Prime hook restoration projects gain national attention

MILTON, Del. – Over at Prime Hook Beach, state officials are putting in the work to help restore one of Delaware’s landmarks. On Friday afternoon, U.S. Senator Tom Carper and officials from the U.S. Department of interior stopped by to see for themselves.

“We’ve worked on it, big projects, put a fair amount of money into it, and just turned it into something that’s lush and beautiful,” says Sen. Carper.

Just five years ago, Prime Hook beach was almost a lost cause. However, through the resilience of not only wildlife experts, but nature itself, the beach is returning to its original, beautiful state. “One of the things we wanted to be able to show one of the leaders of the Department of Interior is, how we took a terrible situation and transformed it into almost a miracle,” adds Sen. Carper.

We’re told, storms broke through the dune line several times in recent years, flooding 4,000 acres of freshwater marsh and destroying homes to the wildlife that lives there. However, through the ongoing work from Prime Hook beach officials, they used natural tactics to help restore a staple for the state of Delaware. “To think about how to use nature and to kind of use natural engineering to brace ourselves for what climate change is going to deliver to us,” says Shannon Estenoz, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks for the U.S. Department of Interior got to see for herself the work that’s been accomplished. Stating, the beach was a beautiful canvas to work on and seeing it function how it was naturally intended to, reiterates just how important her and her colleague’s work is. She adds, “To allow a coastline to move and to behave like a coastline was designed to behave by nature it’s just a tremendous accomplishment.”

Sen. Carper and Estenoz both agree this forward thinking of managing coastlines to operate in their original way is going to only do great things for the environment. “We’ve worked our way through it and we have something we can be enormously proud of,” says Sen. Carper. Estenoz adds, “It’s taught us that the best engineering is nature’s own engineering.”

Prime Hook beach officials also tell us, they were recognized by the American shore and beach preservation association as one of the five best-restored beaches in the nation. However, they say their work is never over because they have an obligation to take care of wildlife.

If you want to learn more about their restoration projects, just head to the Prime Hook website.

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Local Politics