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Fall beach nourishment projects are underway

Katie Peikes
Delaware Public Media

DNREC has started beach nourishment projects along the Delaware Bay.

The month-long project by the DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management Section is underway at Pickering Beach in Kent County.

The project will truck in 3,500 cubic yards of sand to cover 2,500 feet of community beachfront.

Jesse Hayden is DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Section administrator, and he says that’s just the start of multiple projects this fall and winter.

"We think that'll take about a month, and we'll move all the equipment to Kitts Hummock and spend about another month there. Concurrently will be adding sand to the north side Indian River inlet, the eroded beach there, and then later this winter we'll deploy our forces to Cape Shores down in Lewes to do a nourishment project there," said Hayden.

This work is expected to lengthen the beach and dune life of a nourishment project that spanned five communities completed last winter.

Hayden says these projects have to be completed by the spring.

"Even before the people start to use the beaches we have a couple of species of concern that like to use the beach starting in March and April,” said Hayden. “So our goal is to finish all the work that we need to so the beach is ready for those horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds when they want to come, and then after that for the people, for the visitors and residents when they like to enjoy the beach."

These projects will be funded in large part with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.