Let There Be Lights
Winter WonderFest, which lit up the Lewes area last year, promises to be bigger and brighter this holiday season, with more lights, more carnival rides and even a real ice-skating rink instead of the one that used synthetic “ice” in 2016. The festival, which raises money for local nonprofits, will run from Nov. 17 to Jan. 1.
“We look at this as a cultural event for Delaware, providing locals and visitors something to do during the holidays,” says Peter Briccotto, executive producer of the festival. “This is such a community-oriented area, and people just want to connect and get out of the house. You just have to give them a reason. We were thrilled with the turnout last year, and we hope to build on that this year.”
Saving a Salt Marsh
Wildlife habitat makes a comeback as Prime Hook project mends Hurricane Sandy’s destruction
Just 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.”
Weathering the Storms
When it comes to flooding and other coastal destruction, northeasters — not hurricanes — are the greater threat
By Pam George
From the October 2017 issue
Hurricanes 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.”