Delaware was by no means the state hardest hit by killer Superstorm Sandy last fall, but the state's beaches did take a beating. And as part of the Sandy relief measure passed by Congress over the winter, Delaware will get its beaches fixed, reports the News Journal ("Work to begin on restoring beaches damaged by Superstorm Sandy," by Molly Murray).
And in a happy plot twist for Delaware, the Corps won't just put the beaches back the way they were the day before Sandy hit. Instead, the Corps is going to fulfill a beach restoration plan that was blueprinted in the 1960s, but never fully carried out.
"The back-to-the-future proposal is to pump in 500,000 cubic yards of sand from a bar that has formed inside the inlet just south of the navigation channel, said Paula Retzler, the sand bypass project manager for the Corps. The sand will be used to create a beach that is at least 50 feet wide to the waterline," the News Journal reports. "The dune will be at least 25 feet wide, with an average height of 16 feet. It will stretch 3,500 feet and will be tapered into existing dunes – a plan that mirrors the 1968 authorization."
WHYY's Newsworks.org website has a text and video report on the Delaware beach work ("Delaware awarded $30m for beach restoration," by Shirley Min). Said Tony Pratt, the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Administrator of Shoreline and Waterway Management: "The beach that will result from the nourishment job that we're announcing today will be much wider than it was pre-Sandy... It'll be a much more substantial dune so, not to say there's not a storm out in the future that could still breach those dunes, but it'll be much more resistant to storms."