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2019 Science and Environmental Summit Focuses on Collaboration

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 14.27.22photo courtesy of

WILMINGTON, Delaware (January 16, 2019)--— On Thanksgiving weekend in 2004, the Delaware River experienced the largest oil spill in nearly a decade from the Athos I.

At that time, 30,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the ship and left a 24-mile-long slick. Nearly 20 years later, are we better prepared now for another major spill?

This is one of the questions scientists will ask at the 2019 Delaware Estuary Science and Environmental Summit, which is set to take place Jan. 27-30 at The Grand Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey.

This year’s summit theme is Saving our System through Collaboration. For PDE Science Director Dr. Danielle Kreeger, collaboration, interconnection and communication among scientists is key to staying current in such a large and varied field of study.

“Ecology is the study of interactions,” Kreeger said. “And no single group manages the ecosystem. The only way to tackle the bigger issues is by collaborating among different disciplines, agencies and research sectors.

The Summit offers a rare opportunity to for our region’s leading scientists and managers to share their latest findings, learn about the work of others who they rarely meet, and work together to understand and manage the whole, not just the parts.”

Since its inception in 2005, the biennial summit has filled an important bridging different environmental sectors and geographies. Hundreds of scientists, managers, educators and more will gather later this month in a retreat-like atmosphere to tackle hot environmental topics -- the Athos spill is just one of many.

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary has arranged nearly 100 presentations for its Delaware Estuary Science and Environmental Summit.  Summit keynote speaker is Dr. Brandon Jones, program director for the education and diversity efforts in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Geosciences. He is scheduled to speak about STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) and environmental justice.


Education and outreach also takes the stage during the summit. There will be presentations on reducing litter in the Delaware River, creative place making, strategic science communications and connecting teachers and marine science researchers in the classroom, just to name a few.


“At this summit, we’re sharing topics that help educators better communicate science and STEM,” PDE Outreach Director Renee Brecht said. “Teaching science helps people understand it better, to be awed by it and to fall in love with it.”


The Delaware Estuary Science and Environmental Summit is a great opportunity for people from various backgrounds to learn, connect and network. Presenters will unveil new information, not just re-hash old topics. For members of the media, the summit is a goldmine of story ideas to use throughout the year as well as a chance to sit down and talk in depth with scientists.


The Delaware Estuary Science and Environmental Summit is possible thanks to support from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Information is available online at For more information, call (800) 445-4935, extension 120.