Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

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Restoration of the marshes at Prime Hook National Wildlife refuge is set to begin June 15th.

It will be the first step in a $36 million effort to fight rising sea levels along the Delaware Bay.

Work crews will create drainage channels followed by over a million cubic yards of sand to beef up the beach just south of Fowler Beach Road to deal with openings caused by Hurricane Sandy.

There will also be a dune with grass to preserve the area and provide time for some of the wetlands adversely affected by human activity.

delaware.watersheds.gov

A new report by the Army Corps of Engineers is warning state and coastal residents that they need to rethink their policies involving the coastline in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

For Delaware, the report says, there are two high risk areas.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that these include the shoreline of the Delaware River and Bay as well as the resort areas of the Inland Bays.

During Superstorm Sandy the worst flood damage occurred on the bay sides of Fenwick Island, South Bethany Beach, Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach following the hurricane.

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One year after Superstorm Sandy Delaware’s tourism industry has successfully survived the massive storm.

2 million cubic yards of sand has been used to shore up the beaches scoured by the hurricane.

Federal funding was also used to widen and beef up the north beach to protect the highway in the Indian River Inlet where waves from Sandy drove sand drifts 6 feet deep over Route 1.

Sand replenishment is also underway at Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach.

USFWS.gov

Another $19.8 million will be coming to the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge for restoration in the wake of the storm-damage done to the beach and marsh south of Fowler Beach Road.

That’s in addition to $20 million set aside for beach and dune restoration after the refuge shore line was breached during Hurricane Sandy.

USFWS.gov

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware Transportation officials say Prime Hook Road is open again following flooding that closed the road during last week's winter storm.

The road connects Prime Hook Beach to Coastal Highway and runs along the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The storm cut off the main access to the Delaware Bay community in Sussex County. The road is used by about 200 year-round residents.

USFWS,gov

Four to seven million cubic yards of sand and sediment will be needed to restore the damaged marshes at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

That’s the word from state research scientist Robert Scarborough who outlined a detailed assessment of what must be done to restore two wetland areas that have not kept up with sea-level rise.

The assessment came during the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s Environmental Summit in Cape May, New Jersey.

The after affects of Hurricane Sandy could imperil the red knot shore bird at the Mispillion Harbor in Delaware and the New Jersey Beaches, say wildlife experts.

The shorebird stops off in the area to gorge on crab eggs during the spring on its way to Arctic breeding grounds.

Tom Kelsch, vice president for conservation programs at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, also told the Wilmington News Journal that one of the biggest problems is to make sure the Delaware Bay shore has enough sandy beach for horseshoe crabs to spawn this spring.

Wildlife Observation at Prime Hook, USFWS

Delaware state officials will be looking to see if there is a quick fix to stop flooding and road overwash at the Prime Hook Beach.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that building a structure to hold back the Delaware Bay waters would be a major shift from pumping sand to fight shoreline erosion, storm damage and sea-level rise.

State officials want to build a bulkhead-like structure to protect the north side of Delaware Route 1 at the $150-million Indian River Inlet Bridge.

 DOVER, Del. (AP) - Federal regulators have issued a draft comprehensive conservation plan for the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.

The draft plan released Thursday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes three options for managing the refuge for the next 15 years.

One option is maintain current management practices. Another is to return to management plans used in the past, which would require some changes to current public use programs.