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Delaware beach nourishment on Senate agenda

James Dawson/Delaware Public Media

Sen. Chris Coons is pushing for federal officials to set aside extra money for replenishing Delaware’s beaches that were hardest hit by recent winter storms.



Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island took big hits from large ocean waves last fall and earlier this year, but aren’t scheduled for federal sand pumping until 2017.


Coons urged Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy during a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday to move up the replenishment schedule for those communities.


“In the scope of all the different things that the Army Corps is challenged with, beach nourishment is a relatively small part of its overall funding, but it’s very important to our state, something for which I intend to fight very hard for this year,” he said.


He says doing so will help protect businesses and homes in the area.


Bethany Beach had deep inland flooding during the most recent set of storms in January due to heavy ocean waves that pierced its dunes last year.


“Delaware's coastline, although of enormous value to us, is a relatively small amount of all of America’s beaches," said Coons. "So I am hopeful that out of the total budget for the Army Corps of Engineers we’ll be able to find room to strengthen and speed up the provision for Delaware beach nourishment for this coming fiscal year.”

Replenishment projects are already scheduled this year for Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches.

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