State Spotlight: Delaware

Apr 28, 2020

Delaware has the lowest average elevation of any state in the United States, which brings both opportunities and challenges when managing our coastal and ocean resources.  The entire population of the State of Delaware lives in coastal areas with no one more than 8 miles from tidal water.   Delaware’s coastal economy employs over 424,000 people annually, earning a total of $22.7 billion or $68.8 billion in GDP.

Currently one of the greatest challenges in the state is the impact of climate change on the state’s natural and cultural resources.  The economy, environment, and quality of life in the Mid-Atlantic region will be significantly impacted by climate change and sea level rise in the coming decades; some impacts are already being felt in the form of increased air and water temperatures, increasing sea levels, increased storm frequency and intensity, and ocean acidification.

The Coastal Section in the Division of Climate, Coastal, and Energy serves as the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s applied science, education and policy lead for coastal, estuarine, and ocean issues.  The Section works collaboratively with partners, engages stakeholders, and implements programs authorized by the State Coastal Zone Act as well as the federal Coastal Zone Management Act including the Delaware Coastal Management Program and Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Over the course of 2020, the State of Delaware will be engaging residents and businesses to shape a Climate Action Plan ( aimed at minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and maximizing our resilience to the climate impacts we’re already experiencing.  Through a participatory planning process, the State will be working to create a Plan that ensures a future in which individuals, businesses, communities, and institutions to can deal with extreme weather, harness clean energy, breathe fresh air, and live healthier lives.

Delaware MARCO team

Delaware brings a small, but knowledgeable, team to MARCO, with many years of experience working on coastal, estuarine and ocean issues. The team includes:

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control 

Division of Climate, Coastal, and Energy

 Kimberly Cole: Administrator

Maggie Pletta: Planner IV


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