New signs recognize 19th century shipwreck at The Point

DNREC installs dune fencing, poles to stop driving too far on Cape Henlopen trail
October 14, 2020

Story Location:
The Point
Cape Henlopen State Park
Lewes  Delaware  19958
United States

The circular path of The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park opened entirely Oct. 1. Regular users of the path will notice a few changes since it closed in March - most notably a new sign marking a bayside shipwreck.

The bright-red signs, one on either side, say the shipwreck remains are from an unknown 19th century vessel, apparently destroyed during a hurricane. Nothing further is known, say the signs, which also go on to state the shipwreck is a protected archaeological resource under state law.

In an email Oct. 5, Shauna McVey, spokesperson for Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks and Recreation, said the signs were installed in the last couple of weeks.

Another noticeable change along The Point’s path is the installation of new dune fencing.

McVey said DNREC’s Watershed Stewardship beach crew installed about 5,200 linear feet of fencing - 1,734 feet of traditional wood fence and 3,500 feet of rope fence on crossings and dune toe. The traditional dune fencing is used to help delineate areas where the public is not permitted to go, and help protect dune ecology, she said.

McVey said Watershed Stewardship has been transitioning to the rope-and-post method where the goal is to simply create a visual barrier, because the ropes allow sand to migrate more naturally. Traditional dune fencing traps sand, and builds the dune, which can become problematic over time, she said.

Finally, poles have been installed on the bayside of The Point to minimize vehicles driving around the entire point. Over the last few winters, vehicles have missed the appropriate signage alerting them to the end of the surf-fishing area, said McVey.

The Point has been closed annually during the spring and summer months since 1993 to protect nesting endangered bird species, and is the only undisturbed beach habitat along the Atlantic coast of Delaware.

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