Rehoboth Starts Season without Deauville


Rehoboth Beach started the season with a slew of changes impacting the beach patrol and especially visitors of Deauville, which has essentially become a state park within Rehoboth Beach.

Trash cans were removed, and Deauville has been converted into a carry-in/carry-out park, independent of city infrastructure.

As planned, state officials assumed control of the Deauville beach, its parking lot and tennis courts. The beach area extends roughly from the jetty north of Pennsylvania Avenue to the town’s northern edge.

The four Rehoboth Beach Patrol stands that covered this area for decades were replaced with state park chairs and state park lifeguards with their own rules. There are five lifeguard stands at Deauville beach staffed by 12 Delaware State Beach Patrol (DSBP) lifeguards, says Shauna McVey, DNREC communications manager. Gordon’s Pond remains unguarded.

“We’re going to work with them and alongside them and that area I’m sure is going to be just as safe as it ever was,” says Chief Derek Shockro of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol. “Delaware State Parks has some amazing lifeguards there,” he added, “and we’re looking forward to working with them to make sure the entire one-and-a-quarter mile of Rehoboth Beach is safely guarded.”

Saturday morning, DNREC park rangers — including Chief Wayne Kline of the Delaware Natural Resources Police — were on patrol in Deauville. Chief Kline said they will be enforcing state laws here, no city ordinances. That leaves this Rehoboth 1992 surfing ordinance in limbo.

The Catts’ beach shacks in Deauville are still used for umbrella and chair rentals. But the iconic “snack shack” off Park Avenue is now used by the lifeguards.

DNREC personnel were using this Airstream trailer to sell parking permits, among other items.

A one-day weekend vehicle pass is $20. Pedestrians and bicyclists are still allowed for free.

“We were sorry to have lost overseeing management of Deauville beach but we were not interested in the new fee structure imposed by DNREC that amounted to an increase of 10,000 to 12,000 percent,” Mayor Stan Mills said on Monday. “DNREC obviously has experience in managing state parks so the transition from city management to that of the state should be easy,” he added.