Bethany Beach Replenishment Covers Fenwick Island With Dead Marine Life

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We had our weekly beach clean up yesterday at Fenwick Island and the good news is the amount of trash was minimal for that size of a beach.  We had one full trash bag and maybe half a bucket by the end of the clean up.  The trash was typical, bottle caps, straws etc.  What was not typical was the amount of dead sand fleas, crabs, and mantis shrimp on the beach.  It is a known fact I am no fan of beach replenishment nor are any surfers I know.  The shore break it creates can kill people who are not paying attention or used to the ocean.  It also kills sand fauna.


Bethany Beach Replenishment project

Beach nourishment as it is called is an oxymoron.  We know that beach replenishment kills sand fauna that is a proven fact.  It was sad to see so much of it washed up on the beach.  Everyone kept asking me what are all these “things” on the beach.  They were sand fleas, and pieces of sand fleas some of them were black as coal.  I found over fifty mantis shrimp that were dead.  I also found some of the biggest speckled crabs I have ever seen in the surf.  We catch them in seine nets and often on our lines when they are stealing our bait and get jammed up in the gear or hooked.  They were all over the place as well as pieces of them after the birds tore them apart.


sand flea, bethany beach, delaware, sussex county, beach replenishment, fenwick island state park
Dead sand flea laden with eggs there were thousands of these on the beach

The amount of dead sand fleas laden with eggs was surprising as well.  it would take a lifetime to count them all there were that many  Bethany beach will take sometime to come back to life after killing off most other fauna.   One thing we never see anymore are those little clams that we could dig up and they would immediately bury themselves.  I haven’t seen them on a Delaware beach in a very long time.  Beach replenishment kills life by smothering it.

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If you are fishing out there it is best to make sure the tide is flowing in the opposite direction so you don’t have to deal with very cloudy silted up dirty water.  A few people fishing Tuesday caught some fish but for the most part fishing at Fenwick Island has not been very good.  It is affecting the fishing up and down the coast in my opinion.  This year the surf fishing is not very good in any area near the replenishment project.

We should start a pool to see how long it takes for all of this sand to wash away.  Because it will not stay there for long and this process will continue as it has for years.

Fish On!

RIch King


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