New projects aim to reduce flooding in Dewey Beach

DEWEY BEACH, Del. – Dewey Beach continues to deal with major flooding issues and that’s the reason the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is spearheading two new projects.

“We have water all around us the ocean influence as well as the bay influence and then when it rains we get local flooding issues,” explains Scott Koenig, Dewey Beach Town Manager.

Dewey Beach is no stranger to flooding, flooding that turns roadways into rivers and threatens homes, especially on Read Avenue.

“Read Avenue is a large drainage area it receives storm water runoff from approx. 30 acres of impervious surface in the town. It’s the largest drainage area in the entire town,” says Marianne Walch, Science & Restoration Coordinator for Del. Center for the Inland Bays.

For that reason Delaware’s Center for the Inland Bays is making Read Avenue the site of a living shoreline restoration project. It’s two projects they hope will mitigate some of the flooding while also improving water quality.

“We’re going to be installing a lot of wetland plants here and creating new tidal marsh areas. All of that will help protect the shoreline over the long term and then to help mitigate the flooding, we’re going to be doing work on the storm water outfall. We’re installing something called a tide gate, which will close when the tide comes in so that the water won’t go up the pipes,” explains Walch.

In addition to the living shoreline, they will also be installing a three and a half foot high dune and small oyster reef to reduce the wave energy that’s affecting the shore and causing erosion.

It’s the first of hopefully many projects Dewey Beach will get accomplished through their storm water master plan. A plan that will hopefully start to alleviate the major and ongoing flooding.

Koenig explains, “Our approach really is one step at a time. Both of these projects will hopefully make us one step better and begin to address some of the overall problems. So there won’t be overnight changes obviously, but this will hopefully put us one step closer to being able to manage the storm water.”

With DNREC officially giving a go ahead for the permits needed to start the project, The CIB’s project is hoping to break ground in February or March and finish by Memorial Day.

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