Do not commercialize Cape state park

December 6, 2022

I am writing this letter to express my vehement opposition to the siting of a restaurant in Cape Henlopen State Park.

Cape Henlopen State Park is one of Delaware’s major treasures. I visit it almost daily. The sound of the ocean waves, the smell of pine and saltwater, the quiet and solitude in the off season, seeing deer calmly munching grass, shorebirds soaring or enjoying the beach all make it a sanctuary, almost holy, to me. I know that hundreds, maybe thousands, of visitors throughout the year feel the same. It is a place to be preserved, not squandered.

Over the last 25 years, I have voiced my admiration for Delaware leaders who have resisted the temptation to bow to big money and turn Delaware into the commercial wasteland that characterizes our neighbors up and down the coast. Beginning with Gov. Russ Peterson’s stand against oil companies in the early 1970s, Delaware has intelligently kept the marshes intact, the land undisturbed where possible and commercial development minimal. Until now, the state has stayed mostly open and a place where nature still has a chance.

Imagining a restaurant invading the pristine beauty of Cape Henlopen State Park makes my blood boil. The traffic, the smell of French fries, the trash, the disruption to the ecosystems, the noise and the disregard for the importance of open space are abominations.

Cape Henlopen is a state park – a place set aside for the people of Delaware and visitors. It is beloved and is utilized daily to its maximum in all the best ways. It is valuable beyond dollars to both visiting humans and all creatures calling it home.

Do no, I repeat, do not allow anything commercial to invade our beautiful park. That one commercial foot in the door is a nail in the coffin of this priceless treasure and nails in the coffins of all the rest of Delaware’s natural places that set us apart from our overrun, overpopulated overbuilt neighbors.

Jackie DiPasquale
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