Northeast
Beach replenishment in Rehoboth and Dewey was recently completed, but much of the sand has been pulled into the shallows immediately offshore. Here, a tractor moves equipment during the recent project. CHRIS FLOOD PHOTO

DE - Where did replenished beaches go?

DNREC: 409,000 cubic yards of sand in shallows offshore, still breaking waves

The triennial beach replenishment of Rehoboth Dewey and Dewey Beach was completed roughly two weeks ago, yet some beachgoers are questioning where the 409,000 cubic yards of sand has gone.

In an interview Nov. 27, Michael Powell, Shoreline & Waterway Section administrator for Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said the sand is still there, but it’s in the shallows of the ocean immediately offshore.

Powell said beach replenishment is designed to reduce storm damage to infrastructure. Which, he said, happens even if the sand has been pulled out to two, three, four or five feet of water because it helps break the power of the incoming waves.

Prior to the completion of this year’s $7.2 million project Nov. 15, beaches in Rehoboth and Dewey had been replenished four times before – 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2016. It’s the third time in a row contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. was hired for the project, which is a joint effort of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – 65 percent federal, 35 percent state.

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