The New Road corridor is the home to several of the last working farms east of route one in Lewes. New Road also has hundreds of acres of open scape. The open space, farmlands , and wetlands are critical recharge areas that hold water and help prevent flooding. Without these areas we face increased flooding.
The Great Marsh Preserve is one of Delaware’s few remaining wetlands, brimming with a variety of unique local fauna and wildlife. Towering pines and oaks, fields of tulip poplar, long grasses—all set the stage for sightings of red-wing blackbirds, wading birds, hawks, falcons, and more that arrive here for their summertime migration. Additionally, the vast salt marsh was once a vital resource used by locals for farming, shipbuilding, fishing, haying, roofing, insulation, livestock feed, and even artistic works.
The marsh also plays a critical role in our fragile coastal ecosystem. In addition to being a refuge for plans and wildlife, the marsh holds excess stormwaters and protects our adjacent communities from flooding.
This area has a rich history dating back to the indigenous people, our earliest inhabitants of Lewes. Since then colonial settlers, early farming families, and even shipbuilders have lived and worked along New Road. Historical artifacts have been found in many areas along New Road, from the old "Pagan Creek", now Canary Creek, up through "Tower Hill", what we now know as Groome property.
In addition to the large and small animals we all know live in the natural areas along New Road, the open spaces near the Great Marsh are important habitats for migratory birds. Even the protected Bald Eagle can be spotted along New Road.
New Road has always been the quiet end of town where locals could get in and out at the height of tourist season, and where you could see cornfields growing and flowers blooming in the field during the Summer. It is also an escape route where north Lewes residents can plan on exiting in an emergency, if the roadway is not flooded. Sadly, our quiet country road is on its' way to becoming a congested road full of developments.
The elements above are things worth fighting for. While we understand that development is inevitable and driven by economic forces, we also believe that advocating and lobbying for development that is environmentally responsible, respectful of the history and archaeology, and in keeping with the current character and density of the existing homes and developments. The trend throughout the area of increased density with large homes on small lots or rows of townhomes is not compatible with New Road. We must be vocal and vigilant or New Road will just become another Lewes byway overrun with tracts of densely packed new homes. Our environment cannot sustain that and our roadways cannot safely accommodate hundreds, or thousands, of new homes on New Road.
Here is a short tour of the New Road we know and love. Notice the farmlands and the single family homes, many of which are set back or on large lots. Also notice the narrow roadway with no shoulder and the standing water spilling on to the road from the empty lots.
This is the Eastern section of the Groome parcel that fronts New Road and backs up to Schaeffer lane.
Does this look like an appropriate place to build a new housing development?
This section of the parcel is regularly underwater.