Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Delaware politicians laud beach boost

Source: The News Journal

By Robin Brown

July 30, 2010

Delaware's congressional delegation said this week's grant of nearly $8.2 million to fix the shores of Bethany Beach and South Bethany will more than pay for itself.

Sens. Tom Carper and Ted KAUFMAN, both Democrats, and Republican Rep. Mike Castle, who pursued the grant, say every dollar invested in beach replenishment later generates $320 in federal tax revenues.

The grant is good news for both towns, Delaware's beaches overall and the state as a whole, Carrie Subity, executive director of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday.

The grant-funded improvements will make the beaches better for year-round residents, those with second homes there and guests from in- and out-of-state who visit in summer, she said. In such a tough economy, she added, "It's wonderful that we got funding of this size."

Carper, KAUFMAN and Castle jointly announced the grant this week, as the Natural Resources Defense Council released a study ranking the state beaches just shy of the nation's best. Only New Hampshire's have cleaner water, its study said, ranking Maryland seventh and New Jersey 14th. An estimated 6.3 million people visit Delaware beaches each year.

The $8.172 million is to pay for repairs to Bethany's and South Bethany's beaches from damage in a wicked nor'easter and Hurricane Ida last fall.

The funds also will pay for reinforcement of coastal barriers in the same areas to reduce damage in future storms.

No start date has been set for the project, but it will not begin until at least October, after the prime beach season ends, the delegation said in a statement announcing the grant.

The work is months away, but Castle, Carper and KAUFMAN saw the grant award as well-timed. "There's no better time of year than the summer months to see how important Delaware's beaches are to the state's economy," they said.

Earlier this month, they joined seven other members of Congress to press for such funding's preservation. The group urged the leadership of the Appropriations Committee to keep funding in the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies account to pay for projects already federally authorized to mitigate damage from a series of severe storms late last year.

Print this Page E-mail this Page