University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

News Journal: Beach replenishment changing Delaware shoreline

When Hurricane Sandy made landfall just north of Atlantic City three years ago, it swept away homes, beaches and dunes. But the storm left another legacy: a shift in the approach state, federal and local regulators take to make shorelines storm ready and resilient. From New England to the Carolinas, dredges have pumped millions of cubic yards of sand, in the three years since Sandy struck, to build storm-ready beaches and form engineered sand dunes. The trend is coast-long, even in places where the strategy had been to allow nature to take its course.

Delaware alone received $30 million in federal Sandy relief money to restore sand that was swept away during the hurricane in 2012. Another $38 million is being spent at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge to restore wetlands and fill shoreline breaches that Sandy worsened.

The sand pumping there – in an area that federal officials had allowed to retreat as sand washed over into the adjacent marsh during storms – started last week.