REHOBOTH BEACH -- Delaware’s beaches have again drawn kudos for having the cleanest water quality in the nation as the National Resources Defense Councilagain awarded two popular beaches -- Rehoboth and Dewey -- 5-star ratings as Superstar Beaches for their perfect swimming water quality for the past four years.
NRDC is the non-partisan international environmental advocacy group founded in 1970 which annually assesses all beaches in 30 coastal states.
Dewey and Rehoboth were two of only 13 Superstar Beaches so designated by the NRDC among beaches of the coastal states. In its report, ”Testing the Waters” in Delaware released this week, the NRDC also recognized DNREC’s Recreational Water Quality Testing Program as one of the most comprehensive in the nation.
“Clean water quality and nourished ocean beaches are vital to tourism, job growth and Delaware’s economy,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Delaware’s ranking as first in the country for swimming water quality and our beautifully-nourished community beaches continue to make our coastal resorts national destinations of choice.”
Delaware attracts more than 7 million visitors each year, many of them drawn to the state’s scenic Atlantic beaches. According to a recent report, The Contribution of the Coastal Economy to the State of Delaware, by Delaware Sea Grant College Program at the University of Delaware, the state’s coastal economy has a significant impact on Delaware’s overall economy – generating almost $7 billion annually, including over $700 million in tax revenue and supporting almost 60,000 jobs. The report found that beach tourism provides more than 10 percent of the state’s total employment, taxes, and business production.
Delaware’s U.S. Congressional delegation chimed in with congratulations.
“For yet another year, Delaware’s beaches have been recognized as some of the best in the country. That’s due in no small part to our state’s efforts to clean up and preserve our coastline,” said U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper. “Infrastructure projects, dune replenishment and clean water have helped make places like Rehoboth and Dewey some of the most beautiful and safe tourist destinations in America. I’m proud that this distinction will help spread the word about what we in Delaware have known for years: that the First State has some of the best beaches in the world.”
“Delaware’s beaches are among the best in the country not only because of their natural wonder, but because of the enduring commitment of so many to protect them,” Senator Chris Coons said. “Here in Delaware, we know that protecting our beautiful coastline isn’t just important to summer fun, but to our local economy, too. Keeping our water clean, beaches healthy and coastal infrastructure secure is a priority at every level, and I’m proud to do my part to help in Congress.”
"Every year, thousands of Delawareans, and millions more from across the country visit Delaware’s beaches. They come to enjoy our pristine shoreline with the highest quality beach water in the nation,” said U.S. Representative John Carney. “In the process, they support both the state and local economy. I’m very proud that investments by the federal government and DNREC will help Delaware preserve its coastline, maintain the cleanest water in the ocean, and stay a destination area along the Atlantic Coast for many years to come.”
Delaware ranked first out of 30 states for cleanest water quality overall.
“With Delaware once again rated No. 1 nationally for beach water quality, and both Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach again recognized as ‘superstar beaches’ – and with the continued success of our nationally-recognized beach nourishment projects – Delaware has emerged as one of the nation’s most pristine beach destinations, ” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “By continuing to steward our treasured natural resources, our beaches prominent among them, we can protect and enhance this economic and environmental advantage for years to come.”
Ocean City, Md. also made the 5-Star list.