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DNREC Shoreline & Waterway Management beach replenishment projects set for Pickering, Kitts Hummock and Bowers beaches

DOVER – DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Management Section within the Division of Watershed Stewardship will begin beach replenishment work in early February, pending permit approvals, for the Delaware Bay communities of Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock, and Bowers Beach, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today.

Replenishment, which is expected to be completed in May, will consist of truck-hauled fill projects managed by DNREC. Bayshore beaches in the three communities were chosen for winter replenishment after experiencing significant loss of sand this year due to erosion from Delaware Bay tides and waves.

The replenishment projects will funded in part by $300,000 in Community Transportation Funding (CTF) provided by Delaware legislators Senator Colin Bonini and Representatives Andria Bennett and Charles Postles, each of whom directed $100,000 in CTF money for the replenishment projects.

“This is a timely bipartisan response by the legislators and a state agency to address the environmental and economic concerns of Delawareans and Delaware communities, who are experiencing beach erosion impacts related in part to sea level rise,” Governor John Carney said. “DNREC’s replenishment work will ensure that their concerns are eased, and that our environment and coastal economy are made more resilient.”

Beaches and dunes in Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock, and Bowers Beach were given priority for replenishment based upon ongoing monitoring by the Shoreline & Waterway Management Section. Beaches and dunes in all three communities will be repaired and restored using sand trucked in from an inland source.

“DNREC’s shoreline management section charts the most vulnerable coastal areas for infrastructure impacts, and the three communities that are to receive replenishment this winter checked all the boxes in our monitoring process,” said DNREC Secretary Garvin. “DNREC expects that our work ahead will benefit from efficiencies gained during previous replenishment projects we provided for these same communities.”

Past beach and dune repair work in the three communities includes similar truck-hauled beach fill projects in Kitts Hummock in 2010, 2012, and 2014; Bowers Beach in 2009, 2012, and 2018; and Pickering Beach was last replenished in 2001 using a hydraulic dredge.

Beach fill projects introduce clean sand into the shoreline system to offset the effects of erosion. The beach and dune are an important line of defense between the Delaware Bay and inland public and private infrastructure, including houses, roads, and sewer pipes. The Delaware Bay beaches and dunes also provide valuable habitat to an array of plants and animals.

For more information about the work of the Shoreline and Waterway Management Section, please visit the DNREC website.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 2