Where the Money Goes!!!

 

Financial resources have historically been concentrated on the eastern shore areas of Sussex County. Limited funding and personnel have left the Nanticoke River virtually un-protected until 2008 when DNREC stationed a boat at the Blades Marina but officers are not available for regular patrols.


The Corps of Engineers concentrates its resources in areas of political strength -- in this case, the Beaches.


U.S. Coast Guard - quickly investigates any barge “accidents” but does not have the resources to regularly patrol the Nanticoke River and the closest USCG facility is in Lewes, DE.


As a result, the Nanticoke River is only periodically patrolled.  Patrols that do occur are normally limited in duration because of demands from the beach areas during the major boating season.


However, it is clear that even sporadic patrols have had some affect on boating and barge activities.  The major problem appears to be that excessive boat wake regulations are out-of-date and ineffective.Existing regulations state that boat wakes need only be limited when within 100 feet of a No Wake sign or Dock.  However, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that excessive wakes within 500 feet of a shoreline cause significant erosion (click here for references). DNREC could help protect the river by promoting regulations that would minimize boat wake damage in environmentally sensitive areas -- before such damage forces even more restrictions on boaters.


In addition, barge groundings are often not reported. 

DNREC delegates all responsibility for addressing barge/tug issues to the U.S. Coast Guard. Establishing and enforcing regulations on the safe operation of tugs/barges on the Nanticoke River would make a huge difference.


Wouldn’t you expect that the safe operation of tugs/barges measuring up to 400 feet in length (and where a single vessel is the equivalent of over 125 tractor/trailers) be of some concern to our State and Federal agencies??