Rehoboth and Dewey get beach replenishment dollars

by Michael Short on September 23, 2010

Delaware’s Congressional delegation announced earlier this week that federal beach replenishment funding will be made available for Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach.

A total of $8.33 million  in federal money will be made available to help repair storm damages to Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach. Additional funding will also be made available for Fenwick Island.

Funding was approved previously to help repair storm damage to  Bethany and South Bethany Beaches and state officials were optimistic that other beaches would also receive beach replenishment funding.

“We’re pleased to announce that Delaware’s coastline continues to receive the attention it deserves. Delaware’s treasured beaches are essential to the state’s economy. Not only will this funding help repair the damage that was done, it will also allow us to reinforce coastal barriers to protect our beaches before the inevitable storm strikes again,” said Senator Tom Carper,  Rep. Mike Castle and Sen. Ted Kaufman in a joint statement.

The statement noted that for every $1 in federal money spent to replenish the beaches, the federal government receives an estimated $320 in tax dollars. The joint announcement was made on Sept. 20.

In late July, it was announced that $8.172 million in federal money would be made available for Bethany Beach and South Bethany Beach.

Beach replenishment involves pumping sand dredged from offshore sites on to beaches.  While the beach size ebbs and flows with the season and with coastal storms, replenishment has become standard practice because of the economic importance of the beach.

Delaware’s beaches tend to erode away during the harsher weather of the winter and then grow in size during the summer when there are fewer storms and less wave action.

Replenishment can be a tricky process because sand has to come from the right offshore site, so that it is not too coarse or too fine. Officials also consider issues like fishery habitat and the presence of archaelogical sites like shipwrecks during the approval process. In rare instances, replenishment has inadvertently pumped decades old military ordinance on to the beaches.

The replenishment is intended to help repair storm damage from last November.

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