Rehoboth Beach Sand Dune Replenishment to Begin Before Year's End
At a Rehoboth Beach homeowners association meeting Saturday morning city commissioner Stan Mills said the Army Corps of Engineers and the state's natural resources department are working on a schedule to replenish Rehoboth and Dewey beach's sand dunes.
Rows of newly planted beach grass have yet to root into the sand, but Mills said by next winter the beach should have its first line of defense back on track.
"The most important thing is what you don't see, and that's 6-8 foot deep roots from the beach grass," said Mills. "Roots are like the substructure that helps hold that integrity of the dunes."
Mills said the exact dates have not been determined yet by the Army Corps or DNREC.
"We know it'll happen sometime in 2016, whether it's during summer or post-summer, we don't know," said Mills.
The city says the federally funded 50-year beach nourishment program runs replenishment cycles every three years.
It was only a couple of months ago that Rehoboth Beach was a mess after enduring hurricane Joaquin. Homeowner Wyn Achenbaum remembers how bad the beach and boardwalk looked.
"It was clear we had big troubles," said Achenbaum, "there was very little beach and there was a major drop down. It was a wild storm."
Achenbaum said after seeing the beach damaged, she now feels relief knowing the dunes will be renourished this year.
"I was glad to hear today that we're on a three-year cycle. We still don't know when they're going to nourish, but we do know that they are going to do renourishment this year and that's huge," said Achenbaum.
Mills said having healthy beaches can greatly protect against future storm damage.
"We've witnessed that wide beaches and healthy dunes absorb wave action and help prevent coastal damage and erosion," said Mills.