Beach renourishment funding awarded to start first state beach makeover

DELAWARE – Coastal Delaware is getting a makeover.

This after the first state legislators, Governor John Carney, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester announced funding was awarded to fix up some of the beach towns. Officials say that the first state is the lowest-lying state in the country, making the coast very vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

They say this funding will be very helpful. By replenishing the beaches, homes, businesses and infrastructure will be protected. “We’re really excited to get the news that they’re going to replenish the beach,” says Kevin Williams, the Director of Public Works in Rehoboth Beach.

The new contract, Kevin Williams, the Public Works Director in Rehoboth Beach is talking about the first states beach renourishment projects. Funding came from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarding $23.8 million dollars to the resort towns. Officials believe the recent storms are to blame for the coastal damage. “We’ve lost about 8 feet in depth on Dewey Beach. Dewey Beach is approximately a mile long so that depth that we’ve lost we need to have replaced as soon as possible our dunes do a pretty good job of protecting Dewey Beach normally,” says Bill Zopler, the Dewey Beach Town Manager. “We lost an awful amount of our beach our beach is very narrow right now and we lost some of our protections with some of the dunes because we had some significant erosion in the dunes themselves,” says Williams.

As part of the renourishment project, the dunes will be repaired along with widening the beach between the toe of the dune and the water line. With these upgrades, Rehoboth and Dewey Beach will be able to accommodate both guests and beach visitors more comfortably. “It will make our beach wider so there will be more room for our visitors, for our citizens that live here in Dewey Beach, so any time you have more of a beach the people can enjoy it much more, more of an area for them to go out and do some of the sporting events we allow on the beach,” says Zopler. “Have our normal templated beach back, it will be a little wider, with more room for folks to spread out. It got a little tight some of those busy days this past summer,” says Williams.

The Dewey Beach town manager says he doesn’t know when this project will start or end, however, the hope is that it will start after the first of the new year and be completed by memorial day. In the past, they did have replenishment in the summer which if it happens again the beach will have staggered openings.

For more information about the beach projects, click here.

Categories: Check It Out, Delaware, Environment, Local News