December | 2015 Issue
Delaware Bayshore Initiative Moves Forward
The Delaware Bayshore Initiative is moving forward with efforts to highlight the coastal region's tourism potential, while also keeping it preserved. Governor Markell and other state officials gathered October 31st at Thousand Acre Marsh to discuss milestones, which include preservation of a 140-acre farm property in Port Penn through a secured federal grant. The Delaware Bayshore Byway was also officially launched. It runs along Route 9 in New Castle to Saint Jones Neck east of Dover. The Bayshore Initiative focuses on the coastal areas between Lewes and the City of New Castle.
 
The Governor was joined by Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary David Small, Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) Secretary Bernice Whaley, conservation, transportation and tourism partners and Bayshore community leaders and residents to highlight key accomplishments of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative.

The Delaware Bayshore, extending along the Delaware River and Bay from New Castle to Lewes, is widely recognized as an area of global ecological significance. Its expansive coastal marshes, sandy shoreline, forests, fields, and agricultural lands provide habitat for more than 400 species of birds and other wildlife. The Nature Conservancy has called the Delaware Bayshore, one of the earth's most important stopovers for migratory birds. Nearly 120,000 acres of Bayshore lands are already protected as national wildlife refuges, state wildlife areas, state parks, national estuarine research reserves, private conservation areas, agricultural preserves and cultural heritage sites throughout the area.

As part of the launch, the Corridor Management Plan (CMP) for the Byway was announced. The plan was funded by a grant of $146,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byway Program, with additional funds provided by local state legislators.

What makes the Scenic Byway Program so special is the fact that it is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States said Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Mary Ridgeway. The nearly $1.1 million in federal funding for the Delaware Bayshore Byway management plan and future improvements will help boost the economy by creating jobs and bringing tourist dollars to the region.

The CMP provides the framework to guide the actions necessary to enhance, preserve and promote the Bayshore and Byway. The plan was developed by the Bayshore Planning Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from state agencies, environmental groups, tourism offices and Bayshore communities, with leadership from Delaware Greenways. The CMP establishes a path forward and includes goals that will brand and market the Bayshore and Byway, conserve the natural environment, support the needs of Bayshore communities and enhance access to the natural areas.
Contributed details from the DNREC.
FAST - Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act
$305 billion, 5 years

During the first week of December, the House and the Senate agreed upon and passed the FAST Act. On December 4, 2015, the President signed the bill into law, which will provide transportation funding over the longest time frame since TEA-21 was enacted in 1998. Gary Jensen from FHWA notes that (1) the transportation alternatives program will continue as a broad set-aside to metropolitan planning organizations under the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (Sec 1109), and (2) a National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure will be established and the Department will develop a parallel strategic plan (Sec. 1431). There are no changes or new provisions for scenic byways. For a summary of the bill and the bill text, please see http://transportation.house.gov/fast-act/

Contributed by Rob Draper, Chair NSBF

Tips on Social Media
When you tag a person or brand Page on Facebook, the resulting hyperlinked name does two things - it notifies the tagged person or Page that you've mentioned them, and it makes it easier for people to click through and find/follow what you're referring to.
 
** If you have trouble getting something to tag (you don't get any drop-down options when you start typing a name) try putting an @ symbol and then start typing.
 
** Facebook tagging is notoriously messed up (polite wording!) when trying to post from a mobile device. If you can't get something to tag in the Facebook app or Pages Manager app, try to use the Facebook mobile website (bookmark it on your phone) http://m.facebook.com If that doesn't start giving you the right tag options, try the regular www.facebook.com website on your phone, although it will be tiny, so pinch/zoom to size it.
 
** If none of that works, you'll have to get to a desktop later, Edit the post, and tag.

Remember to contribute posts to our facebook pages at www.facebook.com/americasbyways and www.facebook.com/National-Scenic-Byway-Foundation .

Contributed by Sheila Scarborough and Leslie McLellan of Tourism Currents
 
Upcoming Conferences Offer Learning Opportunities
On April 4-6, 2016, the Heartland Byway Conference will be held in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Heartland region is made up of Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri. Speakers and participants nationally are welcome. This conference is open to byway leaders as well as partners in the travel industry including agri-tourism business owners, chamber of commerce participants and development boards. Over 200 participants are expected. Featured speakers include Michele Matt, CSP, and Chuck Offenburger, a popular Iowa public speaker. They will discuss ways in which bicycle travel can bring economic development to rural areas. For more information, contact Brenda Windmuller, Golden Hills RC&D712-482-3029, brenda@goldenhillsrcd.org. To register, click here.


In June, 2016, the U.S. Travel's IPW 2016 will be held Saturday, June 18, through Wednesday, June 22, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. IPW will have more than 1,100 exhibitor booths held by U.S. Suppliers of USA travel products and destinations and more than 5,000 attendees who are international travel buyers, domestic travel buyers and international journalists representing more than 70 countries.

The U.S. Travel Association's IPW is the travel industry's premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the U.S. - it is NOT a typical trade show. In just three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and more than 1,300 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries conduct business negotiations that result in the generation of more than $4.7 billion in future Visit USA travel. At IPW, buyers and sellers are able to conduct business that would otherwise be generated only through an exhaustive number of around-the-world trips.

For the 3rd year the National Scenic Byway Foundation is participating in this conference along with Federal Row partners representing America's Byways. The Foundation encourages byway participation in this unique, mass marketing venue. Contact us on registration and promotion specifics to highlight your byway for the event. To learn more about IPW visit www.ipw.com.

Contributed by Sallie O'Hara, NSBF Director and Byway Community Support Co-Chair
2016 Foundation Webinar Series
 
Mark your calendars now for the 2016 Foundation webinar series. Topics include Social Photography for February; Funding and Sustaining Byways for April and How to Develop Byway Itineraries for September.
 
Sheila Scarborough and Leslie McLellan from Toursim Currents kick off the first in the series on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 4 pm EST. Social Photography - How to Market Your Scenic Byway Online, With the Camera in Your Pocket will address the best visual social media marketing practices, ways to use photo-based apps, quick photography tips, and ways to connect with social photographers already taking pictures on your byway. Market Wise is sponsoring the February event. Stay tuned for registration details.

Contributed by Sallie O'Hara, NSBF Director and Byway Community Support Co-Chair
 
National Scenic Byway Foundation | info@nsbfoundation.com | nsbfoundation.com
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