Dredging equipment near the Roosevelt Inlet in Lewes, Del. (Photo: WBOC) 

LEWES, Del.- For the first time in long time, the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal is getting some much needed help as a three month dredging project began today. 

Lewes city leaders tell us the canal hasn't been dredged in about 20 years. It will begin at the Roosevelt Inlet and will go to Freemans Bridge. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hired a company called Dredgit for the project. 

The general manager of the Lewes Yacht Club, Greg Raschdorf, said up until this point, everyone handled their own dredging. 

"We've been dredging every three years all on our own and there's never really been major dredging of the full canal," he explained. "It costs quite a bit of money and then you have to find a place to put the spoils."

Raschdorf said his hope for boaters is some long lasting effects. 

"Hopefully this will help by taking out the center and maybe some of it will just naturally move away."

Over on the fishing dock, some like Reuben Robinson felt differently. 

"It destroys the fishing and the whole ecosystem changes for the fish and creatures that were living there, even the birds," he said. "They can notice the difference when the dredging takes place and this is something that I guess is necessary but I don't see the benefit right now."

Dredging is expected to be complete by the end of December. Robinson said hopefully that will give enough time for the underwater ecosystems to re-adjust by the start of fishing season in June. 

Dredging work will take place seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Recommended for you