Carper Touts Federal Assistance for Indian River Inlet

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin to announce provisions secured in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022 that assist Delaware’s sand bypass plant at the Indian River Inlet Bridge. Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, coauthored WRDA 2022, which President Biden signed into law on Dec. 23, 2022. The sand bypass plant at the Indian River Inlet is critical to protecting the Indian River Inlet Bridge and Highway Route 1 and connecting Delawareans to their homes, places of work, schools, hospitals, and more.

For Indian River Inlet, WRDA 2022 will:

  • Extend the current period of federal assistance for the operation of the sand bypass plant to 2034. The bill also creates a path to authorize an additional 50 years of assistance, extending federal support for the project to 2084.
  • Direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to renourish the Indian River Inlet Beach, when the sand bypass plant is not operating, using dredged material or trucking in sand, a similar practice used for other beaches in Delaware. 
  • Address recreational facility damage caused by a lack of Corps maintenance at the Indian River Inlet by directing the Corps to repair the damaged public facilities like sidewalks and gazebos.

In addition to reauthorizing much-needed investments in projects and programs of the Army Corps of Engineers in Delaware and across the country, WRDA 2022 includes major provisions from the Shoreline Health Oversight, Restoration, Resilience, and Enhancement (SHORRE Act), which Senator Carper and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester introduced last year.