Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Delaware and area leaders appeal for beach funding

Source: The News Journal

By Jeff Montgomery

July 6, 2010

Delaware's congressional delegation and seven New Jersey and Virginia lawmakers called for a set-aside of at least $20 million in an upcoming emergency appropriations bill for beach and coastal repairs.

Sens. Tom Carper and Ted KAUFMAN, both Delaware Democrats, and Republican Rep. Mike Castle joined in the appeal for what was described as money critically needed to repair damage caused by Tropical Storm Ida in late 2009.

The Army Corps of Engineers estimated that the storm caused $72 million in damage to harbors, inlets and beaches that were part of federal repair or replenishment projects in the past.

"Weakened coastal barriers leave communities under constant threat of significant and costly damage," the letter to Appropriations Committee leaders in the House and Senate said. Unrepaired damage has left coastal areas vulnerable to future storms, and "presents a great threat to life, property and infrastructure," the letter said.

Rehoboth Beach Mayor Samuel R. Cooper said Friday that he was aware of attempts to secure federal aid for local shorelines.

"I think the beach is in pretty good shape compared to what we went through in the late '90s and early part of this decade," Cooper said, "but clearly the dune was severely eroded, and I think it's pretty clear that we're more vulnerable at this point to a storm. We don't have the protection that we should."

The lawmakers said the money should be earmarked for the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies account in the final Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010. Most of the money in the measure was earmarked for Defense Department needs in Iraq and Afghanistan and veterans' services.

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