As part of this week’s Earth Day celebration, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), the Delaware Tourism Office, Delaware Greenways, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) are excited to announce the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has designated the Delaware Bayshore Byway as a National Scenic Byway.
Governor John Carney, DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office Liz Keller and representatives from Delaware Greenways and tourism groups celebrated the designation with a gathering today to unveil a special sign recognizing the Byway as a National Scenic Byway at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve’s St. Jones Reserve in Dover.
The FHWA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, approved 49 new designations to the America’s Byways® collection, including the Delaware Bayshore Byway. In total, 15 new All-American Roads and 34 new National Scenic Byways in 28 states were accepted into the National Scenic Byways Program.
“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway encompasses so much of our state’s unique natural and cultural heritage,” said Governor John Carney. “We are proud to announce on Earth Day this national recognition of its beauty and importance, and we look forward to drawing new visitors to discover its uniquely all-American, all-natural waterways, landscapes and towns.”
Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski added, “This designation is quite an honor. There is so much to experience when traveling this scenic route. Whether you’re a history lover, wildlife enthusiast or perhaps you just want to slow down and enjoy the view, enrich your next trip by taking the Delaware Bayshore Byway. You won’t be disappointed.”
“DNREC’s Delaware Bayshore Initiative runs the coastline from New Castle to Lewes and has laid a foundation to focus our efforts on conservation and preservation, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and support Bayshore communities,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This new designation builds on and broadens our commitment to care for and share Delaware’s wild side with residents and visitors of today and tomorrow.”
The Delaware Bayshore Byway, now a National Scenic Byway, is a series of two-lane roads that travel along the Delaware River and Bay Estuary. From New Castle to Lewes, the byway corridor with 19 Discovery Zones offers visitors and locals an intimate experience featuring coastal marshlands, abundant wildlife, rich hunting, fishing, and farming heritage and historic river and bay towns and communities.
While traveling this 157-mile route spanning 100 miles of the Delaware coastline, the Delaware Bayshore Byway provides a connection to all that is Delaware: history, wild open space, horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, fresh and saltwater marshes, small communities, fishing villages and large farms, coastal rivers, the bay and its beaches, lighthouses and dark skies, historic mansions and migrant shacks, and waterfowl and watermen.
“The Delaware Bayshore is a special place that must be preserved for its world class birding and unique coastal marshes that benefits both Delaware residents and visitors,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “The Delaware Bayshore is a treasure of national and global significance; recognition of the Byway at the federal level is an honor the area richly deserves.”
U.S. Senator Chris Coons said, “Delaware’s Bayshore Byway is a treasure and one of the most beautiful roads in the busy and populated Mid-Atlantic, some lucky few from outside of Delaware already know about the corridor as the best way to get to the beach or to visit one of our many small coastal towns.”
“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway is a Delaware treasure, encompassing so much of our rich history, culture, and, of course, Delaware’s natural scenery,” added Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The byway has so much to offer as it runs through all three counties with incredible Discovery Zones along the way. I was pleased to hear about its new designation as a National Scenic Byway and hope that it brings new visitors to see the wonders of our state.”
“Outdoor activities are among the most popular reasons more than 9.2 million people visit Delaware each year,” said Liz Keller, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “Whether it’s world-class birding at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge or the quiet beauty of southern Delaware, the Delaware Bayshore Byway is an ideal way for visitors and residents to explore Delaware’s natural wonders.”
Must-see destinations along the Bayshore Byway:
• Historic City of New Castle
• First State National Historical Park
• New Castle Court House Museum
• George Read II House and Gardens
• Historic Delaware City
• Fort Delaware, Pea Patch Island
• Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Area
• Thousand Acre Marsh
• Augustine Wildlife Area
• Port Penn Interpretive Center
• Historic Town of Odessa
• Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area
• Blackbird Creek Reserve
• Woodland Beach Wildlife Area
• DE Aquatic Resources Education Center
• Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
• Town of Leipsic
• Town of Little Creek
• Community of Pickering Beach
• Air Mobility Command Museum
• Community of Pickering Beach
• John Dickinson Plantation
• St. Jones Reserve
• Community of Kitts Hummock
• Historic Town of Bowers Beach
• Bowers Beach Maritime Museum
• Historic Town of Magnolia
• Historic Town of Frederica
• Community of South Bowers
• Milford Neck Wildlife Area
• Milford Historic District and Riverwalk
• DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor
• Town of Slaughter Beach
• Marvel Salt Marsh Preserve
• Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
• Community of Broadkill Beach
• Historic Town of Milton
• Historic Lewes Byway: Gateway to the Bayshore
“Delaware Greenways on behalf of DelDOT, the Delaware Tourism Office and DNREC would like to thank the Byway Management Team for their hard work, dedication and for their input during the completion of the Corridor Management Plan Update 2020 and National Scenic Byway application,” said Chair of the Byway Management Team Steve Borleske.
Discover more about the Delaware Bayshore Byway, other Delaware Byways and the Corridor Management Plan at DelDOT.gov. Encounter more adventures throughout the state at visitdelaware.com.
For more information on how Delaware Greenways is linking and building communities while winding through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, visit delawaregreenways.org.
To learn more about DNREC’s work to preserve our outdoor heritage and open spaces, visit dnrec.de.gov/bayshore.
For a list of all the 2021 Designations to America’s Byways® visit the FHWA’s National Scenic Byways Program website.