Bay Beach Association gets Sussex funds

Money will be used to hire consultant to implement new federal legislation
February 4, 2023

Sussex County Council has approved a memorandum of understanding with the Bay Beach Association that includes an award of $30,000 to its fund administrator, Greater Lewes Foundation.

The funds will be combined with money from Kent Levy Court and the towns of Lewes, Bowers and Slaughter Beach to fund the cost of a consultant who will focus on implementation of the recently enacted federal Water Resources Development Act to mitigate ongoing issues experienced along the 27-mile Delaware Bayshore.

Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson said there have been scattered efforts by Delaware Bay beach towns and the county to address issues. “This will bring us all together,” he said during council's Jan. 31 meeting.

The legislation authorizes emergency funding for repairs and restoration by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, water supply and wastewater infrastructure, navigation, and shoreline enhancement and restoration over the next 10 years. It also provides funds for a feasibility study on dredged material from Delaware Bay. It will free up funds to allow the Army Corps to react quickly to storm-related damage.

The goals of the association are to ensure bayshore communities become more resilient, and infrastructure, such as drinking water and wastewater systems, is hardened to protect against storm surges; to partner with federal and state agencies working to protect Delaware's two primary economic drivers – agriculture and tourism; and to advocate on behalf of the Delaware Bay and near-shore agricultural communities to confront challenges posed by climate change, including sea-level rise, coastal storms, wildfires and saltwater intrusion.

Lawson said the funding will be for one year with payments of $2,500 per month to the foundation.


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