Delaware State Parks Study Reveal Significant Economic Impact - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware State Parks Study Reveal Significant Economic Impact

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 10:11 PM Updated:

SEASHORE STATE PARK, Del.- On Monday night state leaders gathered at Delaware Seashore State Park to celebrate the significant economic impact a new study revealed. 

DNREC's Division of Parks & Recreation partnered with Rockport Analytics to complete the first ever economic impact study.  The study revealed that in 2016 nearly $40 million was generated by out-of-state visitors alone.  Director of Delaware State Parks Ray Bivens said this was a significant finding.

"It's a lot of what our state parks staff has kind of known but could never quantify," Bivens said. 

Bivens said for every tax dollar, state parks return $40 back to economic activity, which is more than Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.  He said taxpayers are truly benefiting.

"If Delaware State Parks didn't exist, every household in the state would have to pay an extra $151 in taxes, which we found very moving," Bivens said.

State leaders commemorated the accomplishment by lighting the historic World War II Tower 3 at Seashore State Park.  The tower will be lit at the same times and shine the same cobalt blue as the Indian River Bridge. Dr. Gary Wray, president of the Fort Miles Historical Association, is happy to know that people are interested in the first state's history.

"On any given day in the summertime 30,000 to 50,000 people leave from Ocean City and come into Delaware. They don't know anything about Delaware history, so we're going to start to tell the Delaware history story right here underneath the tower, it's going to be really cool," Wray said. 

Wray said the lighting up this piece of important history was a dream come true.  Wray and the Fort Miles Historical Association have been working to restore the towers for 15 years. 

"DelDot tells us that 5 million people will go up and down this road every year, so 5 million people this year will see these lights," Wray said. 

Officials with the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation say while they've come a long way in fundraising over the last year, they still haven't met their goal in order to renovate the inside of Tower 3. 

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