Del. Surfers Worried About Beach Replenishment - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Surfers Worried About Beach Replenishment

(Photo: WBOC Chopper 16) (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)

LEWES, Del.- The Indian River Inlet and surrounding beaches were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy last fall.

"We're down to two surf breaks, said local surfer Matt Garbutt. "One of which is the Indian River Inlet, which is at risk right now of being destroyed."

To fix what Mother Nature has done, the Army Corps of Engineers will replenish the beach. The state says it is important because beach communities will be better protected. But surfers say the plan is a bit shaky.

"We're a little concerned about how much sand they're going to be pumping and if it potentially destroys the surf break there," surfer Ed O'Connor said.

Local surfers say they know something needs to be done, but they are worried about the effects of beach replenishment.

"Surfing is part of what we do down here at the beach and it's not just the surf, basically anybody who comes down to the beach likes to play in the water," said Jamie Young, another surfer.

For Matt Garbutt, surfing is not just a pastime, it is part of his livelihood.

"A lot of the small surf retailers are hurt in the Delaware area because a lot of the surfers are traveling to the Ocean City, Maryland area, as well as Assateague Island so it's a huge loss of revenue to these local businesses in the area," he said.

Surfers would like to see a specific type of sand used for beach replenishment.

"A finer grain sand tends to work better," Garbutt said. "I know that in Ocean City they used a finer grain sand which, if you think about it, a finer grain helps to make an even slope out into the water."

Whatever is done, surfers want to make sure they'll be able to catch the next wave in Sussex County.

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