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Helpline: 1-888-850-8888 Delaware Gambling Helpline: 1-888-850-8888 w w w w ware e L L L L L L Lo o o o o o o o o o ot t t t t tt t t t t t te e e e e e e e e e er r r r ry y y y y y y y y y R R R R R R R R R R R R R Re e e e e et t t t t t t ta a a a a ai i il l l l l l le e e e e e e e er r r r r r r r r r r r r r r r r f f f f f f f f f f f fo o or r r r r r r y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y yo o o o o o o o ou u u ur r r c c c c c c c c c c c c ch h h h h h ha a an nc c c c c c y y Cape Gazette NEWS FRIDAY, APRIL 28 - MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017 17 By Chris Flood cflood@capegazette.com During a statewide tour of areas increasingly affected by flooding April 21, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper could have chosen a num- ber of places in Sussex. He chose the Rehoboth Bay stretch of Dewey Beach from Dagsworthy to Read avenues. “This is real, and it’s not going away,” said Carper as the end of a tedious day neared. Carper, top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was making the statewide tour, in part, as a response to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget that sees $2.6 billion cut from the En- vironmental Protection Agency and $1 billion cut from the Army Corps of Engineers. Carper, dressed in a denim Bombay Hook buttondown, be- gan his day with a tour of the Southbridge Wilmington Wet- lands Project. This $23.9 million project is aimed at creating a high-functioning wetland to han- dle excess stormwater runoff and reduce chronic flooding. Carper toured sections of Route 9 in Odessa where the Delaware Department of Transportation is considering permanently closing the road due to frequent flooding. Carper also visited St. Jones Reserve, south of Dover. The reserve is a component of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve and conducts research on long-term weather changes and water quality, and measur- able impacts of climate change on plant and animal life in Dela- ware’s wetlands and marshes. In Dewey, representatives of the town and the Center for the Inland Bays led the tour. Beginning near Sunset Park, at the end of the Dagsworthy Avenue, Commissioner Mike Dunmyer said during major storms the town’s bayside streets can flood all the way to Route 1. There’s also nuisance flooding caused by strong winds and full moons, he said. Pointing to a line that extended nearly a quarter of the way to Route 1, Emily Seldomridge, CIB watershed coordinator, said the sand is an indication of regular Sen. Tom Carper tours Dewey flood zones Sussex stop part of statewide tour of areas dealing with climate change water action. The town and the CIB are partnering on a grant application for work to reduce flooding, such as planting marsh grass, and building a small ar- tificial reef and a wider public beach. The Dewey tour then moved to the marsh at the end of McKinley Avenue, an area maintained by Dewey Beach Lions Club. Bill Zolper, club member, said the club removed several tons of debris when they first cleaned the tidal area in August 2010. The land was in need of attention, he said, pointing to a nesting pair of ospreys – the first since the club began taking care of the land. Seldomridge said despite the club’s hard work, there are is- sues with the marsh too. The shoreline is breaking off, she said, noting CIB plans to create a liv- ing shoreline there. Seldomridge also pointed to a stormwater drain near the Lions Club playground. She said there’s a challenge to get the stormwater in the bay before there’s flooding. “Good luck,” said Carper. The final stop in Dewey was Read Avenue. Seldomridge de- scribed the area as the bowl of Dewey. The town and CIB sub- mitted a request in March toward a Delaware Community Water Quality Improvement Grant that calls for a redesign of the riprap, a wall of shell bags, planting marsh grass, a higher dune, in- stalling of a flood barrier at the base of the dune to provide struc- ture, and a plunge pool to absorb storm-related flood waters. Erika Furlong, environmental planner for the Department of Transportation, said Route 1 is the backbone of coastal Dela- ware. She said DelDOT hopes to translate the Read Avenue project into design standards for other projects around the state. Following the Dewey leg of the tour, Carper said the earth is getting warmer and the seas are rising, noting these are really creative projects that can help mitigate flooding and are cost effective. CHRIS FLOOD PHOTOS CENTER FOR THE INLAND BAYS Watershed Coordinator Emily Seldomridge explains to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper how rising waters from Rehoboth Bay prevent storm drains from working properly. A nesting pair of ospreys are calling the marsh near the Dewey Beach Lions Club home for the first time.