Fenwick readies environmental brochure

“Refreshing surf — sunny days on the beach — gentle breezes on the bay — glorious sunsets” ...
When Fenwick Island Environmental Committee members describe their little “jewel by the sea,” these are some of its prime attributes.

The committee is working on a brochure to remind visitors (and locals) that they shouldn’t take the quality of the town’s beaches and bays for granted.

On Feb. 28, committee members Martha Keller, Peg Baunchalk and Mary Pat Kyle continued work on the draft brochure, titled “Preserving the ‘Quiet’ in the Quiet Resort of Fenwick Island.”

Baunchalk has provided photographs depicting natural scenes, and hoped to feature a photo of some locals as well.

The committee intends to distribute the brochure with the quarterly Fenwick Island Newsletter (FIN) at some point, although it might not be ready for the April 1 issue.

More importantly, the committee plans to include the brochures with town parking permits.

Keller said beach committee member Theo Brans and beach patrol captain Tim Ferry were working simultaneously on a list of rules for the beach, for the same packet.

The environmental committee’s brochure reiterates some of those rules — keep pets on a leash, for instance.

However, according to Baunchalk, committee members hoped their brochure would be a more palatable way for the town to say, “don’t.”

The emphasis is on enlisting visitors in a cooperative effort to maintain clean beaches, and ask them to “help restore today’s bays to yesterday’s quality.”

Baunchalk expected the parking permits would be a good opportunity to spread the word.

Fenwick sells seasonal, monthly and weekly permits, but the committee is working on a draft that even day-trippers will be able to absorb at a glance.

They reviewed comprehensive informational designs, but shied away from wordiness. As Baunchalk pointed out, “It shouldn’t take them more than five minutes to read.”

Working with that guideline, the committee has kept the focus tight on beaches and bay.

In brief, the committee members mean to remind visitors (and locals) that “our dunes protect our town from storms,” and everyone should respect their importance.

That means avoiding the stabilizing beach grass, and foot traffic across the dunes in general.

Regarding the bays, the committee advises people to keep lawn clippings, animal waste, oil and other residential byproducts out of the water, plan landscaping to minimize stormwater runoff, choose native plants over exotics, and let the wildlife be wildlife (don’t feed the geese).

The committee is working with State of Delaware Coastal Programs grant support, and Keller said they planned to use the Prison Industries’ print shop at Sussex Correctional Institute (SCI) for the brochure.