Wildlife habitat makes a comeback as Prime Hook project mends Hurricane Sandy’s destruction

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Kevin Fleming
From the October 2017 issue

FeaturePrimeHook Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #24Just two years ago, the view from Fowler Beach Road east of Milton was very different from what it is now. What had been freshwater wetlands, artificially created and maintained as part of the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, was all water.

“We called it Prime Hook Sound,” says Annabella Larsen, wildlife biologist at the refuge. “We had lost all the wetlands and everything was covered with saltwater.”

Today, though, the area is home to a growing high salt marsh. More than a third of the area that was open water is now green with plants, primarily cordgrass.

“This is so impressive,” says Al Rizzo, project leader at Prime Hook as well as at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Dover. Rizzo and Larsen comment as they ride east on Fowler Beach Road, on a mission to examine the marsh’s progress. “All of this growth has happened in just two years.”

When it comes to flooding and other coastal destruction, northeasters — not hurricanes — are the greater threat

By Pam George
From the October 2017 issue

FeatureNoreasters Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #24Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left a monstrous mark on this year’s hurricane season, and the formation of tropical storms is still the star of Weather Channel footage. But those storms, even if they become hurricanes, account for only 20 percent to 25 percent of the major coastal flooding events in the mid-Atlantic states, according to Dan Leathers, the Delaware state climatologist. The coast has more to fear from northeasters — non-tropical storms that create the lion’s share of flooding in our area.

“We call them ‘nagging northeasters,’” says Tony Pratt, shoreline and waterway management administrator for the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “They’re the ones that last two, three, four or five tide cycles, as opposed to a hurricane, which passes through so quickly we usually have one tide to worry about. A nagging northeaster just sits and spins northeast winds for days on end.”

2005 still looms as a high-water mark for the coastal real estate market, but the home-sales tide continues to rise

By Larry Nagengast  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the October 2017 issue

FeatureRealEstate Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #24Ask most any real estate professional in coastal Sussex and they’ll tell you that 2017 is looking a lot like 2005 — which was, as Frank Sinatra used to croon, “a very good year.”
Those with good memories, or with access to Multilist real estate data, know that 2005 was a record-setter for the 10 ZIP codes that make up the coastal Sussex area. In that year, 1,821 single-family homes were sold at an average price of $556,294, and they sold quickly.

For the first half of this year, single-family homes in the region are selling faster than at any time since 2005 and sales volume is on pace to top the 1,917 homes sold in 2015 and 1,908 homes sold last year.