Repairs and upgrades at Sunset Park in Dewey Beach are nearly complete.
Fronting the bay at the end of Dagsworthy Avenue, the park is one of few waterfront places that have no structures on it.
“What a nice little park,” said Marc Appelbaum, Dewey Beach town manager. “This is a simple solution for a beautiful little park. We want to encourage more people to visit it.”
Appelbaum said the town rebuilt the bridge that connects the street to the park, the gazebo in the park was moved back from the waterline and spruced up, vegetation was cleared and the benches that line the beach were repositioned.
Still to come are finishing touches and installing solar-powered, motion-censored lights.
Appelbaum said the lights will help police monitor the park at night and limit mischief.
In addition to the work already completed, the Center for the Inland Bays is waiting to hear on a $418,000 grant request habitat improvements.
Bartholomew Wilson, center science coordinator, said CIB should hear from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation on the grant request sometime in May.
Wilson said if approved, the grant would provide funding to establish about half an acre of tidal wetlands, a new horseshoe crab habitat, concrete oyster castles and wave attenuation devises, designed to mitigate wave action that occurs during storms while still allowing marine life to navigate easily.
The devices are shaped like a flat-topped pyramid, but water and marine life can move through holes designed into the structure, said Wilson.
“The waves are what really hurts that park and these are much more habitat friendly than the big stone walls people are used to seeing,” he said.
Wilson said heavy lifting wouldn't begin before the fall because of the extensive permitting process associated with the improvements, but data collection on the area would begin almost immediately.
“This is a two-year project, but we want to try and get it done in the first year,” said Wilson.