Alarmed by state park restaurant proposal

October 14, 2022

The following letter was sent to President Joe Biden, Gov. John Carney, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin and Ray Bivens, Director DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication.

We are alarmed by DNREC’s proposal to build a full-service waterfront restaurant overlooking the ocean dunes within Cape Henlopen State Park.

There is no pressing need for another place for park patrons to eat locally. Leaving the park’s main entrance and before even reaching Route 1, there are presently 41 food service establishments of various kinds. These range from high end to more affordable. At least four of them are waterfront. If the food service industry wants to put in more eateries, there is commercially zoned land available in close proximity to, but outside of the park boundaries.

Meanwhile, there is a pressing and enduring need to conserve what little natural space and diverse habitat Delaware has remaining. Isn’t that in large part what state parks are for?

The shortsighted construction of a new restaurant within a relatively pristine, “re-wilded” part of Cape Henlopen State Park will set a bad precedent. Your watch will go down on the wrong side of history. Paraphrasing a recent presidential media quote: "Don't. Don't. Don't. You will change the face of Cape Henlopen..."

Gavin and Lou Braithwaite


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