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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Improve State Park Campgrounds and Boost Tourism in Dover, Delaware

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.2 million grant to the State of Delaware, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), Dover, Delaware, for infrastructure improvements at five state park campgrounds to support local tourism. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will support campground improvements at Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore, Killens Pond, Lums Pond, and Trap Pond State Parks, bringing new visitors to Delaware and its businesses and local attractions. This EDA grant will be matched with $803,100 in local funds.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to supporting the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector as it works to recover and rebuild following the pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will boost Delaware’s critical tourism and hospitality industries while building resiliency in the region’s economy.”

“The travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector is a critical economic driver for many communities and the Economic Development Administration is pleased to support community-led development strategies designed to boost tourism and build a better America,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide for campground improvements Delaware needs to grow its tourism industry.”

“Delaware State Parks provide refuge for millions of Delawareans and visitors each year, and were critical to the public’s mental and physical health as we navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve also been recognized nationally for their quality, receiving the Gold Medal Award for Excellence last year,” said Governor John Carney. “I want to thank the U.S. Department of Commerce and Secretary Raimondo for recognizing and investing in these campgrounds.”

“Delaware’s state park system is a vital contributor to our state’s $3 billion tourism economy,” said Senator Tom Carper. “The First State may be small, but the appeal of our parks is far from it: Delaware’s parks attract almost six million guests a year! I’m delighted to welcome this investment from EDA that will create jobs, boost our economy, and help ensure that park visitors can come enjoy Delaware and make lifelong memories here in our glorious state.”

“Delawareans should be proud of our incredible state park system, a source of tourism and jobs for communities across the First State,” said Senator Chris Coons. “Thanks to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, and my colleagues Senator Carper and Representative Blunt Rochester, this grant will help ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the natural wonder of Delaware for years to come and that local economies and businesses across the state will thrive.”

“Travel and tourism are key drivers of Delaware’s economic competitiveness and today’s grant from the Economic Development Administration will help drive our economy forward,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-01). “I’m proud to have worked with Senators Carper & Coons to secure these federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act and am thankful to the Biden-Harris Administration and our Delaware state & local governments for helping put the funds to their best use.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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