Congress Approves Beach Nourishment Funding For Area Beaches

A Congressional Panel recently approved In July 2020 to continue support of local beach nourishment projects. Carolina and Kure Beaches would receive 15-year renourishment project extension and there would be $53.8 million authorized for remainder of the Wrightsville Beach project. A Congressional Panel recently approved In July 2020 to continue support of local beach nourishment projects. Carolina and Kure Beaches would receive 15-year renourishment project extension and there would be $53.8 million authorized for remainder of the Wrightsville Beach project.

Congress Approves Beach Nourishment Funding For Area Beaches Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 13 January 2021 03:32

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - President Donald Trump signed the omnibus spending bill on Dec. 27th which included funding for local beach renourishment projects in the coming years.

In July of 2020, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a bipartisan ports and water resources development bill that included authorization for continued federal support of beach renourishment projects in Wrightsville, Carolina and Kure Beaches.  The bill uthorizes $53.788 million in federal funding for use over the remaining lifetime of the Wrightsville Beach renourishment project, which will continue until 2036.

According to a release by Republican Congressman David Rouzer, "The bill also includes a 15-year extension of the beach renourishment project at Carolina and Kure Beaches.  A 50-year authorization for the project had expired in 2012 and federal participation has been operating on short-term extensions since then.  The bill authorizes $24.205 million in federal funding for the 15-year extension, which will begin in 2022."

Congressman Rouzer, a member of the Committee who has long advocated for federal support of beach re-nourishment efforts in southeastern North Carolina, issued the following statement following the bill’s passage: "These are major wins that were in doubt just a few years ago when I was first elected,” said Congressman David Rouzer.

"Southeastern North Carolina’s beaches are a national treasure, and they’re also the bedrock of these local coastal communities that support job growth for our region.  Federal support for these renourishment projects are key to preserving property and limiting the financial losses that hurricanes and other major storms would otherwise cause, which saves the federal government money too.  I’m looking forward to passage on the floor of the House and getting this legislation signed into law later this year.”

Rouzer explained in a press release, "Included in the overall package was a water resources development bill that includes major wins for Southeastern North Carolina.  Among those wins, the federal funding cap for Wrightsville Beach was lifted allowing for federal funds to continue to be used for coastal storm damage reduction, and authorization for those projects at Carolina Beach and Kure Beach is a certainty for years to come.

In July of 2019, the Town  of Carolina Beach asked citizens to submit a letter of support to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for continued federal beach nourishment  through 2036.

The USACE Wilmington District recently published a "Draft Integrated Beach Renourishment Evaluation Report and Environmental Assessment (BRER/EA) for Carolina Beach, - June 2019."

Earlier this year, according to Town officials, highlights of the report and Recommended Plan:
• Failure to re-nourish will result in severe beach and dune erosion, destruction of property, wildlife habitat, loss of beach recreation area and result in large negative impacts to our tourist based economy.
• The Recommended Plan will reduce coastal storm damage to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure, mitigate future land loss, maintain recreational value and demand of the beach, and possibly reduce emergency response time.
• The Plan would benefit habitat for sea turtles, shore birds and other wildlife.
• The Plan will benefit our local economy by maintaining the area as a year round tourist destination and support related businesses and jobs. The latest congressional legislation will continue beach renourishment in Carolina Beach until 2036 on a three year cycle with the next renourishment project scheduled for 2022 pending available funding,

The cost of such projects are split among federal, state and local dollars.

Historically, such local projects cost is shared with the Federal Government paying 65% and the State of North Carolina and local governments splitting the remaining 35%. A tax on hotel, motel, and vacation rental accommodations funds the local government portion of the project cost. Both Towns are on a three-year renourishment cycle.

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