By Camila Fernandez
With hurricane season around the corner, state officials in Delaware and coastal wildlife refuge volunteers are working together to protect our natural resources.
A 38 million dollar project is helping them to restore places like Fowler Beach where thousands of acres were damaged by hurricanes and nor'easters.
"The land is actually subsiding, but we also have rising sea levels and so those storms just destroyed what was protecting our marshes behind it and the communities," said Al Rizzo, the project leader for the Coastal Delaware National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
To help volunteers who protect the state's wildlife, the government recently passed the Keep America's Refuges Operational Act to continue funding for environmental projects.
"We don't have enough federal dollars to go around to pay for everything these days," said Tom Carper, the U.S. State Senator for Delaware.
"We depend in state government, and we depend on the federal government with respect to our national wildlife refuges," said Carper.
"The volunteers are so critical to the operation of our refuges and in the era of declining budgets, we're very dependent upon volunteers to help us accomplish the mission of keeping education programs working, and maintaining our infrastructures," said Rizzo.
The Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge officials have already dredged about 25 miles of channel to restore Fowler Beach and the marsh in the refuge.
According to officials, animals like horseshoe crabs, migratory birds and other species are using the beach again thanks to the restoration efforts.