The inconveniences associated with beach replenishment are typically worth it. However, in the case of Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, that’s not true because it’s going to be much more than a simple annoyance this summer.
This project now carries a major financial risk to tourism. It’s a concern business owners in the coastal town as well as property owners should not have to deal with in the height of the summer season.
The news that beach replenishment would take place in July did not surprise Fenwick’s elected officials. They had been warned it was a possibility after the chosen contractor had experienced significant delays on other projects.
The pumping in Delaware will start in Bethany Beach in mid-May, move to South Bethany and then Fenwick. Estimates have the work occurring in Fenwick around the 4th of July holiday and continuing for two weeks.
Proponents, including state officials, argue it’s just a couple weeks of inconveniences for the greater good of the health of the beach, which needs to be restored after major coastal storms a couple years ago.
That argument is acceptable for any other time of year than July and August. It’s two weeks of inconveniences in the peak summer season, which depending on weather is only about eight weeks long in the first place. The pumping will render certain areas of the beach off limits for days at a time. It could realistically detract visitors and alter vacation plans.
We support beach replenishment as a protector of the coastline and preserving the area’s prime asset, the beach. We believe in the government using public dollars to enhance and protect our beach. However, it can’t be supported when it runs afoul of all logic and common sense and jeopardizes livelihoods.
Unfortunately, it seems no matter of complaining will alter the timeline of this project. That’s a shame because it’s a bad deal for the residents, visitors and businesses in Fenwick.
At this point, hoping for the best as far as the timeline and economic impact is all that can be done. That’s inexcusable to be thinking that with a summer season just a few months away.