The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District completed dredging for the Bethany/South Bethany and Fenwick Island Coastal Storm Damage Reduction projects in Delaware on August 9. The Corps awarded the $19.2 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD) to pump 659,000 cubic yards of sand onto Bethany, 500,000 cubic yards of sand onto South Bethany, and 278,000 cubic yards of sand onto Fenwick Island. Both Bethany and South Bethany included a 150-foot berm backed by dunes at a 16-foot elevation. Fenwick Island has a 200-foot berm backed by a 17.7-foot dune. The project area encompassed about 4 miles of coastline.
Using the dredges Dodge Island and Padre Island in tandem from a pipe landing, GLDD dredged 1.2 million cubic yards of sand from an offshore borrow area and pumped it through a series of pipes onto the beaches. The project has moved to the construction of dune crossovers and sand fencing. Dune grass will be planted later in the year.
The Corps Philadelphia District has worked with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources for more than 20 years on coastal storm risk management projects such as this one. This project differed slightly in that the work was done using Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies funds, which addressed erosion and damage from an October 2015 Noreaster and Hurricane Joaquin. Because the project was undertaken as an emergency, dredging was done in the summer, which generally does not occur to prevent conflict with nesting turtles