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DNREC and City of Wilmington Reveal Enhanced 7th Street Boating and Fishing Access Area: $2.9 Million Initiative Enhances Eastside Community Access

May 6, 2024

Revamped 7th Street Boating and Fishing Area Reopens on the Christina River

The community rejoices as the 7th Street Boating and Fishing Area on the Christina River in Wilmington officially reopens its gates. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), in collaboration with the City of Wilmington, marked the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at John Barbiarz Park, the site of the revitalized facility.

Funded primarily by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Funds and a portion of settlement money from the 2004 Athos I oil tanker spill in the Delaware River, totaling $2.9 million, the project boasts a reconstructed boat ramp, courtesy dock, refurbished fishing pier, and an expanded trailer parking lot.

Beyond mere renovation, the investment aims to enrich outdoor recreational opportunities for the underserved Eastside community. A portion of the $1.2 million settlement from the Athos I spill was allocated to the 7th Street boat ramp’s restoration in 2010, addressing damages inflicted by strong tidal currents.

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin expressed satisfaction, stating, “Anglers and boaters have waited a long time for this day to have water access restored within the city of Wilmington,” underscoring DNREC’s commitment to providing inclusive outdoor spaces for Delawareans.

Mayor Mike Purzycki highlighted the city’s dedication to enhancing recreational infrastructure for residents and visitors alike, citing recent investments in various community spaces. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber lauded the collaborative effort, emphasizing the long-term benefits of the project.

With the 7th Street ramp now operational, boaters and anglers can easily access the Delaware River, just two miles away from the fishing access area. Alongside boating enhancements, the partnership replaced decking and refurbished handrails on the fishing pier, which had been closed for years. The area is also equipped with new lighting for enhanced public safety.

Funded through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, these initiatives ensure sustainable access to waterways and support DNREC’s fisheries research efforts.