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Officials launch the Delaware Bayshore Byway

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Delawareans who want to take a scenic route often forego Routes 1 and 13 and drive Route 9 along Delaware Bay between Dover and New Castle.

Now, the state has made it more than just the long way--it’s become the Delaware Bayshore Byway, a stretch of coastal marshes, forests, farms, recreational areas and towns along Delaware Bay.

 

On Friday afternoon, Gov. Jack Markell joined state and federal officials to unveil several Bayshore Byway projects, including a slogan: “All American, All Natural.”

Delaware City mayor Stanley Green says the new Byway will strengthen communities along the Bay.

“When you get a community that starts working together, then you get the links between New Castle and Delaware City, going on down to the pathways. All that does is enhance everybody’s programs and in addition to that, it brings that camaraderie that everyone needs to keep their cities running," said Green

At the Thousand Acre Marsh, officials also opened a new walking trail and wildlife viewing platform at the Thousand Acre Marsh. And they announced preservation of the Bennett Farm property. That 140 acres of wetland is being set aside thanks to a $731,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Byway is the latest piece of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative that began in 2012 to conserve natural areas along Delaware Bay

Delaware Economic Development Office director Bernice Whaley says the First State’s natural scenery draws many out-of-towners looking to escape city life. So the developing the Bayshore Byway helps boost the state’s tourism profile.

“This is not stuff [people] see in other parts of the country, so we’re really excited about that and really excited to add this to our toolkit," said Whaley.

Officials say they plan to extend the Byway from St. Jones Neck near Dover down to Lewes, and hope to also connect it to New Jersey's bayshore areas. The towns of Bowers Beach and Slaughter Beach have voted to become a part of the Byway. Conversations to add other communities are still in progress.

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