Reflections from a recent meeting with DNREC

February 24, 2014

The meeting on Feb. 20 at the Lewes Field Facility concerning drainage and flooding issues on Lewes Beach, which was sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control was most interesting in several respects.

After a few introductory remarks from the DNREC officials who gave an overview of the study, a question and answer session was made available to the audience which was composed of home owners from Lewes Beach. It soon became evident this time period left much to be desired in its management. Some residents, in their passionate desire to communicate how flooding and poor drainage has affected them and their property, took advantage of the mismanagement of this question and answer period which resulted in a circus-like meeting atmosphere. Numerous loud side conversations when the DNREC officials attempted to answer questions interfered with those who were intent on listening to answers to questions which were posed. There was a major absence of self control from some residents! Unfortunately the boorish behavior of some residents in attendance overshadowed the importance and significance of the issue.

Ironically, the mismanagement of this meeting typified, from my perspective, what has taken place within the marsh/wetlands on Lewes Beach. Years of projects from federal government agencies, state government, along with local government and residents themselves have presented a real challenge to mitigate the flooding and drainage issues in the Lewes Beach community. Crumbling infrastructure of dikes, guts, swales, pipes, berms, along with the elevated dredge spoils have, over the years, without any master plan, contributed to the mismanagement of this area. Many remnants of these projects can be observed in a deteriorated condition throughout this wetland area.

Hopefully this study and its eventual action plan, along with appropriate funding will help in addressing and helping to solve this long standing problem of flooding and drainage. It's off to a rocky start, but my hope, with quality input and professional analysis, there will be an outcome which will indeed help alleviate some of the flooding and drainage issues which plague that area of concern.

Dave Martin
Lewes Beach






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