Carper announces $31.9 million in funding for bayshore

Army Corps starts design phase to protect beaches from Pickering to Lewes along Delaware Bay
May 14, 2024

Everyone was expecting the announcement of $10 million in federal funding for the Delaware Bay shoreline restoration and protection project.

But as a large crowd gathered under the Slaughter Beach pavilion May 13, Sen. Tom Carper said that amount had grown to $31.9 million over the weekend thanks to $21.9 million in funds from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Carper was joined by Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin, Slaughter Beach Mayor Bob Woods, Delaware Bay Beach Association President Kathy Lock, and several state, local and county officials.

Carper, who is chairman of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, had secured $10 million in congressionally directed spending, formerly known as earmarks, that will help restore the more than 30 miles of beaches and build storm-protection systems such as dunes to guard the communities along the bay, including Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock, Bowers, South Bowers, Slaughter Beach, Prime Hook Beach and Lewes Beach. Funds for Broadkill Beach are also being sought.

In 2023, Carper secured $26 million for the project, which brings the total federal funding secured for the project to about $58 million. The state must match the funding with 10%, or nearly $3.2 million for the latest allocation.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $140 million.

“This funding will go help restore the beach and dunes that help protect our communities along the bay and Delaware’s thriving beach economy,” Carper said. “While we continue to invest in our coastline, we must also address the root causes of sea-level rise and ever-growing storms caused by climate change.”

“The State of Delaware appreciates Sen. Carper’s commitment to securing our coastline from the impacts of climate change,” Garvin said. “We are the lowest-lying state in the country, and we are starting to see impact of sea-level rise. We are getting more severe storms, and replenishment is more expensive. We are never going to beat Mother Nature, but we must maintain and sustain for as long as we can.”

He said the sea has risen 13 inches since 1919 in Lewes, which is nothing compared to the estimated 4 feet over the next century.

“As we scope and prioritize how these funds are used, we encourage our Bayshore communities to bring resources to the table to protect our communities,” Garvin added.

Lock said residents have been working for 20 years to get their beaches nourished and restored.

“Sen. Carper has led the fight for Delaware's coast his entire career in public service,” she said. “His relentless fight to protect and enhance our beaches, bays, wetlands and waterfronts continues, and we are honored to have him here in Slaughter Beach today with great news about the Delaware Bay coast.”


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