Safe Surfing Signs
The Surfrider Foundation Delaware Chapter, in partnership with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks and Recreation and Surf Captain, a national surf forecasting service based locally in Lewes, have collaborated to install informational signs at Delaware’s two most famous surf breaks. The signs will be installed at the north side of Indian River Inlet and Herring Point in Cape Henlopen State Park. Surf Captain created the visual display for the signs.
The purpose of the signs is to educate surfers and beachgoers on the rules of surfing etiquette and safety. Surfing has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last two years, including in Delaware. Due to Covid shutdowns and the availability of less expensive foam top surfboards, more and more people are hitting the surf. This is creating crowded conditions, including many new surfers who may not know the rules of the surf line-up. To help educate new and experienced surfers on the basic surf rules, the Surfrider Foundation Delaware Chapter initiated a Surf Safe education project. Local surf forecasting service Surf Captain stepped up to help create the visual display for the signs. The groups then approached the Delaware State Parks to develop and install the signs at the two park beaches.
The signs will communicate the universal rules of the surf line-up using visual examples that are easy for beginners to understand. The signs emphasize safety, respect for each other, and understanding of the current surf conditions. The signs were installed at each location the week of July 25th in strategic areas that will allow for maximum visibility.
Several chapter members worked to complete this project, and a special shout out to Nick McFadden. He spent many hours working to find examples of surf safety signs and working with his contacts at DNREC to help move the project forward.
Herring Point Shower and Memorial Bench
A new shower was installed at Cape Henlopen State Park and was ready for the summer season. The project was started in May, and a functional shower has now been installed at the Herring Point parking lot. The entire project was completed in June and includes a bench with a plaque honoring two local boys who passed away too soon.
The project was launched using donations from two groups looking to honor family members that enjoyed spending their time at Delaware beaches. The friends and family of Grey Baker and the Davey Day Foundation, in honor of Davey Allison, held several fundraisers to initiate the project. With the help of the Delaware chapter and additional funding from Senator Lopez and Speaker Schwartzkopf, the project was started. A ceremony to honor Grey, Davey, and their families was held on International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 16, 2021.
Ban Single Use Bags
The chapter is supported a bill in the DE Legislature, HB 212, that greatly improved the state’s plastic bag ban law that went into effect Jan 1, 2021.
This bill eliminated several of the loopholes created in the original law such as removing the restriction on small businesses and eliminating the thickness rule which allowed retailers to provide much thicker plastic bags. This practice circumvented the spirit of the law which was to remove plastics not introduce bags made of more plastic.
Balloon Release Ban
Senate Bill (SB) 24 is a bill to reduce waste and raise awareness of the harm balloons create to the environment. This bill made it an offense to intentionally release 5 or more balloons and releasing 1-4 balloons would be considered littering.
The bill passed both the state House and Senate and was signed by Governor Carney. The law went into effect April 30, 2022.
Rehoboth Beach Outfall
Since 2009 the Chapter has been opposed to the plan to send the effluent from the Rehoboth Beach Sewage Treatment Plant into the ocean. Right now, the plant empties into the Lewes Rehoboth Canal and that is polluting Rehoboth Bay. We don’t want a polluted bay. In fact, it was Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer water testing of the Bay that showed there was a problem in the first place. Other groups sued and a judge said the pipe must come out of the Bay by 2014.
The leaders of Rehoboth Beach believe ocean outfall is the least expensive solution. We think:
- This is a colossal waste of reusable water, the most valuable resource on earth
- Alternatives exist like Spray Irrigation, or Land Based Applications, wetlands mitigation banking
- If these alternatives cost more, the State and Federal governments should make up the difference, not Rehoboth Beach residents.
- According to DNREC’s financial Record of Decision (ROD) on the proposed project; spray irrigation is the preferred method of wastewater disposal.
- The agency's (DNREC) bias towards an ocean outfall solution, lacks accountability and transparency according to NEPA procedural requirements.
Please watch the Cycle of Insanity, an animated film describing the very problem we face here.