Life around the Inland Bays

Center for Inland Bays 

“The Economic Value of Delaware Inland Bays…” sounds like a dry start…until you get to the surprisingly huge IMPACT the bays have on the state–and then on all of us! Inland Bays generate over $4.5 billion in annual economic activity and support over 35,000 jobs.

Delaware’s Inland Bays consist of three interconnected bodies of water in southeastern Sussex County:Indian River Bay, Little Assawoman Bay, andRehoboth Bay. A key finding of one recent study is that the economic contributions are felt locally – 89 percent of the economic activity and 94 percent of the jobs occur in Sussex County. The study was part of the Center for Inland Bays’ (CIB) mission which is to “preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed”. 

Two major areas of concern have been identified as critical issues for Delaware’s Inland Bays: eutrophication (rapid plant growth due to excessive nutrients) and habitat loss. The organization’s website does an excellent job of de-mystifying somewhat complicated issues pertaining to the environmental health of the Inland Bay region.  

CIB may be one of those organizations that does great work but somehow is unknown to many of us Sussex County residents. We rely on the health of the bays, but take for granted everything is and will always be fine. This organization does the critical work to “Research. Educate. Restore.” to protect our bays, and it relies heavily on volunteers (so, this may just be THE place for you to connect to make a difference!).

One of its biggest volunteer projects is data collection for the annual Horseshoe Crab Survey. For more than a decade, the Center has been collecting vital information about horseshoe crabs that spawn in the Bays. In addition to counting the number of horseshoe crabs observed, volunteers collect additional data on this iconic species and even help to tag some crabs which will provide insight on their movements throughout the Bays and nearby estuaries. AND THEY NEED HELP! Volunteer Training for the Horseshoe Crab Survey is March 30th, 6pm at the Lewes Library. LEARN MORE, and check out other great VOLUNTEER TRAINING EVENTS.

And that’s just for starters. Its 15-person board consists of a stellar lineup of science-oriented professionals and a 20-person staff that juggles a plethora of projects and events.  The organization offers a slew of informative programs and resources including Gardening for the Bays, Backyard Habitats, Resource Library for Young Learners, a “Green Screen” Film Fest, various publications and a host of other volunteer opportunities like the James Farm docent program. The James Farm Ecological Preserve is a 150 acre property on the Indian River Bay.  

New Executive Director, Christophe Tulou heads up day to day operations. He previously served as Senior Counsel for the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Democratic staff. He previously served as senior advisor on the Chesapeake Bay to EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. He and his wife are relocating permanently to Rehoboth Beach from Washington, DC, and we’re SO glad to have them!

“Our bays are pretty much the be all and end all in our part of the world,” Tulou says. “They are an extraordinary source of nature’s benefits — creating, protecting, and nurturing habitats for us humans and so many plants and animals.  There is a growing understanding of the value and vulnerability of this largess. I can’t think of any place I’d rather be than working alongside the CIB’s staff and volunteers to help ensure we all thrive together.”   

Christophe Tulou, Executive Director

Dewey Brewing Company is hosting a fundraiser for the CIB featuring interactive games and prizes on March 27 from Monday, from noon to 9 pm and the organization’s staff will be on hand from 5 – 9 pm to mingle with guests and answer questions.  

So take a bit more time, click, search and look at how you can connect with the Center for the good of our bays. Here is Contact Information for the Center.  

Explore the Inland Bays!

By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist

Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our FREE Updates

Keep in the loop with life in Sussex County DE!  We'll share fun, local events on a Thursday, and great articles on local life each Monday. 

Skip to content