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Date Posted: Thursday, May 12th, 2022

The impact from the coastal storm that occurred over the weekend caused substantial damage to the beach in South Bethany. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) assessed the beach and determined that South Bethany has the most severe dune erosion and debris area of the coastal communities. All sand walkways were severely compromised, and the ADA ramp was destroyed and will not be replaced in time for the 2022 season.  

It is important to emphasize that DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Management Section maintains and improves Delaware’s shoreline and waterways, not the individual towns. The Shoreline and Waterway Management Section manages the shoreline through regulation of coastal construction activities and implementation of dune and beach management practices. It also works to protect and enhance eroded beaches to enable continued recreational use of this precious resource. And it works to improve the state’s ability to endure severe coastal storms with minimal damage to public and private property and infrastructure.

Beginning on Monday, May 16, and weather permitting, DNREC will be in South Bethany clearing debris from the beach while concurrently regrading every other beach crossing, where possible. If time permits, some fence repair will be scheduled around Memorial Day weekend. There most likely will be limited access paths to the beach for the entire 2022 season.  Additionally, mobi-mats and trash cans will not be placed until we receive approval from DNREC. The Town will provide additional updates on the status of open walkways as DNREC progresses with restoration work.

At this time, and for the protection and safety of our property owners and visitors, we have been advised to close off all walkways due to the instability of the dunes and potential for collapse. It is imperative that individuals, including pets, not go past any area delineated by flagging tape or signage. 

The Mayor and Town Council are in continual contact with DNREC representatives and state officials to improve this situation and for the summer season. We appreciate your patience as we work through this with the state and federal agencies responsible for our beaches.

Mayor and Town Council

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