US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center Website

Inland Waterway from Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay

Published March 13, 2020
Inland Waterway, Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay Project Index Map

Inland Waterway, Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay Project Index Map

The Inland Waterway from Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay project provides for an entrance channel through Roosevelt Inlet near Lewes, Delaware, 10 feet deep and 200 feet wide protected by two parallel jetties 500 feet apart and extension of the jetties; a channel 10 feet deep and 100 feet wide to the South Street Bridge at Lewes; a channel 6 feet deep and 50 feet wide to Rehoboth Bay entrance.

The Inland Waterway from Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay project provides for an entrance channel through Roosevelt Inlet near Lewes, Delaware, 10 feet deep and 200 feet wide protected by two parallel jetties 500 feet apart and extension of the jetties; a channel 10 feet deep and 100 feet wide to the South Street Bridge at Lewes; a channel 6 feet deep and 50 feet wide to Rehoboth Bay entrance.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: DE-AL

APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General

BUSINESS PROGRAM: Navigation

DESCRIPTION: The project  provides for an entrance channel through Roosevelt Inlet near Lewes, Delaware, 10 feet deep and 200 feet wide protected by two parallel jetties 500 feet apart, and extension of the jetties; a channel 10 feet deep and 100 feet wide to the South Street Bridge at Lewes; a channel 6 feet deep and 50 feet wide to Rehoboth Bay entrance. It also provides for a channel 6 feet deep and 100 feet wide from Roosevelt Inlet to Broadkill River, and a highway bridge and railroad bridge at Rehoboth Beach. 

STATUS: A channel condition survey of the entire waterway will be performed in FY 2020.  Maintenance dredging of the Roosevelt Inlet Entrance Channel was conducted using the Government Dredge Currituck in February 2019 and again in February 2020.  Sand was dredged from the inlet channel and placed in a designated nearshore area to support the federal beach nourishment project in Lewes.

COMMENTS: The Inland Waterway from Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay (DE) is a shallow draft navigation project utilized by both commercial and recreational users.  It has an authorized depth of 10 feet through the entrance channel. The local commercial fleet consists numerous charter and head boats. The University of Delaware maintains several research vessels that are stationed within the project, and mooring for research vessels from visiting universities. The Roosevelt Inlet Coast Guard Station located on the waterway performs routine patrols and emergency response activities. Lack of periodic maintenance of the channel will affect the ability of the Coast Guard to respond to emergency situations at lower tide stages. The Delaware Bay and River Cooperative (DBRC), whose mission is oil spill emergency response/cleanup for events occurring in the Delaware River and Bay, is based in this waterway.  The DBRC has positioned the oil spill response vessel DELRIVER in Lewes.  The location of DELRIVER in the University of Delaware’s harbor, with direct access to Roosevelt Inlet, is strategically important for response to potential spills in the Big Stone Beach Anchorage and approaches.  On average more than one million barrels of crude oil a day move into the Delaware Bay and River area.  A majority of the bulk crude oil carriers lighter at Big Stone Beach Anchorage, and require spill coverage before proceeding up the Bay to the Delaware River refineries.  DBRC located the DELRIVER in Lewes because a 45 minute response time is possible from its mooring location at Roosevelt Inlet.  Continuing maintenance dredging, when needed, is critical to the ability of the DELRIVER to respond to emergency situations in a timely manner regardless of tide stage.

PROJECT GOALS:  The purpose of this project provides for an entrance channel through Roosevelt Inlet near Lewes, Delaware, a channel to the South Street Bridge at Lewes, and a channel to the Rehoboth Bay entrance.​

PROJECT MANAGER: Dan Kelly