Save Fort DuPont State Park!
Save Fort DuPont State Park!
Why this petition matters
Immediately stop the sale and development of Fort DuPont State Park and enact legislation to return ownership of the parkland to the public trust.
Do you believe…
· The People should have a voice in what becomes of their state parks?
· elected officials’ decisions should reflect the will of their constituents?
· land granted to the public trust should remain public property?
· secret, closed-door deals that benefit business owners at the public’s expense should not be tolerated?
· wetlands, critical to the environment for their abilities to clean water, mitigate flood events and climate change, recharge underground aquifers, and support habitat biodiversity, should be protected?
· it is important to be responsible stewards of our environment and protect the flora and fauna we have been entrusted with?
· state parks should be protected, preserved, enhanced, and open for all to enjoy?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please join us in our efforts to save Fort DuPont State Park from sale and development!
One of only 17 state parks in Delaware, Delaware City’s Fort DuPont State Park has been taken from The People without our knowledge or consent and is currently in the process of being sold to private entities for development. Time is extremely critical, please sign this petition NOW! Share it with all of your friends, family, and any interested groups. Let’s send a strong message to our legislators to remind them that they work for the citizens of our great country and that we will not tolerate behavior that undermines our rights or our volition. Let your voice be heard, sign now!
In 2014, Senator Nicole Poore and Representative Valerie Longhurst sponsored House Bill 310 to form the Fort DuPont Redevelopment and Preservation Corporation (FDRPC) and to transfer ownership of the Fort DuPont complex, including the Fort DuPont State Park lands, to the corporation to oversee and implement an approved redevelopment and preservation plan, one that emphasized the conservation and protection of the state park and other open green-space. Following are some excerpts from the bill that pertain to the protection of the parkland and other open space; you can read the bill in its entirety here https://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail/23079
192 (8) To establish nonprofit or non-stock corporations as instrumentalities to assist in administering the
193 affairs of the Corporation or to own, control, maintain and improve parkland and open space;
375 (8) Dedicate and maintain parkland, open space, and other areas for preservation from development as a
376 component of the Redevelopment Plan;
410 (b) The Corporation shall continue in perpetuity, and funds held by the Corporation following the sale, disposition,
411 lease or other use of the lands owned by the Corporation or other funds obtained by the Corporation shall be used to
412 maintain, upkeep, update, and beautify historic structures, open spaces, parkland, infrastructure, and to otherwise improve
413 the lands in a manner deemed necessary and proper by the Board.
A month before the bill was signed into law by then-governor Jack Markell, HB310 was completely re-written. All language intended to protect and preserve the state park land was removed. You can read the revised version here https://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail/22876 The general public was not made aware that our state park was at risk of being lost to us forever, consequently, we were not given an opportunity to voice our concerns, opinions, or objections.
Without the protection provided by the language in the original bill, the FDRPC is now in the process of selling and/or developing parts of the Fort DuPont State Park:
1) Final negotiations are in progress to sell approximately 135 acres of the state park known as Grassdale to the Blue Water Development Corporation to build a 422-space RV Campground Resort. Development will compromise wetlands, flora, and fauna and will prohibit public visitation by all but campground clients. Delaware Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS) recommends, and New Castle County Code dictates, that 100 foot buffers be placed between developed areas and wetlands. Blue Water has stated that if they had to adhere to this code, development would not be possible. Unfortunately, the county code cannot be enforced as Delaware City annexed the property in 2016, removing the county from the decision making process. Delaware City code does not require the 100 foot buffer that safeguards wetlands, therefore Blue Water is permitted to advance their plans to purchase and build.
2) The FDRPC requires approximately 18 acres of federally protected (6F designation) state park land to build a massive Marina Village which includes a 120-slip marina, 5-story hotel, condominiums/apartments, restaurants, bars, and retail shops. The FDRPC is currently working to have the 6F status removed, but to do so, they must provide to the public, in kind, an equal amount of land in exchange. They are proposing the 17-acre historic parade ground be used for the exchange. This is land that was always designated to remain undeveloped, open, green-space, therefore they are proposing to give the public nothing for the 6F exchange above what was already promised.
3) A parcel of the park is in negotiations or has already been sold to local landscaping company, The Cutting Edge.
Please do not delay, sign and share this petition now! Again, we are asking the responsible parties to immediately stop the sale and development of Fort DuPont State Park and enact legislation to return ownership of the parkland to the public trust.
Thank you for valuing our state parks and for lending your voice to affect a positive change for The People while protecting wildlife and our environment!