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DNREC, New Castle Conservation District honored by Water Resources
Association of Delaware River Basin for dike restoration project
PHILADELPHIA (April 23, 2015) – DNREC and its partner the New Castle Conservation District were honored Wednesday night by the Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin for a successful team effort in reconstructing and restoring five historic dikes dating back to the 17th century on the Delaware River that protect the City of New Castle and nearby contaminated wetlands from the impacts of coastal storms.
DNREC’s partnership with the New Castle Conservation District on the dike repairs earned the two agencies the Water Resources Association’s “Government Award” at the 33rd annual recognition dinner staged by the non-profit, non-partisan advocacy and public information organization whose mission is to promote sound water resources management within the Delaware River Basin.
Comprising project leaders from DNREC and the New Castle Conservation District, the Delaware Bay dike repair project team undertook this multi-year, multi-million dollar project and restored the deteriorating flood control structures protecting the City of New Castle and a contaminated wetland undergoing EPA Superfund site remediation. Numerous challenges were faced throughout the project, including engineering and designing the reinforced and rebuilt structures to meet U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Rehabilitations and Inspection Program standards; ensuring the documentation and protection of historically-sensitive resources; and finally, having to work toward completion of the project through the devastating impacts of several coastal storms, including Hurricane Sandy.
Jennifer Adkins, executive director of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, presented the Government Award to DNREC Secretary David Small and New Castle Conservation District Coordinator Kevin Donnelly, while remarking on the importance of the project in light of the historic significance of the structures, the first of which was built around 1675 by Delaware’s early settlers, the storm protection the dikes provide and the recreational benefits gained with their restoration.
Sec. Small in turn recognized Bonnie Arvay, an environmental scientist with the DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs, for her work as the department’s project coordinator, while Mr. Donnelly lauded Andy Bowman, a NCCD engineer who managed construction-related activities over the course of the project’s completion. Both Sec. Small and Mr. Donnelly also acknowledged “the tremendous efforts of engineers, contractors, land owners, local, state and federal agencies, the Delaware Congressional delegation and the Delaware General Assembly who played a role the success of the project.”
The Government Award shared by DNREC and NCCD was one of seven presented by the Water Resources Association, including a special recognition award for W. Michael McCabe, an EPA administrator who organized and directed the national commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Earth Day in 1980 with events held in more than 1,000 communities around the globe.
Vol. 45, No. 125