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March 27, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 27, 1998

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16 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, January 23 - April 2, 1998 Economic study attempts to measure value of beaches By Michael Short Details of a major study on the economic impact of Delaware's beaches are beginning to leak out. The report has not been official- ly released, but some things are becoming certain. The report, commissioned by a task force studying the issue of beach replenishment approxi- mately two years ago, found that the beaches have a huge economic impact on both residents and visi- tors. Michael Lawrence, a partner with Jack Faucett Associates in Bethesda, Md., the company who prepared the economic study, de- clined to give specifics of the eco- nomic impact until that task force can be reconvened. But Lawrence did say that the beaches affect the property value of far more than just the ocean- front homeowners. He said the study looked at approximately 15,000 residences in coastal Sus- sex and all benefitted. "To no One's surprise, there was a substantial amount of benefit," he said. The study looked at property value, jobs, business profits, park- ing income, visitor numbers and similar factors in order to get a clear economic snapshot of just what the beaches are worth. The study considered continu- ing beach replenishment (pump- ing of sand on eroded beaches to make them larger), or doing noth ing and letting the beaches erode. At stake are the recommenda- tions of the task force, which will consider if beach replenishment will continue and who should pay the hefty price tag if it does. That task force will meet some- time next month, according to Tony Pratt of the Delaware Divi- sion of Soil and Water Conservation. Pratt refused to comment on a pub- lished figure that Delaware would lose $30.2 million in tourist rev- PRATT enues over five years if beaches do not con- tinue to be replenished. Pratt refused to either confirm or deny the figure, saying the divi- sion intended to release the study to the task force first. That task force is chaired by Senator George Bunting Jr., D-Bethany Beach, and Rep. John Schroeder, D-Lewes. Lawrence said there are few surprises in the economic report, but added "some of the magni- tudes of the numbers may surprise people." The report stops short of mak- ing recommendations, choosing instead to focus on providing clear economic data. Lawrence said the benefits are "considerably higher than the cost of replenishment." He added that non-residents benefit more than state residents, but said that is logical since the ma- jority of peo- ple who come to Delaware beaches are out-of-state visitors. "I don't think the re- SGItROEDER port is going to be surprising to anyone who understands the dynamics of our coast," said Schroeder. "In light of [recent] nor'easters, it is very im- portant we continue to examine the whole philosophic issue of beach replenishment." Schroeder noted that there are a whole host of issues relating to beach replenishment which need to addressed. He said issues in- elude whether a planned federal replenishment project for the Cape Region will ever be funded and whether sand dredged from a proposed Delaware Bay and River dredging project will be placed on Delaware's beache. Also to be considered are how to deal with private beaches which can not now receive state funding and who will pay for beach replenish- ment on those beaches. Also to be considered is how to deal with homes like those in South Bethany that are are considered to be in harm's way on the beach. p COMING IN JULY: Creekside Course 18 Hole Mid-Length Course The ]Nee Course 9 Hole lted Cplfing Course Seaside Putting Links tBrloteughCoe ............. * Clinics, Lessons, & Camps with ec, A  st sea ff, ffoat tnem ,4maflt ltd.) 441 Otlntry Club Rd., Rehoboth Beach, DE * 302-227-2500 Subscribe to the Cape Gazette todayl Call 645-77OO1 ] OPEN WITH JUST $2,500 PREMIUM RATE FOR A LIMITED TIME A GREAT OPTION FOR YOUR ROTH OR TRADITIONAL IRA CALL 1-800-222-0246 An exclusive rate for everybody. Right now with just $2,500, you can open a 12,month CoreStates cD and get the premium rate usually reserved for our Blue Ribbon customers. And while you're at it, you might want to look into becoming a Blue Ribbon customer yourself-to get rates like this and other valuable banking benefits. Call the Direct Banking Center at 1-800-222-0246, 24 hours, 7 days a week, or stop by your nearest branch. CoreStates The Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of the date of this newspapen Early withdrawal penalty wilt be imposed. Offer is also available to all Blue Ribbon customers with a minimum opting deposit of $i Offer i s also available to non-Blue Ribbon customers with a minimum opening deposit of $2,500 not currently on deposit with CoreStates. The Annual Percentage Yield for non-Blue Ribbon customers with less than $2,500 is tt.ata 5.00%. $500,000 limit per customer. Offer subject to change without notice. CoreBtates Bank, N.AI Member FDIC.