Fenwick Island Beach Replenishment in August???

Dredging Equipment

Unbeknown to the residents, tourists and business owners in Fenwick Island, beach replenishment began August 1 disrupting everyone. The top realtor in Fenwick Island, John Kleinstuber said that they were not forewarned. The last that he heard, was that they were planning to start after August 15th. He would have preferred to let his customers know the situation upfront. In addition to beach closures,  the noise from the constuction equipment is ruining vacations. According to information from the Bethany/Fenwick Chamber of Commerce, the work is done on a 24/7 schedule. An August vacation in Fenwick Island could mean sleepless nights.

Slurry on Fenwick Island Beach

Many people cancelled vacations at the last minute. Can you imagine planning your beach vacation in Fenwick Island, and the beach is closed?

Initially the dredging was to begin in the second part of August. According to Senator Carper’s office, the arrival of the dredge was a surprise. They said that they would try to minimize the inconvenience to vacationers. Two to three dune crossings would be closed at a time.  The equipment noise at night would be minimized.  

Paula Retzler, with the Army Corps of Engineers, is in charge of the project. She said they were scheduled to begin the project in June, then  because of bad weather, it was pushed back to the Fourth of July.  Tourism was considered, and it was changed to August. The earliest day that they could begin was August 1st. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, the contractor, was working in New Jersey and was finished early, because they did not have weather delays.  They came to Fenwick Island next. The maximum number of contracted days with Great Lakes is 21.

The slurry  is the grey sediment or sludge that is in pools on the beach. Great Lakes was supposed to control it.  Instead, the sediment ran down the beach and people stepped in it, and children played in it. Now there are crossovers above the slurry. Paula Retzler stated that it is safe. I hope that she is right!

Please contact Ms. Paula Retzler who is in charge of the project. She works for the Army Corps of Engineers. Her phone number is 215-656-6787. The Army Corps of Engineers email is: hq-publicaffairs@usace.army.mil. Mr. Tony Pratt is with DNREC . His number is 302-739-9149. Senator Tom Carper‘s office number is 202-224-2441 or 302-573-6291. They would love your input!

4 thoughts on “Fenwick Island Beach Replenishment in August???

  1. John C. Nason says:

    The timing could not have been worse! I had one sleepless night and was looking at several until I adopted my neighbor’s suggestion of wearing earplugs! Hopefully, any future work can be done after Labor Day.
    That said, the Town was very fortunate to get the funding for this important work on our great beach. Plaudits to our Town officials for their hard work relative to getting this project done.


    • We lost sleep too. Earplugs, What a great idea!

      I must admit, that it was interesting watching the project. I wondered if it is fun riding in those huge machines on the beach. I would love to try it. I especially liked the survey equipment that went into the ocean.

      Now that it is completed, the beach is huge and beautiful. I like that they leveled it too.


  2. all I know is that the beaches are not the same with this replenishment. I know it is a necessary evil but one can not enjoy the shoreline any longer. its nothing but a slopped hill. Parents can not see their kids unless they are all crowded at the waters edge. Water runs over the slop into the beach and forms puddles everywhere. No easy strolls along the waters edge since its sloped, no finding seashells etc. Ocean City is even worse.


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