Federal and state officials have announced they will study unexploded ordnance at Cape Henlopen State Park in response to the discovery of intact rockets and pieces of rockets in recent years.
Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, announced the beginning of the study at the former Fort
Miles Military Reservation. Today, this former coastal artillery battery
is part of the approximately 6,700-acre Cape Henlopen State Park near Lewes.
This month, technical experts with the private contracting firm URS Corp. of Oak Ridge, Tenn., will begin a comprehensive Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis study of the former Fort Miles Military Reservation. During the study, field data collection, a site characterization, a risk assessment of military ordnance hazards and an evaluation of potential response alternatives will be completed. This information will be provided in a study report. The public will be given an opportunity to review and comment on the study report. The study is expected to be complete in March 2005.
In recent years, visitors to the state park have found pieces, and in some
cases, intact 3.5-inch inert practice rockets, which were used during training missions at this site from 1938 to 1950.
Although the practice rockets themselves do not present a danger, a small charge inside an intact rocket motor can contain explosives. For this reason, Corps and park officials warn visitors not to pick up or handle these items. Anyone who might find one of these items is asked to report it to park officials.
During the fieldwork portion of the study, if intact practice rocket with motor is found, ordnance experts will render it safe by detonation.
The Fort Miles Military Reservation is one of hundreds of formerly used defense sites nationwide. The Army Corps of Engineers is the federal agency responsible for the inventory, investigation and cleanup of these