A Safer Day on the Bays for about 43 Cents a Pound

Center for Inland Bays Working to Remove Hazardous Debris from the Bays

Indian River Inlet, DE:   When most people hear about the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, they think about cleaning up pollution in the Bays.  But one CIB committee is focused on the broader mission; the ‘wise use and enhancement’ of the Inland Bays.  The Water Use Plan Implementation Committee, a standing committee of the Board of Directors, informally called WUPIC, is charged with minimizing environmental impacts, avoiding user conflicts, and improving conditions related to water use activities in Delaware’s Inland Bays.   

According to CIB Executive Director, Chris Bason, ”After a success in 2013 working with partners to remove derelict pilings and docks from the mouth of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, we began looking for other navigational hazards in the Bays that posed risks to recreational boaters.”  

The community of White House Beach expressed concern about abandoned pilings and a partially submerged bulkhead at the mouth of the West Marina entrance to White House Beach on Indian River Bay. The bulkhead originally served as a 180’ wave break for a navigation channel that is shared by Pot Nets Bayside Marina and White House Beach Marina.  But, in recent years, the bulkhead is partially submerged and difficult to see at high tide, and had become a danger to boaters entering and leaving the channel.  

There are over 50 marinas on the Inland Bays and during the peak of the tourist season over 1,100 vessels may be on the water at once.  Over 300,000 fishing trips are taken every year around the Inland Bays, and many of these are from boats.  Well-marked and maintained waterways are key to maintain boater safety and support this important sector of Delaware’s tourism economy. 

The project was endorsed by WUPIC and work began in late May according to Roy Miller, project manager.   Miller said, “The removal and disposal of the waste was done by local contractor, Droney Marine Construction, Inc. and the project took less than a week, with some stops and starts due to weather.”

Funding for the project was provided by the Division of Watershed Stewardship of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.  The cost of the removal was $9,500 and generated about 11 tons of debris.  “That’s about 43 cents a pound to give local boaters a safer day on the bays,” said Sally Boswell, Education and Outreach Coordinator.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bay is one of 28 National Estuary Programs; a non-profit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed.  With its many partners, the CIB conducts public outreach and education, develops and implements restoration projects, encourages scientific inquiry, and sponsors research.

For more information call Sally Boswell at 226-8105, or email at outreach@inlandbays.org  

Or, go to our website at www.inlandbays.org