DNREC: Beaches Look Good For Recreation; Still Vulnerable Next S - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DNREC: Beaches Look Good For Recreation; Still Vulnerable Next Storm Season

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Rehoboth Beach shoreline has made great progress since this winter's storm (Source: Evan Koslof) Rehoboth Beach shoreline has made great progress since this winter's storm (Source: Evan Koslof)
Bethany Beach has lost a lot of dune, but the recreational area has made progress since storm (Source: Amber Muehlemann) Bethany Beach has lost a lot of dune, but the recreational area has made progress since storm (Source: Amber Muehlemann)

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - With Memorial Day Weekend just nine days away, WBOC on Thursday joined a beach expert from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, to check up on the shoreline of Sussex County. Tony Pratt, an administrator in the Shoreline and Waterway Management section of DNREC, said that the beaches have made a lot of progress since this winter when storms devastated the area. 

"People are interested in having enough recreational area," he said. "And I would say with a little bit of caution, we have enough. We're where we have plenty of space here for people to come down and enjoy the beach."

Despite the progress, Pratt said that there is still a great deal of sand-loss, in particular from the dunes. 

"Is this ideal for storm protection," he asked. "No, it's not."

Pratt said that the real problems will arise in the fall, when storm season returns. He said that the dune loss has left the beach communities vulnerable, unless replenishment is done. 

"People will have an enjoyable summer," he said. "It's the storm-season  next year that is concerning to me. And I think my colleagues here in Bethany Beach are equally concerned about how vulnerable we are with beach width."

Pratt said that replenishment is expected for the Rehoboth Beach area, and could begin as soon as early-July. He said the bigger problem is in the Bethany Beach area, where replenishment has not yet been funded.

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