State of the Beach/State Reports/DE/Website

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Delaware Ratings
Indicator Type Information Status
Beach Access77
Water Quality89
Beach Erosion7-
Erosion Response-5
Beach Fill7-
Shoreline Structures6 3
Beach Ecology6-
Surfing Areas45
Coastal Development{{{19}}}{{{20}}}
Sea Level Rise{{{21}}}{{{22}}}


Delaware's Coastal Zone Management Program Website explains:

The management of Delaware’s coastal resources is shared by a number of entities within DNREC. Among them are the Delaware Coastal Management Program and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR). These programs help to preserve, protect, develop and enhance the state’s coastal resources and resolve conflicts related to coastal zone issues.

Specifically, the Delaware Coastal Management Program:

  • Manages coastal resources through innovative research projects, education and grant programs, and policy development
  • Administers the Coastal Zone Federal Consistency Certification program
  • Provides special area management planning
  • Provides assistance to state and local governments for local land use planning
  • Offers other special on-the-ground projects related to Delaware's coastal resources
  • Offers technical assistance to communities interested in restoring open space as natural habitat.

Here is a map of Delaware's Coastal Zone.

The set of Websites identified below are fairly well organized and easy to use. You may need to do a bit of searching to find what you are after.

The Delaware Coastal Program's Website provides some information on beach health indicators.

Delaware's Environmental Goals and Indicators Project develops tools designed to assist resource managers in measuring and monitoring the health of the coastal zone. These tools include a set of environmental goals specific to the Delaware Coastal Zone and a set of prioritized Environmental Indicators (EIs) that can be used to assess and track progress toward achieving the state's environmental goals. There is a 108-page Final Recommendations of the Environmental Indicators Technical Advisory Committee (1999).

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Watershed Stewardship website has been recently updated and provides additional information on beach health indicators, in particular beach fill, beach ecology and water quality. There are links to Coastal Construction/Beach Preservation, Coastal Management, Conservation Services/Programs (including the Nonpoint Source Program), Education/Volunteer Activities, and Sediment & Stormwater.

Also useful is the DNREC Website. It provides information on beach access and water quality. Information on beach erosion and shoreline structures is limited.

The key link here is the one to the Coastal Zone Act Program site. Here's a flow chart showing how permitting for coastal projects is supposed to work.

The Division of Watershed Stewardship website provides a link to number of publications that are available online, including Coastal Connections and Coastal Delaware.

The Delaware Coastal Programs Section 309 Enhancement Assessment (2006) evaluates the progress made, as well as any ground lost, on the management front of Delaware’s coastal resources. Delaware Coastal Zone Enhancement Program Assessment and Strategy (2011-2016) is a self-evaluation by DCMP/DNREC of their coastal management programs to assess significant changes in the state’s coastal resources and management practices, identify critical needs, and prioritize areas for enhancement.

Delaware's Regulation Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches is available online. An update to this is 5102 Regulation Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches. There is also a link to other Regulations/Laws

Photographs are spread liberally throughout the DNREC Website. There is an environmental database/GIS link, but overall maps and other potentially applicable geospatial data appear to be limited.

DNREC's Recreational Water Program Website is difficult (impossible?) to find from the main DNREC site.

Links to state, regional, and national organizations appear to be limited.

Website Contact Info

Michael Polo

State of the Beach Report: Delaware
Delaware Home Beach Description Beach Access Water Quality Beach Erosion Erosion Response Beach Fill Shoreline Structures Beach Ecology Surfing Areas Website
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