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      Gary Kirk

      Follow link to video and read story below.

      REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – A project 10 years in the making, Grove Park Dock is finally complete. City leaders first mentioned building a dock in 2009, and after breaking ground in April 2020, the $1.23 million project is finished, with the Lewes Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association (LRCIA) raising $1.1 million.

      The goal of the new Grove Park Dock is to transform an underused dock to increase tourism, ecotourism, and to get more people active and involved.

      “As the hub of so much visitation here in Sussex County, I think this dock represents a critical addition to the inter-coastal waterway that is the canal, and the possibilities, not only getting on the water recreationally, but to travel as another form of transportation,” said Scott Thomas, Executive Director of Southern Delaware Tourism and LRCIA member.

      The dock has ADA compliant walkways, kayak racks, kayak launch, a fishing pier, and a water taxi between Rehoboth and Lewes.

      “I don’t know about you, but I live in Rehoboth Beach, and I don’t want to drive to Lewes, and the people in Lewes don’t want to drive to Rehoboth Beach, so they have another option here and I think it’s going to be great,” said Pat Coluzzi, LRCIA member.

      The city voted to put $280,000 into the budget if they needed it.

      “It was wonderful the way grant money and external money has come in, so the city has put a relatively small investment in adding this asset to the quality of life to our residents, businesses and our tourists,” said Dick Byrne, Rehoboth Beach City Commissioner.

      Over the summer, LRCIA member, Mark Carter, paddled 25 miles to raise money for the project. On Monday, he told WRDE, “It’s so exciting to see some goodness come out of this past year. A public access to the waterway is a plus for the community. The dock definitely took a long time to become a reality, but it’s already a more welcoming site driving or walking across the drawbridge into Rehoboth. Residents and visitors alike are already checking out the new addition to town, and once the weather warms up, Grove Park Dock is really going to shine.”

      The area used to be unrecognizable, “and now if you look at this area here, it’s been developed with the help of the LRCIA, and has transformed the canal bank into a second waterfront, which fulfills the city’s comprehensive development plan,” said Mayor Stan Mills.

      Leaders believe Grove Park Dock will become a Rehoboth gem. There are a few final touches to be made, so no date has been set for a ribbon cutting.

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