In his address to members of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) on March 21 John Paul Woodley Jr. the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works announced that the federal Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working on an approach for a long-term solution to the issue of periodic beach renourishment.
ASBPA’s event drew members of Congress and coastal scientists from around the country. Woodley invited officials from America’s coastal communities to his office at the Pentagon to share their thoughts on beach nourishment.
“America’s beaches draw millions of tourists and vacationers every year serve as a vital buffer against severe waves and storms and generate billions of dollars for our national state and local economies” said Harry Simmons Mayor of Caswell Beach North Carolina and president of ASBPA. “The Assistant Secretary is keenly aware of these realities and today conveyed his firm commitment to preserving our beaches for future generations. As the mayor of a coastal community I was deeply encouraged by the assistant secretary’s comments and I look forward to working with him to find a solution to consistent funding” he said.
Funding for beach nourishment projects is set by Congress; however over the last several years congressional leaders have been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement on comprehensive legislation to address the matter. A reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) last passed by Congress in 2000 would establish a consistent level of funding for beach nourishment projects.