Rehoboth should re-examine ocean outfall decision

July 17, 2014

The recent spate of ramshackle letters/comment to the Cape Gazette, requires some procedural clarification and for the following reasons, a re-examination of Rehoboth’s alternatives to the proposed ocean outfall.

• The best practice for wastewater consists of a reuse/recycle life loop, not toxic disposal into coastal waters. The exclusion of Rehoboth Beach from Superstar status by NRDC in 2014 should be a concern to residents. Swede Street in Dewey Beach made the grade, why not Rehoboth? Stormwater drains that flow unimpeded into the ocean/swimming zone compromise the health and well-being of tourists and the aquatic ecosystem. Is anyone in City Hall concerned?

• Clean oceans, clean bays, clean economy. A very simple notion.

• Federal and state laws, DNREC Administrative Code statutes, ESA (Endangered Species Act), and MMPA (Marine Mammal Protection Act) are very specific as to protection of species and habitat. The current design and proposed location of the Rehoboth Beach ocean outfall, Hen and Chicken Shoals, does not conform to regulatory standards.

• David Saveikis, DNREC director of Fish and Wildlife, accepts administrative liability for discretionary funds provided by NOAA under Section 6 allocations, enforcement of ESA and MMPA mandates. DNREC is obliged under federal law, to protect and conserve marine habitat and inhabitants. By current listing, Delaware has thirteen marine species listed as either endangered, threatened or of special concern. If unlawfully permitted, will the ocean outfall jeopardize future funding of conservation measures in Delaware waters? Nearshore waters are listed as Habitats of Concern for this department.

The final days of the mayoral race in Rehoboth should represent the best that a vital representative democracy holds for the electorate; lively debates as to the future and vision of a small town on the Delaware coast, preservation of the economic health, natural beauty and attraction of local beaches.

And lastly, many concerned beachgoers are asking DNREC for a positive solution, a healthy alternative to the discharge of your municipal wastewater into the ocean, an archaic technology, an unethical choice on so many levels of community responsibility and standards.

Gregg Rosner
Fenwick Island


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