FENWICK ISLAND, DE — Beach replenishment was the topic of discussion at a meeting hosted by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and organized by the office of Senator Tom Carper.
The meeting, on Wednesday, April 27, included representatives from the Army Corp of Engineers, Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, DNREC, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, Senator Carper’s office, Towns of South Bethany and Fenwick Island, and Representative Gerald Hocker.
The purpose of the meeting was to have Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, the company performing the beach replenishment work, and the Army Corps distribute and explain the most updated project timelines, discuss the process involved, and how to minimize the impact on the homeowners, renters and businesses in the Towns of Fenwick Island and South Bethany during the project.
The timeline presented for South Bethany was 30 days starting in early June and finishing up just after the 4th of July weekend, with partial beach closures and work performed twenty-four hours a day. While all the stakeholders were appreciative of the federal monies supporting this important project, they also expressed concern with the adverse economic effect of an active replenishment project in July.
Following the meeting, DNREC and the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to fund the cost associated with moving the project from the summer months to November. The South Bethany project is now scheduled to begin around November 1, following completion of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach project.
Due to the type of equipment and other factors the Fenwick Island beach replenishment project will be eighteen days shorter than the South Bethany project and is slated to be completed by June 29th. The Great Lakes project team assured the group that they will do everything possible to minimize the project impact to homeowners and beachgoers.
“I’m confident that the $22.7 million in emergency replenishment funding that Senator Ted Kaufman, Congressman Mike Castle and I secured for our beaches will be put to good use,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del). “Not only do full, replenished beaches protect our homes and business along the coast, but they also serve as the anchor for our important tourism industry. I’m glad that the scheduling issues were resolved, allowing us to move forward on projects so that Fenwick Island will have a beautiful beach in time for tourism season and that other projects will not impact the summer season.”
Last August, Delaware’s Congressional delegation wrote to the Army Corps of Engineers to urge them to use the funding provided in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010 to repair the Bethany Beach and South Bethany Beach coastlines and to repair the damage to Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and Fenwick Island’s coastlines.