Dune stabilization ongoing in LewesCape Shores started, Lewes Beach next
Lewes — Sand continues to be dumped on the beach at Cape Shores in Lewes to fortify and stabilize the dune and protect against further erosion.
The beach fronting Cape Shores and a stretch of Lewes Beach from Roosevelt Inlet to Indiana Avenue had eroded before being further damaged late last year by high tides, nor’easters and Hurricane Sandy.
Crews have been reinforcing the dune at Cape Shores for more than two weeks, and work is expected to begin on Lewes Beach in three to four weeks, said Dan Brower, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control shoreline and waterway project manager.
Tony Pratt, DNREC shoreline management administrator, said the goal is to restore the beach and provide a higher level of protection than before last year’s storms.
Brower said Lewes Beach and Cape Shores beach would each get 25,000 cubic yards of sand. The project will cost about $890,000 and also includes 10,000 cubic yards of sand for an area along the Broadkill River, he said.
Melvin Joseph Construction is trucking in sand from a borrow pit owned by the company. Each Lewes beach will require about 1,700 truckloads to complete the job.
“It’s been going well. The material delivery has been on target, and the equipment has held up. We’re on schedule,” Brower said Jan. 30.
Pratt said DNREC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers know both areas are erosion-prone, and each has had sand replenished several times over the past decade.
Stephen Rochette, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman, said the agency issued DNREC a provisional permit Jan. 3, allowing work to begin.
He said DNREC requested the permit Nov. 14, and Nov. 15 the corps issued a public notice.
“This is typical and allows participating agencies to comment on the application. The public notice period extended through Dec. 1,” Rochette said.
He said after the public notice period expired, to avoid issuing a provisional permit, the corps was awaiting a water quality certificate from DNREC’s Subaqueous Lands Section, and coastal zone management certification from the agency’s Coastal Management Program.
Rochette said DNREC informed the Army Corps on Jan. 2 that the coastal zone management public notice period would not expire until Jan. 11, and the Subaqueous Lands Section would not issue a permit until the Army Corps had made its decision.
“It was at that time that the corps decided to issue a provisional permit rather than wait until DNREC’s reviews had been completed,” Rochette said.