Federal Government Paying to Replenish Delaware's Beaches - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Federal Government Paying to Replenish Delaware's Beaches

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

INDIAN RIVER INLET, Del. (AP/WBOC)- As Delaware's coastal communities prepare for the summer tourist season, officials announced Tuesday that the state is getting up to $30 million in federal funding to repair and renourish its southern beaches.
    
The money will help restore Delaware's ocean beaches to the conditions that existed before Superstorm Sandy struck six months ago and to their original design profiles, officials said.
    
They said the projects, which will cover communities from Lewes to Fenwick Island, will be totally federally funded, with no state match or local dollars required.
    
"I especially like the fact that this project is 100 percent federally funded," said Gov. Jack Markell.
    
The work by the Army Corps of Engineers will include building up dunes and beaches, planting beach grass and expanding and filling the beach on the north side of the Indian River inlet.
    
Some 2.3 million cubic yards of sand needed for the projects will be dredged from in and around the inlet, resulting in improved navigation for vessels.
    
Officials said the work not only will repair beaches damaged by past storms, but will help protect beach communities and Delaware's $7 billion coastal economy from future storms.
    
While Delaware escaped the brunt of Sandy's devastation, the state did suffer some coastal erosion, particularly to the dunes and beach immediately north of the inlet bridge. Farther north, dunes helped protect towns such as Dewey Beach from major ocean flooding.
    
"The damage from Superstorm Sandy could have been much worse had we not just completed a beach renourishment project," said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.
    
State environmental secretary Collin O'Mara said bidding is under way and work could begin by June, with the beaches fully protected by the fall storm season.

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