For the folks in New Jersey, the Back Bays study, which investigates how back bays can be used to prevent the harmful effects of shoreline erosion and storm damage, has a plus up $700,000. With such a large study area, it is hoped that these funds will be used to subdivide the study area and provide better management and a redefined scope for each new zone.
The Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Study, a multijurisdictional and multi-agency collaboration among 8 states to provide coastal resilience to the Great lakes, has construction funds provided to related projects. The previously neglected projects of Presque Isle and the Indiana Shoreline have $1.5M and $2.5M appropriated to each, respectively, for a total of $4M.
Lido Key, Sarasota, FL – A disaster declaration came only about two weeks ago following Subtropical Storm Alberto. Now they are in the Work Plan with $13.4M in construction funding to dredge Big Pass under the condition that modifications be made to the dredge borrow zone to protect Siesta Key’s natural sand transport. Currently, Lido Key has been working with Florida DEP to obtain a permit to dredge New Pass, to the north of Lido Key. This will place roughly $2-$3M in sand (150,000-200,000 cubic yards) on the beach to provide temporary protection until Big Pass dredging begins in late FY18. The project will deliver 1.3 million cubic yards to renourish 1.5 miles of Lido Key.
FUN FACT: The sand in Siesta Key is almost 100% crystalline quartz, giving it its pure white color and the ability to disperse heat from the sun. It eroded from the Appalachian Mountains and flowed through rivers until it was deposited into the Gulf of Mexico along beaches. Most beach sand is made from crushed coral.
A substantial increase in some National programs, and a big chunk ($9M) going to the Regional Sediment Management Research Program at the Engineering Research and Development Program in Vicksburg, MS. Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Programs, under the Sec. 204 authority, have been given an extra $500,000 ($1.5M total). Small shore protection projects, under the Sec. 103 authority, for hurricane storm damage reduction and beach erosion have been increased 6x from $500,000 to $3,000,000. The $910K plus-up in National Shoreline Management Study is to fund the completion of Great Lakes shoreline studies ($1,310,000 total). Planning Assistance to States is a heavily underused program, so it is great to see this program receiving an increase in funding ($8M total). Corps authorities within the Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) are widely underused by States who are blissfully unaware of their existence.
Many beach projects in this year’s Work Plan were not recommended by the President, or Congress. Of those beach projects, one highly controversial project has received $28M in funding – Brevard County MidReach. Other Coastal Storm Risk Management Projects are; Fire Island to Montauk, NY ($15,000,000), NY-NJ Harbor and Tributaries ($930K) and Virginia Beach ($17,600,000).
The total bill is $125M, roughly $17M greater than provided in Fiscal ’17, at a 13.4% increase. It shore is excellent to see America’s precious shorelines supported by Congress.