Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Beach renourishment for three Delaware communities delayed until summer

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Beach renourishment projects for Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick Island have been pushed off until summer, making the beach communities and local businesses wonder if it will conflict with tourism.

When the replenishment projects were announced in May 2017, they were originally planned for fall 2017. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia district spokesman Steve Rochette says the three beach renourishment projects were delayed because the limited number of dredges around the country were put to use in other projects.

"That and weather delays on other projects in the areas," Rochette said. "When another project is delayed, it often bumps other projects that we're working on."

Great Lakes Dredging & Dock, the company contracted to do the replenishment, will start work in Bethany in mid-May and work until mid-June. They'll then work in South Bethany from June to early July and move to Fenwick Island from early July to mid-July.


Amy Vickers owns Seaside Country Store in Fenwick Island, which is a block away from the beach. She says though she appreciates beach renourishment, she has mixed feelings about the timeframe.

"I do think [renourishment] is important for the safety of the beach and the safety of the people that live here, but also I'm concerned that the customers that I have, the visitors to the beach, may not have as good a time as they could because of the replenishment going on," Vickers said.


South Bethany Mayor Pat Voveris said her town is appreciative the beach is getting more sand, but officials and residents are also concerned about the impact to tourism. Voveris said she has seen replenishment happen during summer in the past.

"I have lived through that. It's kind of fascinating," she said. "But I could see people who are just visiting wouldn't be so thrilled."

Rochette says the army corps has factored in the concerns about the work coinciding with the summer tourism season. Only about 1,000 feet of each beach will be closed at a time as sand is pulled from the bottom of an offshore area and pumped onto the beach.

The project includes 2.8 miles running from Bethany to South Bethany and 1.2 miles of Fenwick Island. The total cost is about $19 million.


Related Content