Three Delaware Beaches to Receive Long-awaited Beach Replenishment

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awards $17.2 million project for Bethany, South Bethany, Fenwick Island

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Governor John Carney, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, along with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester announced that next steps are underway in the long awaited beach replenishment projects in Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick Island. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District has awarded Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company a $17.2 million contract and work is expected to begin after the New Year. The costs of the project will be shared by the federal government and the state of Delaware, and has been a priority of the Congressional delegation because it will help protect the homes, businesses and economy on coastal Delaware.

The beaches and dunes were damaged by strong storms, including a Nor’easter in October of 2015 and Hurricane Joaquin in January of 2016. The project will involve dredging 1.2 million cubic yards of sand from approved offshore borrow areas. The sand is pumped through a series of pipes onto the beaches of Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick Island and then graded into a dune and berm template designed to reduce potential damages to infrastructure, businesses and homes.

“Replenishing our beaches helps drive our economy by keeping our coastline accessible and accommodating for Delawareans and visitors. Delaware also is the lowest-lying state in the U.S., and beach replenishment helps us prepare for extreme weather events, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change,” said Governor Carney. “We are grateful to the Army Corps of Engineers for partnering with Delaware to ensure that beach replenishment for Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick Island both bolsters our coastline and helps retain its natural beauty. I worked as Delaware’s congressman to bring attention and resources to this project, and want to thank members of our federal delegation for their continued leadership on this issue.”

“We’ve learned that by proactively building up our dunes and beaches, they can stand up protect our homes, businesses, schools and infrastructure from the nastiest storms,” said Senator Carper, ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Delaware’s 21 miles of oceanfront are more than just sand and surf – they generate more than $6.9 billion in coastal tourism annually and 10 percent of Delaware’s workforce. We fought hard for this funding because beach replenishment protects not only our community but our economy as well.”

“Some of our most valuable natural resources we have as a state are our beaches,” said Senator Coons. “This is welcome news that we will replenish the coastline from Bethany Beach to Fenwick Island, and I would like to thank the work of the Army Corps of Engineers to see that the erosion would be a major problem not just for tourism but the natural habitat.”

“Delaware beaches serve as engines of economic growth and areas of relaxation not just for our state, but for people across the country,” said U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The welcome news of beach replenishment in Bethany, South Bethany, and Fenwick this fall will ensure they maintain the necessary upkeep to prepare for future storms and preserve our miles of pristine coastline.”

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DNREC invites public input at Oct. 5 ocean planning workshop in Bethany Beach

BETHANY BEACH – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control invites ocean recreational users to participate in the Mid-Atlantic Non-Consumptive Recreation Workshop from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 at the South Coastal Public Library at Bethany Beach, 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach, DE 19930. Non-consumptive recreational use involves activities in which nothing is taken from the environment, such as paddlesports, boating, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, swimming, and beach going.

The workshop is part of a series of workshops being held throughout the region to share information and solicit input from the public about recreational use to support the implementation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan.

The joint Delaware-Maryland workshop is hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), of which DNREC’s Coastal Programs is the lead; the Surfrider Foundation; and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The workshop includes pizza and beverages, with RSVPs requested through https://www.eventbrite.com/e/non-consumptive-recreation-public-workshop-delaware-and-maryland-tickets-37325559754.

Vol. 47, No. 207

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

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2013 Coastal Management Assistance Grants awarded by DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs

DOVER (August 2, 2013) – DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs is pleased to announce the awarding of the 2013 Coastal Management Assistance Program grants, with this year’s focus on projects that involve sea level rise and SLR adaptation planning. More than $126,000 was awarded this year through funding made available to the Delaware Coastal Programs by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

Projects eligible to receive funding during this grant cycle were those focused on advance planning for, and reducing the impacts of coastal hazards, including sea level rise adaptation.

“Given Delaware’s vulnerabilities as a low-lying coastal state, it’s absolutely critical that we prepare for more extreme storms and sea level rise,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “These communities and organizations should be commended for taking proactive steps toward sea-level rise adaptation and coastal resiliency.”

This year’s Coastal Management Assistant Program grant recipients, with a description of their projects, were:

  • The City of Delaware City received grant funding to evaluate long-term adaptation alternatives in response to sea level rise with tools developed by the Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies Community Task Force using existing data and information, current engineering projects and community input to develop strategies to minimize risk to the city and its residents and businesses within the Dragon Run drainage area.
  • The City of Lewes received grant funding to review and assess the city’s floodplain ordinances and building codes, and to identify opportunities to improve the ordinances and codes to reduce future flood risk form coastal storms and sea level rise.
  • The Town of Bethany Beach received grant funding to purchase and install equipment necessary to provide real-time conductivity and water level monitoring in an effort to improve the town’s current salt-water intrusion monitoring program and to develop long-term contingency plans to proactively identify future conditions that could trigger remedial responses before the problems became critical.
  • The Town of Slaughter Beach received grant funding to evaluate and ascertain which structures located within town limits could be eligible for federal grants to raise the first floor elevations above flood level, compute cost estimate for construction services, and prepare applications for federal grants available to elevate the structures.
  • The Town of South Bethany received grant funding to establish an elevation base to assist in further defining protection and accommodation options for SLR adaptation strategies including conducting center line surveys along the town’s road corridors and associated bulkheads and catch basins.
  • Widener University received funding to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the legal means that may be used in managing adaptation to sea level rise to inform property owners, policymakers (both legislators and regulators), and the public as to what options are available through the identification of potential tools, review of local and state laws, and recommendation of new laws, regulations or polices. 
  • DNREC’s Tanks Management Section received funding to conduct a near-term vulnerability assessment of hazardous materials installations to assess flood and storm risks on storage tanks, process tanks and pressure vessels containing hazardous substances.

Vol. 43, No. 300

Contact: Bonnie Arvay, Delaware Coastal Programs, 302-739-9283, or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

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