Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse to be repainted

Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse

(DOVER, Del.—July 10, 2020)—In early summer 2020, contractors began the process of repainting the Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse located on the inner breakwater in the harbor of Lewes, Del. The lighthouse is owned by the State of Delaware and administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. The project, which is expected to be completed before summer’s end, includes removal of old paint and rust, and repainting the entire exterior of the structure above its concrete foundation. Paint colors will replicate the existing red-brown and black.

Repainting the lighthouse will involve the presence of scaffolding, equipment, materials and workers on the breakwater as well as the usual noises that go with construction work during daytime hours.

No public access to the lighthouse or the breakwater will be permitted during the project. Under normal conditions, access to the breakwater and lighthouse is prohibited except for accompanied visits conducted by Cape Water Tours which will not resume until the project is completed.


About the Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse …

In 1825, Congress authorized the construction of a breakwater at the mouth of the Delaware Bay off Cape Henlopen in order to create a safe harbor for ships seeking refuge during storms. Begun in 1828 and completed in 1841, the Delaware Breakwater was a two-part structure comprised of a breakwater and an icebreaker pier. In 1897, the open space between these two sections was closed. Due to an increase in the size and number of ships seeking refuge in Breakwater Harbor, Congress authorized the construction of a 2nd breakwater approximately 1.25 miles to the northeast of the Delaware Breakwater on a shoal known as “The Shears.” Completed in 1901, this new, outer breakwater created a much larger and deeper safe harbor called the National Harbor of Refuge.

Located on the original inner breakwater, the Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse was completed in 1885. The red-brown conical structure is 22 feet in diameter at the base with a 45-foot-tall tower. It was decommissioned in 1996 and was formally conveyed by the United States government to the State of Delaware in 1999. It is as contributing resource of the Delaware Breakwaters and Lewes Harbor, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and the National Harbor of Refuge and Delaware Breakwater Harbor Historic District, listed in the National Register in 1989.

 

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

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Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-739-7787
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


Zwaanendael Museum to offer tours of the British warship DeBraak

(DOVER, Del.—March 5, 2020)—Between May 28 and Sept. 24, 2020, the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will again offer tours that explore the 18th-century history, artifacts and surviving hull section of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, a British warship that was escorting and protecting a convoy of merchant ships en route to the United States when it was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798.

Photo of visitors enjoying a tour of the DeBraak hull.
Visitors enjoying a tour of the DeBraak hull which can be seen in the left of the photo.

Tours will be offered on both Thursday mornings and on selected Saturday evenings during the 2020 season. Thursday tours will take place at 9 a.m. on the following dates: May 28; June 4, 11, 18 and 25; July 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27; and Sept. 3, 10, 17 and 24. Saturday tours will take place at 5 p.m. on June 27, July 25 and Aug. 29.

Tours begin at the Zwaanendael Museum where a lecture on the ship will be presented in conjunction with the exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Participants will learn about the history, crew and sinking of the DeBraak through a guided presentation and display of actual artifacts. Attendees will then be transported, via van, to the DeBraak conservation facility for interpretation and viewing of the ship’s surviving hull section. Each tour lasts approximately two hours.

Photo of visitors listening to a lecture on DeBraak at the Zwaanendael Museum.
Visitors listening to a lecture on DeBraak at the Zwaanendael Museum. Sections of the exhibit “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” are on display in the room.

Tickets are available at the Zwaanendael Museum. Admission is $10 per person (cash or check only). For reservations, e-mail hca_zmevents@delaware.gov or call 302-645-1148. Tours are restricted to individuals age 10 and up with space limited to 12 participants per tour. Walk-ups are welcome but space is not guaranteed. Special tours, for groups of 10 to 15, may be arranged in advance by contacting the museum.

Significance of DeBraak …

During the late-18th and early-19th centuries, sloops of war such as DeBraak played an increasingly important role in Royal Navy campaigns. These relatively small vessels combined speed, agility, shallow draft and increased firepower, all of which made them formidable naval vessels. As the only Royal Navy sloop of war from this time period that has been recovered anywhere in the world, DeBraak serves as an invaluable historical resource for a time when Great Britain was the world’s preeminent naval power.

Painting depicting the capsizing of the DeBraak
Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990

The surviving section of the DeBraak’s hull and its associated artifact collection have been curated by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs since they were acquired by the State of Delaware in 1992. Approximately one-third of the hull survives including the keel, keelson and lower framing elements, including a large section of the starboard (right) side.

About the Zwaanendael Museum …

The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.

Photo of Zwaanendael Museum
Zwaanendael Museum

The Zwaanendael Museum is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

Picture of the Logo of the American Alliance of Museums logo

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Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-608-5326
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov


Funding available to communities to plan for coastal flooding and climate change impacts

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy is soliciting letters of interest from municipal, county, or state government entities to enter into projects that will support local resilience planning and adaptation activities in Delaware.

The Resilient Community Partnership program provides technical assistance and potential funding to plan for and reduce the impacts of coastal hazards related to flooding from sea level rise, coastal storms, and climate change through development of planning strategies at the local level. Coastal resilience means strengthening the ability of a community to “bounce back” after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding – rather than simply reacting to impacts.

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessments of vulnerability to flooding due to sea level rise, coastal storms, and nuisance flooding (sunny day flooding).
  • Assessments of local land use ordinances, zoning codes and building codes for the purpose of identifying barriers and opportunities, and recommending improvements.
  • Adaptation plans that outline short and long-term actions that can be taken to reduce vulnerability and increase preparedness, including updating comprehensive land-use plans. Such plans can be drafted for a specific community, town, or region or for a specific type of resource or infrastructure.
  • Design of on-the-ground adaptation projects.
  • Improving communication of risk and adaptation options to affected populations from flooding due to sea level rise, coastal storms, and nuisance flooding

Limited funding is available for activities that require advanced technical assistance and are required to support the project objectives. DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs section, which oversees the program, will work with awardees to determine the technical needs of the proposed project and, as appropriate, retain subject matter experts or contractors to meet project requirements and deadlines.

Letters of interest from municipal, county or state government entities are due April 13. Selected partnerships will be announced April 27.

Complete guidelines for submitting a proposal and examples of past projects – including partnerships with the City of New Castle and Town of Slaughter Beach related to building resilience to flooding – are available at http://de.gov/resilientcommunity.

For more information about the program, contact Kelly Valencik at 302-739-6377 or Kelly.valencik@delaware.gov.

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


DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation extends deadline for Fenwick Island State Park Improvements Survey

FENWICK – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has extended the Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey deadline to Jan. 15, 2020. The extension is to allow further input regarding improvements to the park that are under consideration.

The estimated $18 million in proposed improvements look at ways to improve traffic flow, upgrade infrastructure, and add new recreational amenities. Ørsted, an offshore wind developer, has proposed funding these projects as part of a public-private partnership.

The funding for the amenities under consideration could be done sooner if the State allows the Maryland Skipjack Wind Farm project proposed in Federal waters to connect to the electrical grid under Fenwick Island State Park. DNREC is extending the period to take comments on the park improvements. Comments on the wind farm should be directed to United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Office of Public Affairs at BOEMPublicAffairs@boem.gov, 202-208-6474 or 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.

The Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey and its comment section are specific to the park and its amenities. For questions or to complete the survey, visit www.destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements.

For more information about the Skipjack Wind Farm, visit https://skipjackwindfarm.com. For additional information on the Federal approval process through BOEM, visit www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/maryland-activities.

Contact: Shauna McVey, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 302-739-9220.


DNREC to hold public workshops about dredging, waterway management operations in Delaware’s Inland Bays

DOVER – DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section will be holding three informational public open house workshops to share information about dredging and other waterway management operations in Delaware.

The workshops are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 23, 5-7:30 p.m., South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach, DE 19930
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30, 5-7:30 p.m., Indian River Volunteer Fire Company Hall, 32628 Oak Orchard Road, Millsboro, DE 19966
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 1-3:30 p.m., Lewes Library, 111 Adams Avenue, Lewes, DE 19958

The workshops all will provide information on topics such as the Inland Bays dredging prioritization project that is currently in progress, the upcoming maintenance dredging project at Massey’s Ditch, and an overview of waterway management operations (dredging, channel marking and surveying, macro-algae harvesting) conducted by the Shoreline & Waterway Management Section.

Interested parties are encouraged to attend the open houses to share ideas and comment on the dredging prioritization project, as well as learn and ask questions about these important topics of DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section staff.

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

Vol. 49, No. 242