Shoreline changes that follow beach replenishment projects spark complaints from wave riders — and safety concerns from others

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Chuck Snyder
From the August 2015 issue

shorebreak Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #123Jim McGrath isn’t certain of the exact day. But sometime in July 2014, he wandered down to the beach from his Bethany Surf Shop and noted how rough the surf was.

“There must have been a storm out in the ocean,” he says. “Whatever it was, the swell was big and there were some really nasty shore breaks.”

The waves were crashing onto the sand with such intensity, he recalls, that “people were getting hurt like crazy.” He told a nearby member of the Bethany Beach Patrol that the beach should be closed. “Swimming in that was a good way to get killed,” he recalls. 

And sure enough, a short time later the beach was closed. Lifeguards posted signs warning that it was not safe to venture into the water.

Of course, Delaware’s Atlantic beaches have always had their occasional days of heavy surf — days that wave riders of all sorts welcomed with relish. But in recent years the state’s shoreline has changed so much that a day at the beach, heavy surf or not, sometimes isn’t as much fun as it used to be, McGrath asserts. 

The demands are a recipe for failure unless one prepares well, say those who’ve risen to the challenge

By Pam George  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the August 2015 issue

restaurant Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #123Would-be restaurateurs regularly approach Josh Grapski to “pick his brain.” That’s not surprising. Grapski is president of La Vida Hospitality, which owns and operates Nage and Big Chill Surf Cantina on Route 1 near Rehoboth Beach, as well as the Taco Reho food truck and Crooked Hammock, a brewpub under construction just outside Lewes.

What is surprising is that many such requests come from people outside the business. Grapski can generally separate them into three categories. Home chefs, encouraged by the “wows” garnered from appreciative friends and family members, want to share their recipes with the masses. Others are attracted by the lifestyle — or their perception of it. “Man, your business looks like so much fun,” they tell Grapski. “I would love to work in a restaurant — it wouldn’t feel like work.” Then there are those who tell him they have a concept that’s going to be “a home run.”

The fun of fireflies in a summer sky never gets old

By Patsy Dill Rankin
From the August 2015 issue

commentary-fireflies Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #123

I saw a light show last night, right in my backyard. It was one of the best I had seen in a long time and it reminded me of when I was a little girl. When I was growing up in Washington, D.C., we would spend the day at the pool, and then we’d come home and have a cookout and eat dinner on the patio. It was then that the show would begin.

As it got dark, the fireflies started coming out of the grass and would rise into the warm summer night air. My sisters and I would run barefoot through the yard and catch them in our hands. When our hands were full, and we couldn’t hold any more, we would run into the house and get the old empty olive, pickle or mayonnaise jars under the kitchen sink that my mom would save. One of us would then get the hammer and ice pick from the tool drawer and we would punch holes in all the lids of the jars. Back out into the yard we would run and we would put some grass and twigs in the jars and continue to dance around in the night air collecting what we called “lightning bugs.” As the jars filled, each began to glow like magic.