Little Creek facility offers views for visitors of all abilities

Cutting the ribbon for the Little Creek Wildlife Area boardwalk trail and wildlife-viewing tower east of Dover are, from left, Gov. John Carney, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Delaware Bayshore Initiative Coordinator Anthony Gonzon, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, past DNREC Secretary David Small, state Rep. Bill Carson, Little Creek Mayor Glenn Gauvry, Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Doug Atkin and DelDOT Byways Program Manager Mike Hahn. (Submitted photo/DNREC)

LITTLE CREEK — State leaders officially opened a new two-level observation tower and boardwalk trail with parking in the Little Creek Wildlife area that is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities.

The tower includes a unique railing design and expanded toe box on the lower level to allow disabled visitors to move closer to the rails for a better view, according to state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control officials.

Gov. John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin joined state Rep. Bill Carson, Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Little Creek Mayor Glenn Gauvry, Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Doug Atkin and Division of Fish & Wildlife and DelDOT staff Friday to cut a ribbon on the recently completed Little Creek wildlife-viewing tower and accompanying boardwalk east of Dover.

A popular location with local bird watchers for decades, the new Little Creek Wildlife Area facility replaces an outdated tower that was not accessible to visitors with physical limitations and disabilities. Seasonally, visitors can view a variety waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds from the tower and along the boardwalk. Travelers along the Route 9 corridor, part of Delaware’s Bayshore Byway, can stop at this new destination to take in Delaware’s Bayshore. Interpretive signs are designed to provide visitors with information about the wildlife, habitat, and management of the Little Creek Wildlife Area.

“Delaware’s Bayshore, and the Delaware Bayshore Byway that brings visitors here, are among our state’s treasures, from its woods, waters, and wetlands, to its historic small towns nestled along our eastern coastline,” said Gov. Carney. “The accessible features of this specially-designed tower, boardwalk, and parking make it convenient for all visitors – including those with disabilities – to see and enjoy this part of our beautiful Bayshore.”

Secretary Garvin said, “The new Little Creek wildlife-viewing tower provides a sweeping view of the Delaware Bay and some of its many marshes to attract birders as well as visitors simply enjoying a beautiful day on the Bayshore. This new facility also demonstrates DNREC’s commitment to providing exceptional outdoor recreational experienc-es for visitors of all abilities.”

Funding for the $1.06 million project comes from Delaware Bayshore Initiative Bond Bill funds, Trails and Pathways Bond Bill funds, and Federal Highway Administration Scenic Byway Grant funds for the Delaware Bayshore Byway. The project supports the Delaware Bayshore Initiative by enhancing outdoor recreation access and supporting local communities like nearby Little Creek.

Managed by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, the Little Creek Wildlife Area provides opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, boating, and other outdoor recreation activities. The Division of Fish & Wildlife manages 19 wildlife areas to-taling more than 60,000 acres statewide, including dozens of public-use facilities.

The Little Creek Wildlife Area is part of Delaware’s Bayshore Region, which formally launched in 2015 and follows Route 9 starting in historic New Castle and ending in the city of Lewes.

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