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Association of Coastal Towns talks wind farm, beach replenishment and more

DELAWARE- Coastal towns had a lot of things happen this past year, mayors from Lewes down to Fenwick Island addressed some issues and topics from a COVID stricken year.

The coast saw everything from the Skipjack wind farm proposal, and also there was an oil spill along the coast, but definitely one of those bigger topics was that wind farm project. a majority of the meeting today spent talking about a letter sent in December to a number of law makers in Delaware from the Association of Coastal Towns to address the Skipjack wind farm project. While Orsted is still looking for an onshore connection, previous ideas have been Fenwick Island State Park and another area in Bethany Beach. In that letter the mayors say they want to communities that would be effected by the off shore wind farm to be more involved, including money going back to the coastal towns.

Rosemary Hardiman, Bethany Beach Mayor said, “That dedicating, what we wanted to do was to share this belief that dedicating revenue from the offshore wind farm project, to sustain our coastal industries would not only benefit our local communities, but it would benefit the state as well as the citizens of the state and tax payers as well.”

In a statement, Orsted says its fully committed to an open dialogue with communities and stakeholders, and has 200 million in investments for the area, and the interconnection sites are still being evaluated.

Lincoln Willis, ACT Lobbyist said, “But at the moment Orsted’s not at the point where they’re moving forward with anything on the ground that’s actionable yet.”

The mayors say they continue to be in support of clean energy, as long as it is done correctly. While another topic was the beach replenishment project going on in Bethany and South Bethany Beach. DNREC says it should be completed by the end of January, but there were lingering concerns about the lasting affects of the oil spill.

Mike Powell, DNREC Coastal Shoreline Administrator said, “Collaboration between the contractor and our oil spill response team ensured that there will be no lasting repercussions from the oil spill on the beach replenishment project.”

The mayors on the call today say they did not get any direct feedback about that letter they sent about the wind farm project but they also think that they should reach out to the representatives and law makers to make sure they know what it means, and that they want action taken.