FENWICK ISLAND – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District has awarded a $17.2 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company for beach replenishment projects in Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island.
In a statement released earlier this week, Delaware Gov. John Carney, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester announced the company will begin work after the New Year.
The beach replenishment projects will address the beaches and dunes that were damaged by a Nor’easter in October in 2015 and Winter Storm Joaquin in January of 2016.
The company will dredge 1.2 million cubic yards of sand, which will be used to fortify the beaches and dune systems. The federal government and the state of Delaware will share the cost of the project.
“We are absolutely delighted that we are going to get replenishment,” Fenwick Island Mayor Gene Langan said. “The timeline is still good for us.”
Carney said the beach replenishment projects will help to protect coastal homes, businesses and economy.
“Replenishing our beaches helps drive our economy by keeping our coastline accessible and accommodating for Delawareans and visitors,” he said. “Delaware also is the lowest-lying state in the U.S., and beach replenishment helps us prepare for extreme weather events, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change. We are grateful to the Army Corps of Engineers for partnering with Delaware to ensure that beach replenishment for Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick Island both bolsters our coastline and helps retain its natural beauty.”
Carper said Delaware’s 21 miles of oceanfront generates more than $6.9 billion in coastal tourism each year and supports 10 percent of the state’s workforce.
“We fought hard for this funding because beach replenishment protects not only our community but our economy as well,” he said.
Coons commended federal and state agencies for their efforts.
“The work that will take place from Bethany Beach to Fenwick Island is vital to our state, and I would like to thank the Army Corps of Engineers and DNREC (Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control) for working to mitigate future erosion that not only threatens our tourism, but our natural habitat as well,” he said.
Rochester added the dredging projects will protect the state’s natural resources.
“We need to protect our shores from future superstorms and preserve our pristine coastline for generations of Delawareans to come,” she said.