We thank you very much for your support of the effort to save Beach Cove.
There has been a flurry of activity in the few weeks since we discovered that the installation of an oyster aquaculture site using 29 acres has been proposed for Beach Cove. This proposed industry would irreversibly and negatively impact the navigation, recreation, and environment of Beach Cove – including its most vulnerable residents; the birds, turtles, and hard shell clams native to the area. We all have an interest in preserving this beautiful location and its wildlife for future generations.
Save Beach Cove Coalition
In the last few weeks, we have created a coalition with the communities surrounding the cove to coordinate our efforts and effectively act to save Beach Cove. The homeowners associations of Cotton Patch Hills, Quillen’s Point, The Cove, Wharton’s Cove, Bayside Hamlet and Ocean Ridge West have all joined together in this effort and we are working with each of these homeowners associations to proportionally contribute funds to cover the costs of retaining legal representation and hiring an environmental consultant. We have also communicated with leaders at Tower Shores and Breakwater Beach who are encouraging their homeowners to write letters and support our efforts. David Green, the president of the Quillen’s Point Homeowners Association, is ably leading the Save Beach Cove Coalition.
Call to Action
An informational Call to Action was distributed that many of you received as your first notice of the proposed oyster aquaculture location in Beach Cove.
The Call to Action included a description of the situation, maps, photos, and a request for each of you to contact the government officials who have the authority to reconsider Beach Cove’s designation as an aquaculture site. We included sample letters for each official. Links to these sample letters are also available in the "Next Steps" section of this update.
We also asked that each of you contact the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, particularly if you are a contributor to that organization. CIB was instrumental in the passage of the legislation that authorized the creation of an aquaculture industry in the Inland Bays and in deciding the locations of the installations - including Beach Cove.
Save Beach Cove Website
A website has been created, www.savebeachcove.com, which includes all of the information included in the Call to Action, and information about events and media coverage. There are links on the website to sample letters, articles about the situation, the relevant legislation and regulations, and reports published by the CIB, DNREC, and the University of Delaware.
Town Hall Meeting
On Monday, October 6th, State Senator Gerald Hocker and State Representative Ron Gray held a Town Hall Meeting in response to the outpouring of concern (your letters and phone calls) from the community. Approximately 200 people came out to the Millville Fire Station to express their concerns with the proposed project. The turnout represented an extraordinary effort on the part of the Save Beach Cove Coalition to get the word out and send a clear message to elected officials, DNREC, and CIB that Beach Cove should be designated as an exclusion zone – unsuitable for oyster aquaculture industry.
The Save Beach Cove Coalition was well organized for this event, had several prepared speakers to insure that all of the important points were covered, and retained a local attorney to represent us at the meeting. All of this made it clear that we are serious about saving Beach Cove.
Please refer to the website to view articles about this meeting.
Legal Counsel & Environmental Expert Retained
The Save Beach Cove Coalition, with the leadership of David Green and Stewart Webb, has retained legal counsel and the services of an environmental expert.
Jonathan Rinde is a well-respected and experienced attorney from the firm of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox; an environmental and energy law firm specializing in the full range of regulatory compliance, transactional, and litigation services entailed in situations like ours. Mr. Rinde has special expertise in working with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Ed Launay is a highly regarded environmental expert and president of Environmental Resources, Inc. He has many years of experience in Delaware and has worked extensively with DNREC, environmental groups, and developers.
We believe that both of these gentlemen will be very valuable to our cause.
Continue to send letters & emails to government officials with the authority or influence to stop the leasing process.
Three weeks ago, the proposed aquaculture in Beach Cove was a “done deal”. By mobilizing our community and applying pressure to our elected officials, Secretary Small at DNREC, and the CIB – through letters and phone calls - we have reopened this issue and positioned ourselves to have the location at Beach Cove reconsidered.
It is extremely important that we maintain this pressure. Please write your letters if you have not already done so. Sample letters are available on the website.
You might also consider writing letters to various media outlets emphasizing the key points of impeded navigation, historic recreation usage, and environmental impacts.
Addresses & Sample Letters
Please be sure in all your interactions with government officials and decision makers to use your Delaware address. We encourage you to customize your letters.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
In order for leasing of the sites in Beach Cove to move forward, the USACE must approve DNREC's request for regional conditions. Within the next few weeks,
there will be a public comment period during which we will have an opportunity to ask the USACE to deny this request.
Please do NOT contact the USACE at this time.
We will provide specific instructions on the website and by email that include where and to whom your letters should be sent and suggestions for points to emphasize.
It will take all of us acting together as a community to save this precious resource now and preserve it in the future.
All future communications will be by email only. This is a fast-moving matter and we need to communicate in the most expeditious manner. Please look for "Save Beach Cove" in the email subject line.
Thank you so much for joining the effort to save Beach Cove,