Coastal Developments Create Debate Over Flooding, Environment - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Coastal Developments Create Debate Over Flooding, Environment

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Indian River Inlet, Del. - There is growing debate over the developments that are forming along the coasts of Sussex County, but perhaps some of the most concern is arising over the building next to estuaries that sit by the Indian River Inlet. The beautiful scenery brings a lot of people to the water to establish homes, but in doing so they put themselves in major flooding risk.

To explain the threats, WBOC spoke with Chris Bason from the Center for Inland Bays. He said this trend is growing every year.

"We've had explosive population growth," he said. "We've had a lot of residential, commercial development. And a lot of that development has been centered on the shorelines of the bay."

One of the people who live along these coastlines is Buddy Robinson. He was out fishing at the inlet Monday afternoon. He said, he has always loved the waterways in the area.

"I grew up here on the water," he said. "My folks had a place here, fished here. I inherited wanting to fish here."

Robinson lives in Ocean View, and said he has seen the expansion firsthand. He said many new developments have emerged over the many years he has lived in Sussex County.

Bason said this growing population creates a duo of problems. The first issue is that more people are now susceptible to flooding, as the sea levels continue to rise. The latter is that shorelines are covered up or destroyed in order to protect the homes, something which can harm animals dependent on this land.

Robinson said he remembers the storm of 1962 that caused severe damage to the entire area, and so he said he is well aware of the risks. However, he said it would take more than that to make him leave his beloved home. 

"It's a great place to live," he said. "It really is. So you take the risk. It's worth it."

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