantic US coastline for the purpose of oil and gas exploration, extraction development and production. The Delaware Mobile Surf-fishermen, Inc. (DMS), a group of environmentally-conscious recreational fishermen who respectfully enjoy the pursuit of our coastal gamefish resources, wish to state our opposition to 1) the permitting for geological/geophysical surveying, and specifically 2) the use of any explorative surveying methodology that is not 100% verified by sound scientific basis as safe to Delaware's coastal marine environment. In regard to the latter, we at DMS are against the utilization of seismic air-gun surveying, described by the scientific community in opposition as the equivalent of dynamite blasting in your living room "every ten seconds for days to weeks at a time."
We bring the following points for your consideration:
- The need to pursue oil exploration in the mid-Atlantic at this time is questionable. Oil reserves are exceedingly high, and crude oil market pricing does not justify any need in the foreseeable future to explore and extract crude from new locations.
- Numerous position/research papers have indicated that the estimated undiscovered [continental] shelf oil reserves along the Atlantic seaboard are less than 10% compared to the Gulf of Mexico reserves, a region where the technology, extraction support resources, and the ability to respond to oil extraction environmental emergencies are already in place.
- There are numerous studies that cite environmental concerns and impact on marine fish, mammals, invertebrates, and mollusks. In some regions where seismic air-gun surveying has already taken place, commercially important finfish like cod and haddock have vacated their habitats during and after seismic air-gun surveying.
- Marine mammals that navigate with sound are conflicted with air-gun sound frequencies emitted during seismic surveying, and there is no scientific evidence that refutes the possibility of permanent hearing damage to marine mammals as a result of surveying.
- There is considerable supporting evidence that seismic air-gun surveying adversely impacts larval-stage marine organisms, and the impact on mollusks and invertebrates remains an unknown. BOEM has prescribed to recommendations that "seismic warning" utilizing low energy air-gun bursts will steer marine life clear of the area just prior to the seismic air-gun surveying. This already questionable practice has no bearing on the aforementioned organisms who are either sedentary or at the mercy of sea currents.
In our area, the marine science community has worked tirelessly to ensure recovery of a number of species that, even now, are in a state of fragile repair. The Atlantic cod almost disappeared completely from Western Atlantic waters, and is now making a comeback. The red drum and striped bass are under constant fisheries management scrutiny, and recently, concerns about the stock health of the bluefin tuna, black seabass, blueline tilefish and the summer flounder have resulted in management plans to ensure their continuation as important fisheries resources.
All these fish reside within the mapped permit fields for prospective seismic air-gun surveying. Several dolphin and whale species, most notably the Atlantic right whale with an estimated remaining population of 500, are potentially impacted by the surveying. This list of impacted fisheries continues, but also needing specific mention is the Atlantic sea scallop, an important commercially-harvested and delicious seafood source.
In summary, there are many instances when the decision to proceed with potentially harmful technology and industrial pursuits is made from necessity; but in this case, we believe granting seismic air-gun surveying permits along Delaware's coastline and the mid-Atlantic has no merit at this time, and must be tabled until the need is evident. Further, we urge that alternative means to geologically / geophysically map the sea floor/sub-sea floor be devised on the basis of sound scientific evidence that irrefutably proves little to no environmental impact on our marine environment. The time exists and technological motivation to do so makes this an achievable objective from our oil industry.
Bruce V. West
President, Delaware Mobile Surf-fishermen, Inc.
CC: Eileen Soebeck, Ass't Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service
Abigail Ross Hopper, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Kathryn Sullivan, Secretary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Governor Jack Markell, State of Delaware
Senator Thomas Carper, State of Delaware
Senator Christopher A. Coons, State of Delaware
The following is an excerpt from the President's Message as published in the 2016 January/February edition of the DMS Newsletter. Please check your newsletter for the full message
Committee Chairs were appointed at our January 7th meeting. If anyone wishes to become involved in a committee's activities please contact myself or the Committee Chair. It is my hope that we will have more members involved in committee activities and other DMS projects. DMS is always in need of folks to help out so please set aside some time or one of our many activities.
I asked the Board and the membership at the January 7th meeting to establish a $1,000 scholarship to be given to a person in marine studies. The Board and membership unanimously approved the scholarship and a Committee to administer it. Marge Mood and Martin Kris are the chairs of that committee.
At our meeting on February 4th we will have a presentation by Matthew Heim of the Assateague Coastal Trust on the proposed seismic testing for oil along the Atlantic Coast.
February is also the month the Board meets with Delaware legislators, DNREC, and other officials to talk about DMS concerns and find out what is being planned by DNREC and what legislation is coming up. I'll report back on that meeting at the March meeting.
The following is an excerpt from the President's Message as published in the May/June, 2015 edition of the DMS Newsletter. Please check your newsletter for the full message
May 7 will be our last General Meeting through the summer until September 3, 2015. If there are any issues of concerns during the summer, please contact us. Check the DMS website for recent information of interest and events. Drop in on our Facebook page for current happenings in the fishing community.
I want to thank all of you who signed our electronic petition last month to DNREC, concerning beach access and enforcement of the “actively engaged” regulation. We closed it with 1, 851 signatures and forwarded it to the Director of Parks and Recreation. Currently, there will be no changes at cape Henlopen State Park this year. We look forward to partnering with DNREC and out State legislators in the matter of concern.
The following is an excerpt from the President's Message as published in the January/February, 2015 edition of the DMS Newsletter.
First, let me tell all of you how proud and honored I am to be your President for 2015. I believe we have a great group of officers and Board of Directors. I look forward to working with them. I expect great accomplishments for the Club and the fishing community.
We will be exploring how to get DMS member discounts with businesses that would like to participate. Another avenue we will look into is getting grants that DMS might be eligible for.
We have all our committees chaired but I am asking for everyone’s involvement. If you have a project of interest please speak up.
As DMS, we will be pursuing what the Club was founded for. Things that need to be altered or changed will be and we will accept those that we can’t change. I am looking forward this year as a time for the Club to grow and have more members involved, especially our youth members. We all know the future of any organization is their youth.
In closing, again, I am very proud and honored to serve you as the DMS President and I pledge to serve you well.
The following is an excerpt from the President's Message published in the September-October, 2014 of the DMS newsletter. Check your newsletter for the complete message.
On the last day of the legislative session, Senate Majority leader David McBride of Newcastle introduced a bill (SB 265) that would remove the "actively engaged in surf fishing" requirement for beach driving permits during the summer months. McBride explained in a Cape Gazette article on the beach permit issues he did this for discussion purposes. The bill had no chance of passing on the last day of the session and is now dead. A new bill could be introduced in the new session beginning in January.
The DMS Board wrote to the Senator to voice our concerns over the issue. If you get a chance to speak to your senator or representative, mention it to them. We requested that DMS be included in future regulatory and legislative discussions of changes to the beach driving permit requirements. There has been a big increase in the beach permits issued and a lot of non-fishermen are questioning the "actively surf-fishing" requirement. One possible solution that the state is looking into is a "quota system" that limits the number of vehicles on the beach at any given time. We don’t know how this will play out but if you can offer any good ideas or solutions to the "beach crowding", let me know.
Floyd T. "Morty" Morton, III
See you on the sand!