Legislation needed to protect state park forever
I’m glad to see the Cape Gazette supports Senate Bill 6, recently introduced by Sen. Russ Huxtable, D-Lewes, to protect Cape Henlopen State Park. Some have criticized the bill, including Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin, saying it’s an overreaction following last year’s events. I can understand his point of view. An overwhelming majority of Sussex County citizens love the park, and they made it very clear they do not want the restaurant and bar that was proposed. He listened, and DNREC put the proposal on hold. I expect that DNREC will consider the public’s feedback more carefully when reconsidering this proposal.
Senate Bill 6 is needed because the funding challenges that led DNREC to propose this restaurant are still in place. We need to change the incentives. DNREC will probably be more careful in proposing park development projects in the near future. What about the long term? In 10 or 20 years, the park will still have funding challenges, and it’s likely that the events of 2022 will be long forgotten. We need this legislation to ensure that Cape Henlopen State Park remains the crown jewel of Delaware’s state parks system forever.