State news briefs for the week of Sept. 23 to Sept. 30 include:



DNREC: Volunteer for Acorn Collection Day
Housing: Free workshops Oct. 7 and 8
Carper global warming measure passes

Volunteer for Acorn Collection Day
    With acorns in abundance this time of year, volunteers are needed for DNREC’s Fifth Annual Acorn Collection Day being held from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, Oct. 10. Volunteers will collect acorns from places where seedlings would not generally be able to grow — along trail edges, open spaces and roadsides — in Kent County at the Smyrna Rest Area.

    Acorn Collection Day is the perfect opportunity for families and youth groups to volunteer, gain community service hours and help Delaware’s environment. Since the volunteer event was initiated in 2005, nearly 1,050 pounds of acorns have been collected that supports reforestation projects for DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Landowner Incentive Program.

    The acorns will be scattered in reforestation areas to grow on their own, or with the help of program partners, grown into oak seedlings that will be transplanted on privately-owned lands throughout the state. The oak trees will expand wooded areas and forested corridors that provide valuable habitat — shelter and food — for many native wildlife species, including the Delmarva fox squirrel, wood thrush, and Cooper’s hawk. With more than 80 percent of available or restorable wildlife habitat in Delaware on private lands, the program provides a cooperative solution to protecting wildlife habitat.

    Three collection sites, one in each county, will have bags and collection materials for volunteers.

    For more information on the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Landowner Incentive Program, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/dplap.

Free workshops Oct. 7 and 8
    Worried about missing a mortgage payment, facing foreclosure or suspect a foreclosure scam?
    Attend free Delaware housing workshops in New Castle and Milford and learn about government programs for homeowners and foreclosures and foreclosure scams.
Participants can talk with certified housing counselors, representatives from the office of the attorney general, and mortgage lenders and servicers so they need to bring loan information and budgets.

    The first workshop will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, in the multipurpose room at the New Castle County Government Gilliam Building, 67 Reads Way. Another is scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, at Carlisle Fire Company, 615 N.W. Front St., Milford.

    The workshops are presented by the Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, Delaware State Housing Authority and office of the State Bank Commissioner.

    For more information, visit www.attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/mortgageforeclosure or call 800-220-5424.

Carper global warming measure passes
    The U.S. Senate approved legislation Sept. 24 that included an important amendment by Sen. Tom Carper directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study the environmental impact of black carbon, and to find the most cost-effective ways to reduce its emissions to improve public health and reduce global warming.

    While black carbon in the United States comes mainly from old, dirty diesel engines, internationally, black carbon also comes from old cook stoves and inefficient industrial processes.

    Specifically, the amendment directs the EPA to conduct a four-phase study that identifies black carbon sources and cost-effective reduction technologies; assesses the public health, economic and climate impacts of black carbon; and investigates opportunities for future research and development.

    The study will be due to the Congress one year after the legislation is signed into law.
The Carper amendment was included in the Senate Interior Appropriations Bill, which passed with a vote of 77-21. A final version of the bill will be sent to the president later this year, once it has been reconciled with a House version of the bill.