Pump sand or preserve history? Go ahead and improve the current situation, or ensure the current situation does not destroy the past?
It’s an interesting dilemna, and one that should be studied.
A few local state representatives, including our very own Gerald Hocker, have been attempting to let archaeologists into areas that have been designated as “borrow sites” — locations earmarked to pump in sand to renourish area beaches. The representatives want archaeologists to comb through the areas before the work begins, rather than have equipment tear through possible shipwreck remains or other local slices of history.
Some complain that the archaeological studies will halt renourishment. And, yes, it will certainly delay progress.
However, as was recently evidenced in Lewes, where a sand-pumping dredge tore through an underwater archaeological site and threw historic artifacts onto the beach, it sounds like a necessary endeavor to us.
Beach replenishment is of vital importance to the entire Delaware coast and we, right along with everyone else, have been screaming from the mountaintops to get the work done now. But we also don’t want to see our links to the past get obliterated, when patience could make everyone happy.
If the proposed archaeological surveys find anything of note in the borrow sites, those sites can simply be moved. The sand will still be pumped, just not at the expense of destroying precious artifacts.
We are all in a rush to see our beaches saved. Let’s just not also be in a rush to see our past eliminated.
At-large voting for Sussex County Council seats has gathered some serious steam in recent weeks, thanks largely to the Citizens for a Better Sussex (CBS) group. However, the likelihood of such drastic change is very small.
The complete dismantling of a system is just not going to be accepted by those who make the decisions. However, the efforts by CBS and other groups are shining a light on what many perceive to be major problems in this county.