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Delaware announces shellfish aquaculture leasing lottery

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife will conduct a public lottery for the initial offering of acreage available for shellfish aquaculture leases in Delaware’s Inland Bays at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, at DNREC’s Lewes Facility, 901 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958.

Applications to participate in the lottery are available online at Aquaculture Lottery Application, or by contacting DNREC’s Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914. To participate in the May 2 lottery, applicants must submit their completed applications to the Division of Fish & Wildlife by 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 26.

Applicants will be contacted by the Fisheries Section in the order their applications were drawn in the lottery and need not be present to claim their position. In the order of their awarded position, lottery participants will be able to select one to five acres in the Indian River and Rehoboth Bays (combined) and/or one to five acres in the Little Assawoman Bay.

Applications to lease acreage will be accepted after all lottery participants have selected their acreage through the lottery process.

Acreage selected through the lottery may not be transferred to another entity prior to the issuance of a fully-executed lease. Following the award of lease sites through the lottery, remaining acreage will be available for potential leases on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If a lottery participant fails to submit a completed and accepted lease application for their selected acreage within one year from the date of the initial lottery, those acres will be made available for leasing on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the lottery and the shellfish aquaculture program, visit Delaware shellfish aquaculture, or call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.