After passing in a unanimous 21-0 vote in the Delaware Senate, Senate Bill 6, introduced originally by Sen. Russ Huxtable, D-Lewes, passed the House of Representatives in a 24-0 vote. Action was completed on the last day of the session. Senate Bill 6 now goes to the governor for his consideration.
In enacting this bill, the General Assembly has established clear guardrails for how one of Sussex County’s most cherished natural places, Cape Henlopen State Park, is used and preserved.
The Preserve Our Park Coalition, which led the grassroots effort, is grateful for the leadership of Sen. Russ Huxtable in sponsoring this bill, which reaffirms the General Assembly’s commitment to a 350-year-old obligation known as the “Warner Grant” to protect the lands encompassed by Cape Henlopen State Park today and for future generations of Delawareans.
This legislation is the direct outgrowth of a public meeting held by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control at Cape Henlopen High School on Dec. 5, 2022. Nearly 1,000 citizens came to hear the department’s plans for Cape Henlopen State Park, including its proposal to build a bar/restaurant on the dune next to the Hawk Watch in the park.
Public comments at the meeting overwhelmingly rejected the bar/restaurant’s construction. At the end of the meeting, Division of Parks and Recreation director Ray Bivens announced that the bar/restaurant plan was “paused.” SB 6 now terminates it.
Preserve Our Park will continue its work to protect and preserve Cape Henlopen State Park for its unparalleled natural beauty, outdoor recreation, environmental education and historic significance.
For information, visit preserveourpark.org.
Joseph A. Pika