Center for the Inland Bays and State Climatologist to Dive in to Local Climate Change Tools, Solutions

Rehoboth Beach, DE — The challenges of climate change in coastal Delaware, as well as solutions and tools to better understand the impacts, will be the focus of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ upcoming Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) – Citizens Café.

The public is invited to join the Citizens Café virtually through Zoom at 6 p.m. on  Thursday, January 14.

Delaware is at the forefront of climate change impacts, with the lowest average elevation in the nation and sea level rise rates measuring at more than twice the global average. The state has seen a temperature increase of about 0.2 degrees per decade since record-keeping began in 1895, which has also meant a longer growing season as the first and last frosts of the year are delayed.

Dr. Daniel Leathers (left) and Kevin Brinson check the internal mechanism of the rain gage at the Newark Delaware Environmental Observing System site.

Guest speaker Dr. Daniel Leathers will explore the tools that the Center for Environmental Monitoring (CEMA) has available to better understand and monitor climate change in Delaware’s coastal environment. Dr. Leathers serves as CEMA’s Director and as Delaware’s State Climatologist, and also is a professor in the University of Delaware’s Department of Geography, Director of the Meteorology/Climatology Program, and is the Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS).

“Sea-level rise and other impacts of a changing climate will greatly affect our state,” says Dr. Leathers. “Monitoring climate and building environmentally relevant decision support tools for its residents is of great importance in understanding and limiting the consequences of a changing climate.”

Dr. Leathers also has served as the Chair of the Department of Geography and as Deputy Dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. His major research interests include understanding the role of snow cover in the global climate system and environmental monitoring. He earned a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy at Lycoming College, an M.S. in Meteorology from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in Geography from Penn State.

Michelle Schmidt, Watershed Coordinator at the Center, will join the conversation to share updates on the role climate change plays in the Center’s draft revised Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). The CCMP documents goals and activities that the Center and its partners agreed to address based on scientific data and input from key stakeholders and the community. The Center uses the CCMP to direct and carry out activities that protect and enhance the Inland Bays. The original CCMP was created in 1995 and updated in 2012, and a revised version is now nearly complete.

The Citizens Café will take place virtually on Zoom and pre-registration is required by signing up at

More details about CAC and the January 14 meeting can be found online at

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.

The CAC’s key role is to bring public concerns related to the protection of the Inland Bays and its watershed to the attention of the Center’s Board of Directors. Quarterly meetings (Cafés) offer the public a chance to engage with CAC and Center representatives and learn more about the Inland Bays watershed. 

For more information, please contact Lisa Swanger, Outreach & Education Coordinator, at 302-226-8105 x103 or, or visit us online at

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