The commissioners of Oxford are scheduled to vote on improving the shoreline at the popular Strand Beach.
The commissioners will vote April 27 on a $2.8 million engineering project that looks to better protect the waterside town from storm surges and flooding while preserving the small community beach.
Both priorities are essential.
Engineers want to create a 1,000-foot sand dune as well as three marshy islands on the Tred Avon to better protect Oxford and its shoreline from floods and tropical storm surges.
Residents have rightly raised questions about beach access and what the longstanding community amenity will look like after construction. We concur with those concerns.
The town and engineers say the 13,000-square-foot beach area will have the same amount of space after construction, though some grassy areas will be encroached upon. The project has been in the works for three years.
We hope the effort can accomplish two important goals — protecting Oxford from flooding and storms that threaten the shorelines as well as preserving Strand Beach.
The beach is an important, unique and fun recreational asset for Oxford and the Shore. We need to better protect the town and its waterfront, but we also want to make sure Strand Beach is around for current and future generations to enjoy.
The challenges facing Oxford have and will be replicated in other parts of the Eastern Shore, as well other waterfront communities across the country dealing with sea levels, flooding and potential impacts of climate change. We hope the Oxford project is successful in its goals and can help make the Shore a global example of dealing with such issues.
A town vote is scheduled for April 27 and we hope residents check out the plans and continue to ask the town and commissioners questions about the infrastructure effort and grants to pay for it.
The project is very important for the town and the Shore.