Letters to the Editor — January 16, 2015
CIB: Rehoboth Bay needs help from City
On Jan. 5, DNREC Secretary David Small decided to allow the City of Rehoboth Beach to move forward with plans to remove the City’s wastewater treatment plant discharge from Rehoboth Bay. For decades, the wastewater has degraded this ecologically sensitive estuary.
Nutrients in the wastewater have contributed to murky waters, loss of sea grasses, blooms of algae and seaweed, and dissolved oxygen levels that are unhealthy for fish. Though the wastewater from the plant is treated, Rehoboth Bay is extremely sensitive to even small amounts of nutrient pollution. This is because Rehoboth Bay is, by its nature, slowly flushed by the ocean. Once pollutants get in the bay, they remain there for a long time.
Removing this discharge will instantly stop an astonishing 17,000 pounds of nitrogen pollution from being pumped directly into the bay every year. It will also stop the contribution of over 1,000 pounds of phosphorus each year. This amount of phosphorus is equal to over 30 percent of the annual phosphorus load to the bay.
The removal of the discharge will have immediate and significant positive benefits to the water and all the people and creatures that rely on it. This will be the last of 13 original point sources of nutrient pollution to be removed from the Inland Bays by a regulation passed in 1998.
After an environmental analysis, the City and DNREC have decided to now discharge the treated wastewater a mile offshore in the ocean. A discharge to the ocean will quickly be diluted, and the science has demonstrated little, if any, expected impact to aquatic life there. Computer modelling in the analysis estimated that the discharge will be diluted 100:1 within a few hundred feet of the outfall in under 6 minutes. Another ocean outfall off Bethany Beach has operated successfully since 1977.
This decision could not have been an easy one for Secretary Small, and he inherited a great deal of delay in making it. A number of ideas for land-based disposal alternatives were promoted over the years of inaction. However, little affordable land was available for disposal and land-based disposal would continue to contribute nutrients through the groundwater to already polluted estuaries.
In making the decision, DNREC has required the City of Rehoboth Beach to study its stormwater system for risks that may be posed to swimmers on the beach. This addresses a significant water quality concern for swimmers at the beach, which is the stormwater runoff coming from the city streets. All of our waters mean the world to me; and as a scientist, surfer, and fisherman I’m confident that this was the right decision for this particular situation.
Chris Bason, Executive Director
Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
Charitable effort a hit, thanks to many
The generosity of the Bethany Beach community reaching out and answering my plea for help made it possible to fill all of the requests on our wish list to the best of our ability helping those less fortunate have a happy Christmas.
Our goal was each child from the families interviewed by the Pyle State Service Center receive a $ 25 gift card for clothes, three toys or fun gifts each, a coat or a gift card to buy one, and a food card for each family.
Sixty-four families from the Pyle Center, plus 16 families recommended by other agencies, were among those helped at Christmas.
Twenty-six seniors from Pyle Senior Center received gift cards to Walmart; 73 students from first to 12th grades at George Washington Carver received gifts or gift cards; 40 children form a local community, as well as forty Head Start students received a nice gift.
The First State Detachment Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots donated hundreds of toys, which made it possible to fill all the requests. Without their help, it would not have happened.
My thanks to the Coastal Point for printing my articles and getting the word out to the public about this project.
Without the help of the following businesses who said yes immediately to having trees with the request cards at their place of business for their customers to see, this out reach would never have happened: Bethany Diner, Curves on 26, Millers Creek, Coastal Maytag, Treasure Island, Tidewater Rehab, Sedona’s, Kim’s Interiors, Healthy Habits and Hair Daze.
Also, Heather’s Homeworks, the Baltimore Lioness and two special friends who adopted families and my special donation supporters — thank you.
Last but not least, to all who took cards, bought gifts, helped in many other ways to make this new project a success — you are appreciated by me.
Toys for Tots again a huge success
The First State Detachment Marine Corps League Ocean View, Del., thanks all the individuals, families, merchants and media outlets for the continued support of our Toys for Tots program.
The 2014 toys for Tots drive was a great success. Thanks to your generosity, hundreds of needy children in our area had a merry Christmas.
Your continued support for the Toys for Tots program is greatly appreciated.
Frank Mathers, Commandant
Jack Carey, Toys for Tots Coordinator
First State Detachment, Marine Corps League