The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced Nov. 12 that the sale of 2020 annual passes and surf fishing permits will begin Dec. 6.

Revenue generated from park entrance fees is used to manage 17 state parks and more than 26,000 acres of state park lands. Delaware’s state parks are primarily self-funded, with 65% of revenue to operate and maintain the parks generated by park users. The revenue is used for trail maintenance, environmental and recreational programs, visitor amenities, guarded beaches, management of campgrounds, cabins and more.

Annual passes are a convenient way to access the parks for the entire fee season. A Delaware resident annual pass costs $35, and Delaware residents 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $18. A $65 lifetime pass is available for Delawareans 65 and older. Reduced rates are also offered to Delawareans who receive public assistance, or who are active duty military or veterans. Active duty military personnel with an out-of-state license plate can purchase an annual pass at the in-state rate.

The purchase of a surf fishing permit enables individuals to drive onto the beach for fishing. The permit provides a license plate and a decal. The decal also enables the vehicle to gain entrance into the other state parks charging a daily entrance fee. Annual surf fishing permit fees are $90 for Delaware residents, $180 for out-of-state residents. Delaware residents 62 and older receive a discounted rate of $80.

In 2019 the Delaware’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Council, an 11-member board appointed by the governor that advises DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, voted to limit the number of permits issued annually to no more than 17,000. Surf fishing permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. The cap on the number of permits issued is the most equitable way to serve all beach users, to manage a limited resource, and to protect against overcrowding of parks beaches. The division also has found that limiting the number of permits enables more efficient management of the state’s surf-fishing program. This plan also aligns with DNREC’s priority to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to Delaware’s state parks system.

In addition, the division offers a corporate and group pass program to businesses, nonprofits and other groups for discounted annual passes for their employees.

Annual passes and surf fishing permits may be purchased online, at park offices, at DNREC’s main office in the Richardson & Robbins building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and at five retail sales locations.

For more, visit destateparks.com/know/passestagsfees.