SLAUGHTER BEACH, Del.- After years of planning and months of construction, Delaware's newest boardwalk is open to the public.
A number of Delaware's elected officials cut the ribbon on the Marvel Salt Preserve's boardwalk in Slaughter Beach. The boardwalk includes a binocular viewing station and panoramic views of the 109 acre preserve.
"Ninety-eight percent of our land is in preservation or conservancy and this is why," Mayor Harry Ward said at Friday's ribbon cutting. "We can look out there, we can watch the ospreys, we can educate the children about what's happening there."
The boardwalk is on land donated by the Marvel family, who say it was always intended to be an environmental educational resource for the community.
"We knew at that time this was exactly what we were hoping would happen," explains Kate Marvel. "I was a teacher, my mother's a teacher, my grandmother was a teacher, my two daughters are teachers and education has just been in our blood."
The boardwalk was paid for in part by transportation funds. The Delaware Department of Transportation says the boardwalk will help promote the Delaware Bayshore Byway
. In addition to scenic and education benefits, officials like Governor John Carney hope to see the boardwalk encourage ecotourism.
"What a cool thing to do when you're coming to Delaware but to go out on this boardwalk," says Governor John Carney. "To get the educational experience and the environmental and ecosystem experience that you will."
The boardwalk can be found roughly one mile north of Slaughter Beach Road on Bay Avenue.