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Northside Beach and Indian River Inlet Improvements

Photo by Tiffany Caldwell

The Problem

The Indian River Inlet and beaches are a major center for recreation in Delaware, including fishing, swimming, boating, surfing, bird watching, and beach going. However, the jetties at the inlet are in dire need of repair, the beaches are littered with dangerous debris such as asphalt chunks and metal rebar from previous infrastructure, and chronic beach erosion, lack of maintenance, and inadequate parking has led to major access issues, lack of available beach space, and negative impacts to dunes.

How You Can Help

1. Attend the April 12, 2024 public jetty repair meeting in Dewey (See details below) and watch the recording of the February 15, 2024 meeting.
2. Send any questions you may have for USACE regarding Indian River Inlet jetties, waterways, and beaches.
3. Get involved with the Delaware Surfrider Chapter, who is working to get the best possible outcomes for this project for recreation and the environment. In person chapter meetings are the 3rd Thursday of each month. See our event page to get more information.
4. Follow @surfriderdelaware on Instagram to stay up to date.

In July 2023 the Delaware Chapter joined concerned citizens and surfers to remove 50+ tons of asphalt chunks from North Beach. Story Here.


Attend the Public Hearing on April 12!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently awarded a $5.3 million contract to repair a portion of bulkhead and to sand-tighten a portion of the south jetty at Indian River Inlet. Work is anticipated to begin in Spring 2024.

The USACE is hosting a public meeting on this project on April 12 from 11AM-1230PM at the Hyatt Dewey Place. See the details here.

2 Before Fencing Towards Beach

Surfrider's Questions About the USACE Project

Surfrider's Delaware Chapter has a lot of questions for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) about their proposed Indian River Inlet project. We hope to start a dialogue with the USACE and the Delaware beach community to get the best project outcomes possible that protect recreation and the environment.


  1. Timeframe for jetty repairs?
  2. If construction begins in April it will likely be underway during busy recreation months. How much of the Parking Lot will be taken up by the contractor, and for what duration?
  3. What impacts does the USACE anticipate to public access to the beach, and for what duration?
  4. Does the USACE still have adequate budget remaining after the contractor (Agate) is paid, for the needed work on the ocean end of the north inlet jetty?
  5. When does the USACE anticipate work taking place on the ocean end of the north inlet jetty?
  6. Are there diagrams/blueprints for both North & South side repairs that people prior to and also at the meeting can see for reference?
  7. There is major damage outside and adjacent to the fenced in area of the jetty, will that also be addressed? 
  8. Where and how will all the decommissioned components and materials be disposed of? 
  9. Will the North Side public bathrooms still be accessible since they are adjacent to the repaired area?
  10. Will there be any work vessels in the inlet during this time that will compromise the use of the inlet for recreation (fishing/boating/sailing)?
  11. Will any repairs to the Southside jetty compromise recreational access on the oceanside (like beach going or surfing)?
  12. There are large concrete boulders with extremely hazardous rusted metal, rebar, pipe, along the Northside jetty close to the bulkhead repair area. Will it be possible to remove these?

Surfrider's Involvement To Date

  • Monitored past plans for beach replenishment at Indian River Inlet and advocated for the use of appropriate material and placement to preserve the surf break/beach.
  • Responded to hazardous debris accumulations on the beach and in the ocean at Indian River Inlet by mobilizing volunteers who, in 2023, helped remove 50 tons of dangerous highway debris.  This is an ongoing challenge.
  • Written to DNREC to voice our concerns over the mismanagement of the Northside recreational area.  We are especially concerned by the unsuccessful preservation of this beach as a desirable place to visit, fish and surf, the constant emergency construction and sand hauling, the terrible condition of the dune, and the use of inappropriate materials such as gravel and timbers within pedestrian access pathways.
  • Interested to discuss with DNREC the idea to preserve, improve and publicize other available surfing areas besides North Indian River Inlet in order to alleviate crowds and improve surfing safety.
  • Started an official campaign to Save Northside Beach!

Additional Information 

Coming Soon!



Photo above with yellow surfboard by Davidson Thomas



2 Before Fencing Towards Beach-1
1. Hole under jetty access. Photo by Crystal Stokowski.
1 Before Fencing-1
2. Hole under jetty access. Photo by Crystal Stokowski.
After Fencing Towards Campground
3.  After Fencing Towards Campground. Photo by Crystal Stokowski.
4. Dangerous rebar on boulders near Northside Beach. Photo by Crystal Stokowski.
5 Dangerous rebar on boulders near Northside Beach. Photo by Crystal Stokowski.
6. Dangerous rebar on boulders near Northside Beach