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Lewes, Delaware
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October 15, 2010     Cape Gazette
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October 15, 2010

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14 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15 - MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2010 NEWS Prime Hook volunteers will be called back into action Environmental assessment could be finalized next week By Ron MacArthur Things are not always as they appear. A band of volunteers who work every week at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge says it has been given its walking pa- pers, but refuge management says nothing could be further from the truth. "We are just asking them to hold off for about three months," said Michael Stroeh, project leader for Prime Hook and Bom- bay Hook refuges. With one staff member out on medical leave and holiday vaca- tions on the horizon, Stroeh said there is no one to supervise the group on a weekly basis. "We ex- pect to call them back in January because we couldn't do business without them," he said. 'amd we might have a project we need their help on before then" Volunteers provide about 7,000 hours of service to the refuge each year, he said. John Chirtea, a resident of Primehook Beach who has served with the group for more RON MACARTHUR PHOTO VOLUNTEERS HELPED BUILD this observation platform near the parking lot at the end of Fowler Beach Road in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Erosion along the shoreline forced refuge officials to close off access to the platform. Volun- teers removed the wooden ramp and recycled it as a walkway to improve access to a pavilion at refuge headquarters. than three years, said he was un- der the impression he was "fired" as a volunteer. "I think we were doing some good," he said. Stroeh agrees. "They do great things," he said. In the meantime, Primehook- area residents anxiously await the findings of ari environmental assessment that will determine whether breaches in the sand dunes in the northern section of the park will be filled in, restor- ing the dunes. The breaches, caused by a se- ries of storms over the past three years, have caused widespread saltwater intrusion into Prime Hook's freshwater marshes and have also led to flooding of Fowler and Primehook roads and property during extreme high tides. An environmental watchdog group, Public Employees.for En- vironment Responsibility (PEER), contends nature should be allowed to run its course and the breaches should not be dosed. State environmental offi- cials were prepared to close the breaches in May, but work was halted when PEER raised the is- sue of proper permitting for the work Stroeh said the assessment should be finalized next week, but he could not place a timetable on any work to be per- g,0000qAND et us transform your bathroa into a l.xurlo,, comfort and o.. We allowing us to offer the best product and value for' every budget. We are a full service company offeringone-stop shopping for either new or remodeled kitchens and bathrooms which includes: Cabinets 'CountertoI, Tile Floving Appllanees all professionaily installed. Visit our showroom - Monday - Frk[ay 9am - 3:30 pm and see our beautiful kitchen and bathroom displays Financing Available. Bath, Kitchen 26836 Lewes / Georgetown Hwy., Tile Center Harbeson, DE 19951 302.684.5691 www. formed - or eve] tion will be the dation. The ass published for re' lic. If dune repah mended, pern quired to perfc process that in public comment The numbe] would determin could be issued begin. Chirtea said th from six to eig meets every Th to accomplish i if dune restora- :'real recommen- .=ssment will be view by the pub- work is recom- Lits will be re- rm the work, a :ludes time for of comments . when permits and work could group, ranging ht volunteers, lrsday morning tasks for the Cape Gazette refuge. He said the group recent- ly went on an airboat in the refuge's marshes to clean out duck blinds in anticipation of the upcoming hunting season. Among the group's projects were building a maintenance shed at the refuge headquarters, an observation platform at Fowler Beach and boardwalks and walk'ways in the refuge. "We were told we don't need your help anymore, and if we ever need it again, we will call you in the future," Chirtea said. Stroeh said that is a misunder- standing because the group will be called back into action. Lightin! strikes DO cause fires! can protect youl We install Surge Protection Pi A portion to DBCC Anyone aldng a donationin the store during the month of October well be  in a drawing to win a 00qtnk U'a00le00 S00m:00n00rAw00'n00 25 Baltirr stablished tgzz 302.227.8331 i ore Ave.. Rehoboth Beach