SCAT tour focuses on Seaford’s riverfront, green initiatives

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 10/11/22

SEAFORD – Seaford, a municipality on the economic development rebound with the Western Sussex Business Campus and arrival of an Amazon distribution center, was last Friday the focus of …

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SCAT tour focuses on Seaford’s riverfront, green initiatives

Posted

SEAFORD – Seaford, a municipality on the economic development rebound with the Western Sussex Business Campus and arrival of an Amazon distribution center, was last Friday the focus of environmental/public safety initiatives in the downtown and riverfront areas.

Spurred by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware League of Local Governments and Sussex County Association of Towns, the SCAT Steering Committee breakfast event included a walking tour of the Oyster House Park/Riverwalk along the Nanticoke, the Gateway Park Pedestrian Improvements Project, and initiatives along Conwell Street.

Attendees included town, city, county representatives, elected state officials, as well as U.S. Sen. Carper Thomas Carper. The event included a “Wandering Delaware’s Waterways” theme, highlighting the importance and economic value of green infrastructure. 

“It was a chance to highlight the work Seaford had done along the waterfront. In that they also tied in Conwell Street, and the ‘green’ improvement that were done along that street as well,” said Mayor David Genshaw.

The Conwell Street initiative included improvements for runoff, and beautification, through plantings.

The tour was “not so much on the economic side of it, but the focus was more around natural plantings, erosion, and that kind of stuff,” Mayor Genshaw said. “We took the opportunity to celebrate Seaford and the good stuff that is going on.”

Located at 201 South Cannon Street at the site of the old J.B. Robinson Oyster House, the Oyster House Park officially opened to the public in the summer of 2021 to commemorate the competition of the first phase of the four-phase master plan project approved by city council in February 2020. That plan focused on enhancing access to the Nanticoke River along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail).

The Chesapeake Conservancy was instrumental in efforts that culminated in the conservancy’s purchase of the property near the river’s edge along Cannon Street and donating it to the city for the park project along the Seaford Riverwalk.

Future plans include a natural green amphitheater/classroom, an “oyster house” community facility and other amenities.

These plans hinge on the upgrade/replacement of an aging sewer line buried along the Nanticoke nearly 70 years ago. The new line, which will enhance wastewater infrastructure needs of Seaford and several other Western Sussex communities, will be located upslope several feet out of the flood plain.

This past May, Delaware’s Congressional delegation- Sen. Carper, Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester - announced a $1.2 million spending award to the Seaford Sewer Pipe Relocation Project. Total final cost of the sewer project, which encompasses Sussex County’s sewer system, has not yet been finalized.

Staff writer Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@iniusa.org. Follow @glennrolfeBTBN on Twitter.

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