Delaware was first discovered by the Dutch East India Company in the year 1609. From the time of its discovery the region was contested by the Dutch and English. The colony grew with the arrival of Swedish and Finnish settlers. English colonists tried to establish trading posts in the Delaware River region and failed, but Dutch interests in the area were not disposed of as easily. In 1776 the colony of Delaware became a state, with a president as its chief executive. Delaware was the leader in the movement for revision of the form of government under the Articles of Confederation and in 1787 became the first state to ratify the new Constitution of the United States. The state constitution of 1776 was superseded by a new constitution in 1792, which provided that the chief executive be a governor rather than a president.
Delaware’s mixture of northern and southern flora reflects its geographical position. Common trees include black walnut, hickory, sweet gum, and tulip poplar. Five plant species were listed as threatened or endangered.
Mammals native to the state include the white-tailed deer, red and gray foxes, gray squirrel, raccoon, woodcock and common cottontail. The quail, robin, wood thrush are representative birds.
Fifteen animal species are considered threatened or endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service; among these are the bald eagle, puma, five species of sea turtle, three species of whale and the fox squirrel.
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Hotel and Lodging Association, The Delaware Economic Development Office, Delaware State University, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Delaware Energy Planning Office, etc, are making bit efforts in developing Delaware state into a greener zone for healthier living.
The Delaware Green Lodging program is an initiative to promote pollution prevention practices in the tourism and hospitality industry. Green lodging encourages hotels, resorts and other hospitality operations to be aware of their impact on the environment and to take steps to reduce these impacts. They offer ‘green’ amenities.
Green Industries Program is established to promote the use of recycled materials and reduce waste generation within Delaware’s business and industrial community. Source reduction is the reduction in the quantity and toxicity of waste generated within a manufacturing process through the use of innovative engineering solutions, product substitutions, and other measures. Source reduction results in fewer pollutants entering air, land and water. The program encourages Delaware’s efforts to promote purchase of recycled products.
The state is taking steps to environmental initiatives like converting to ‘green cleaning chemicals’; purchasing hybrid vehicles; recycling paper, plastic, aluminium and glass; distributing compact fluorescent light bulbs; upgrading core systems to increase efficiency; and 100% recycling of motor oil and oil filters.
The Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s mission is to transform the Delaware Valley through sustainable and environmentally responsible planning, design, construction and operation of the region’s buildings, landscapes, cities and communities, mindful of the legacy left for future generations.
Amongst the other projects are Energy Efficiency and Conservation Campaign, Anti-Idling Education, Corporate Support for Tree Planting Program, Diesel Retrofits and Replacement.