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An angler casts from a boat on the Brandywine River, near a proposed boat ramp project in Wilmington, Delaware.

Athos Oil Spill Trustees Seek Comments on Proposed Delaware Boat Ramp Project Replacement

November 25, 2019

NOAA and natural resource Trustees in the M/T Athos I oil spill case are proposing an amendment to a previously approved restoration plan from 2009. The draft amended plan (PDF, 12 pages), calls for replacing one recreational project, a boat ramp, with another boat ramp project at a different location that would help achieve more substantial recreational access to the Delaware River.

The project from the 2009 restoration plan (PDF, 263 pages) included a breakwater construction project at the Augustine Beach boat ramp in Middletown, Delaware. After further evaluation, the Trustees found that the Augustine beach project wouldn’t meet goals to significantly increase recreational access to the Delaware River. 

The proposed project at the 7th Street boat ramp, near Babiarz Park in Wilmington, Delaware, was included as an alternative in the 2009 restoration plan. The area, further up the Delaware River, on the Christina River is a popular spot for recreational fishing, but the boat ramp there was closed in 2004. If approved, this project will give anglers easier access to the nearby fishing areas, as well as other recreational boaters and paddlers access to a recently revitalized waterfront area.

The Trustees released the draft amended restoration plan for public comment until December 27, 2019.   

This is one of three recreational projects funded by $27.5 million in funds received in 2010 to restore natural resources impacted by the 2004 oil spill. They were approved to make up for the more than 40,000 lost recreational trips communities missed out on because of the spill. 

The other projects, including new oyster reefs, removal of three dams, and wetland, shoreline and other habitat restoration efforts are completed or underway. These projects will create or restore almost 400 acres of different habitat in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

If you’d like to submit public comment on the draft amended restoration plan, please send your comments:

  • Via email to: Mary Andrews,
  • Via mail to: Mary Andrews, NOAA Restoration Center, 200 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Suite 460, Annapolis, MD 21401

To be considered, comments must be received or postmarked by December 27, 2019.

Trustees leading restoration after the Athos oil spill include NOAA, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; and Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Boat Commission, and Game Commission.