US: beach nourishment project under way along Delaware shoreline

News - August 8, 2013

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The Washington Post reports that a coastal nourishment project south of Rehoboth Beach will help protect the shoreline as well as Delaware’s tourism economy.

Governor Jack Markell joined other officials recently took a tour of the beach restoration project on the north side of the Indian River Inlet, an area that sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy.

“This beach area is so unbelievably important to us.... The tourism economy is a huge economy for us,” Markell said. Markell spoke while standing on a beach that was ravaged by Sandy, which leveled dunes along a mile-long stretch of coast, destroyed an approach road to the old Indian River Bridge and left several feet of sand on state Route 1, the major coastal highway.

“This was deep water back then,” state shoreline administrator Tony Pratt noted, referring to the spot where he and Markell were standing.

The beach nourishment project involves dredging more than 500,000 cubic yards from in and around the inlet channel and pumping it onto the beach. Pratt said the project will not only result in a better beach, but improved navigability of the inlet for boats.

The Washington Post report said that dredging began July 23, and officials hope to complete the project by late September, two months before the official end of hurricane season.

 

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