Beaches and Shorelines

The DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management Section works to maintain and improve Delaware’s beaches, shorelines and waterways.

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Shoreline and Waterway Management Section


The section manages the shoreline through regulation of coastal construction activities and implementation of dune and beach management practices. It also works to protect and enhance eroded beaches to enable continued recreational use of this precious resource.

And it works to improve the state’s ability to endure severe coastal storms with minimal damage to public and private property and infrastructure.

Economic Analysis for Shoreline Management

DNREC has commissioned a study to explore the economic benefits of beach nourishment and to begin to develop new approaches to funding projects needed to maintain Delaware’s shorelines.

This will be a public process, with public meetings to present information to Delaware residents and gather their input.

Bay Shoreline Maintenance

The Shoreline and Waterway Management Section uses shoreline monitoring data to plan, design and carry out beach nourishment projects along Delaware’s Delaware Bay coast.

Project planning is guided by an annual report that ranks the priority of Delaware’s bay coast communities for beach fill.

Back Bay Study

The Coastal Storm Risk Management Study of the Delaware Inland Bays and Delaware Bay Coast will explore potential storm risk management problems and flood risk reduction solutions.

Beaches: A Natural Resource

Beaches and dunes are more than just a place for recreation and vacations. They are our first line of protection from wave action during coastal storms.

Property owners and visitors can preserve and protect beaches and dunes in several ways, through their day-to-day actions, by taking part in volunteer efforts such as beach grass planting, or by adopting a beach.

Coastal Construction

Coastal development adds stress to beaches and dunes. Coastal construction regulations designed to preserve and protect public and private beaches require approval for construction seaward of a state building line.

Monitoring Shorelines

The section monitors shoreline and beach condition changes by surveying profile lines along the oceanic and bay coasts. Survey data are used to plan and prioritize beach fill projects and to understand long term erosion/accretion rates. Reports summarizing observed profile change over the most recent year are published yearly. Survey data are available upon request.

Annual Beach Change Reports (Updated Nov. 2023)

Bay Coast

Ocean Coast