Bathhouse at Fenwick Island State Park in 2017

Fenwick Island - Proposed Improvements Survey Response Summary


DNREC generally has various roles including regulatory oversight and land management. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Ørsted established a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2019 to begin to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed partnership project. The proposed wind farm itself is authorized by the state of Maryland, but an interconnection is proposed to be located in Delaware. The MOU is considered best practice in governing that acts as a declaration of the partners interest. In the MOU between DNREC and Ørsted, the terms included the conceptual development of an interconnection facility and park amenity upgrades, with renderings to allow DNREC to garner public input regarding the proposed park improvements. The MOU is not a legally binding document that would require DNREC to move forward on the project. If the project is determined to move forward by the DNREC Secretary, the next step would require detailed planning and all associated permitting. The determination to move forward with the proposed interconnection facility at Fenwick Island State Park is separate from required federal and state regulatory authorizations/permits and any purchasing agreements between the developer and the state of Maryland.

In October 2019, the Division of Parks and Recreation (Division) shared a conceptual proposal of amenities at Fenwick Island State Park to address safety concerns with traffic, infrastructure, one entrance, visitors crossing Route 1, and capacity. In doing so, the Division also identified potential ideas for added amenities for the public to provide comments and recommendations. From October 2, 2019 to January 15, 2020, the Division utilized an online survey to capture public comments regarding the proposed improvements at Fenwick Island State Park. A summary of those survey results is depicted and described on the following pages.

Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey Results

Total responses received: 2,692

1. How often do you visit Fenwick Island State Park?
Out of 2,646 respondents, 64% visit the park once a month or less while 25% visit the park at least a few times per week. Eight percent of the respondents have never visited Fenwick Island State Park.
Visitation chart
2. Do you own, rent, or work in Fenwick Island or one of the surrounding coastal communities (select all that apply)?
Nearly 75% of the respondents to the survey were property owners in Fenwick Island or one of the nearby surrounding coastal communities. Nearly 5% of the responses came from renters while 21% did not live or work in the area.
Own, Rent or Work chart
3. What repairs or improvements would you like to see at Fenwick Island State Park?
Rank Suggested Improvement Requests
1 Renovate existing parking area and/or create additional parking facilities 478
2 Renovate and expand bathhouse and restroom facilities 351
3 Expand food concession opportunities 144
4 Improve traffic patterns for easier and safer access to the park 113
4. What additional amenities would you like to see at Fenwick Island State Park? (Rank the top 5)
Survey Participants were asked to rank a list of potential amenities to add to the park. Walking paths were the most popular followed by a nature center, food concessions, shade structures and observation areas.
Rank Amenity
1 Walking Paths to Connect Fenwick Island
2 Nature Center
3 Food Concession
4 Shade Structures
5 Observation Areas
6 Additional Access Point for Emergency Vehicles
7 Education Programs
8 Kids Play Area
9 Sports Courts (ex. pickleball)
10 Amphitheater
11 Event Center
12 Meeting Rooms
5. Did the plans presented at the open house (and available online) help address traffic and safety concerns at Fenwick Island State Park?
Out of 2,239 responses, the results were split saying that they believe the proposed plan would improve the traffic concerns at the park. Additional concerns were addressed related to the SkipJack project and additional traffic to the park for the amenity improvements.
  Response Percent Number of Responses
Yes    49.8% 1115
No     50.2% 1124