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Plans to Clear Lewes Dunes Move Forward

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LEWES, Del.- After asking people to remove items illegally stored on its dunes earlier this summer, the city of Lewes and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control are coming together to clear the dunes.

A spokesperson for DNREC says this fall the state agency plans to work with the city to have illegally stored items removed from the dunes after beginning an educational campaign. DNREC will send letters to property owners east of the canal and later put in dune fencing. 

Lewes Mayor Ted Becker says the agencies hope people voluntarily remove the items soon. Becker says the dunes need to be clear to protect the town.

“The dune is our first line of defense and we want to make sure that it’s there and it’s there to serve everybody who might be impacted by a storm,” Becker says. “Just the idea of people traveling over it, back and forth across the dune tramples the grass [and] otherwise undermines the dune. But also then you have things that then can become projectiles if we had a really serious storm.”
 
Kayaks, skiffs, chairs and water mats were found along the dunes on Wednesday. Quest Adventures owner Matthew Carter–whose company rents kayaks but stores them off site–says the sight is common, and it’s growing.
 
“It started out as a nice convenience, and for 20 years they’ve been down there,” he says of the items often seen in the dunes. “But with the growing population it’s becoming maybe more of a concern for a lot of people and for the dunes.”
 
Beach goer Erik Zwick hopes the eventual dune clearing is the result of a compromise.
 
“In my experience most people are pretty respectful of the dunes and are obviously big supporters of keeping them healthy,” he says. “I think hopefully between what is being proposed and the residents they’ll be able to find a happy compromise for everyone involved.”
 
There is no word yet on when the dune fencing will be installed.
 

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