EDITORIAL: Replenishment should be priority


The joint contract between the towns of South Bethany and Bethany Beach and the beach replenishment lobbying firm Marlowe & Co. is due to expire on Dec. 31, and questions are arising as to whether or not the towns should extend the arrangement another year.

Some property owners have questioned just how much the lobbyist has done for the towns in their efforts to secure federal funding. Hal Marian, a property owner in Bethany Beach, recently asked asked a pointed question of a representative of Marlowe.

“How do you rate your success,” asked Marian. “I measure it in sand, and I see no sand.”

Well, that would be a fair way to measure it. And that is indeed a fair question.

However, the fact remains that Marlowe is the only major lobbyist that deals exclusively with beach replenishment. As South Bethany Mayor Gary Jayne explained, “If they’re not working for us, they could be working for someone else. The pot of money is only so big. I’d rather have him working for us than someone else.”

And that, to us, is the most important reason to extend the relationship between the towns and Marlowe another year. It is indeed vital to those towns, as well as for all of us who live in this community, that sand is dumped on those beaches. It is not only about keeping the beaches looking pristine — it is more importantly a significant factor in improving our odds of surviving a major storm.

South Bethany voted on Dec. 8 to pay their half of the contract extension. Here’s hoping Bethany Beach decides to do the same in their meeting on Friday, Dec. 15.

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