COVID accentuated the pre-existing condition of staff shortages. In coastal Delaware, other factors heighten the need for a remedy.

By Pam George
Photograph by Neil Parry
From the May 2022 issue


Julie Short didn’t dither over career choices after high school. Like her grandmother, she attended Beebe Healthcare’s nursing school, now the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing. “I joke with my manager and say, ‘You know, I drank the Kool-Aid in the womb because I have grown up at Beebe,’” says the fifth-generation nurse, whose mother has worked at Beebe for more than 40 years.

“I have a loyalty to Beebe,” says Short, a rapid response and “code blue” nurse. (A code blue is called when a patient experiences unexpected cardiac or respiratory arrest that requires resuscitation.) 

Migratory shorebirds flock to Delaware Bay beaches to feed on their way to northern breeding grounds

By Lynn R. Parks
Photograph by Deb Felmey
From the May 2022 issue


It’s not just people, yearning for surf and sun, who make annual treks to coastal Sussex. Migratory shorebirds — those stouthearted little creatures that travel thousands of miles every spring to reach their breeding grounds — include the beaches along Delaware Bay as a regular stop on their northward itineraries. 

Up to 1 million shorebirds visit those beaches every spring, says Henrietta Bellman, a coastal avian biologist with the state’s Division of  Fish & Wildlife. They represent as many as 30 species, including red knots, ruddy turnstones, semipalmated sandpipers, sanderlings and dunlins. 

The birds typically arrive in late April and early May, Bellman says, with their populations peaking in mid-May. By the middle of June, they have left to continue their way north. Timing is everything in this journey: The shorebirds, exhausted and emaciated, arrive in Delaware at the same time that horseshoe crabs — like the birds, compelled by a centuries-old spring ritual — are crawling out of the bay to lay their eggs in the sand. The birds’ timely arrival along the Delaware Bay allows them to forage during peak [horseshoe crab] spawning,” Bellman says.

Broadkill Beach retains the quiet charms of an earlier era

By Michael Morgan
Photographs courtesy of the Milton Historical Society
From the April 2022 issue


‘Barefoot Thursday’ was duly celebrated on Broadkiln Beach last Thursday,” the Smyrna Times reported in 1859. “Everyone present on that occasion was obliged to take off his boots and go barefoot. Great country that Sussex! — and great people live ‘thar.’”

Broadkill Beach (or, as it was often called in the 19th century, Broadkiln Beach), with its wide view of Delaware Bay, is washed by that waterway’s gentle waves splashing on replenished sand. Situated on a sliver of shoreline northwest of Lewes, hemmed in by Primehook Beach to the northwest and Beach Plum Island Nature Preserve to the southeast, Broadkill is isolated from crowds, commercial outlets and traffic.