CHAPTER 326

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 448

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE OFFICIAL STATE MARINE ANIMAL.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

WHEREAS, horseshoe crabs are 500 million year old creatures; and

WHEREAS, horseshoe crabs contain a compound, limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) that is used to detect bacterial poisons in certain medications, vaccines and medical devices; and

WHEREAS, chitin from the shell of the horseshoe crab is used to make bandages; and

WHEREAS, the horseshoe crab is used in vision studies because their complex eye structure is similar to the human eye; and

WHEREAS, the horseshoe crab is the principal food source for over a million shore birds; and

WHEREAS, these wonderful marine animals are becoming extremely scarce in Delaware, experiencing a drop in population from 1,200,000 in 1990 to 200,000 in 1995; and

WHEREAS, the Delaware Bay remains the home to more horseshoe crabs than any other place in the world; and

WHEREAS, Delaware is proud to be the home of such important marine animals.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 3, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding a new §318 thereto to read as follows:

"§318. State marine animal.

The official State marine animal is the horseshoe crab."

Section 2. This Act shall take effect immediately upon enactment into law.

Approved June 25, 2002