Rehoboth’s pollution efforts deserve publicity

September 8, 2017

Rehoboth Beach, at the insistence of the state, began testing stormwater outfall this summer to determine the source of pollutants that lead to swimming advisories.

The most recent advisory was issued in the past couple of weeks. Such advisories are not good marketing for a town whose economic livelihood depends on clean ocean and beaches.

Armed with the testing information, the city, in cooperation with the state, can determine steps to prevent polluted runoff from making its way into the stormwater system before outfall into the ocean from the ends of several streets.

It's important for Rehoboth Beach to publicize and promote these efforts, and show the public that it is taking sophisticated measures to keep swimming waters clean.

Well-illustrated public information signs along the Boardwalk, like those used to inform the public about rip tides, are a smart way of keeping the public informed and confidence levels high.

Hundreds of thousands of people see these signs each summer. They're a good way of saying: "We're glad you're here; we want your experience to be safe and healthy, and here are some of the things we're doing to ensure that." People are smart. Word spreads. Such efforts enhance the attractiveness of resorts, and help preserve and enhance economic health as well.

The same should be done regarding the ocean outfall project. People are concerned about the "optics" of an ocean outfall. But there is a good story to be told.

Wastewater being discharged - more than a mile from the beach - will be treated to a quality more pure than the ocean waters into which it's being discharged.

As a result of removing it from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, the treated wastewater will no longer be overloading our Inland Bays with unsustainable levels of nutrients that throw those fragile systems out of balance.

Spread the word.


  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Laura Ritter, news editor, and Dennis Forney, publisher, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; Nick Roth, sports editor; and Chris Rausch, associate publisher.