The effort to clean up the inland bays is making progress, but the mission is far from accomplished
Mike Dunmyer grew up as an Army brat, never staying in one place for more than a couple of years, but there was one constant in his life — summers at his grandmother’s place in Dewey Beach.
“We’d go out on boats, on kayaks, crabbing and fishing on the bays, having a good time,” he recalls. “It was a real summer lifestyle.”
At the time, Dunmyer had no idea that the water in Delaware’s inland bays was nowhere near as clean as it had been 10 or 20 years earlier, and that its condition was rapidly deteriorating.
That was back in the 1970s, in the early days of environmental awareness but well before the development of sophisticated measurements of water quality.
By the 1980s, there was little need for high-tech devices to provide proof of what was going on.
“The water had a funny color to it. It smelled. There was always trash around,” says Justin Redefer of Rehoboth, who grew up in Dewey Beach in the 1980s and spent as much of his adolescence as he could — or dared — on the water.
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