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Washington, D.C. — As Congress begins the process of drafting a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018, the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) has been working with the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works and House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure to develop policies that would bring greater transparency and longer-term planning to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE’s) budgeting process and provide greater justification and resilience for coastal projects.

Specifically, ASPBA would like to see USACE districts prepare a public, multi-year schedule of priorities for federally authorized coastal projects and have USACE calculate the full range of benefits (including environmental and recreation) when evaluating coastal projects. They would also like to see language clarifying that after a federal disaster, federally authorized beaches can be rebuilt with greater resilience than before the storm.

ASBPA’s “Position Statement” outlines its full goals with explanations. It states:

In order to maintain the safety and resilience of our nation’s coastlines, Congress must continue a two-year cycle for passing a Water Resource Development Act and pass a WRDA in 2018. The 2018 WRDA should include:

  • Policy that requires the USACE to develop, and maintain, a multi-year schedule of priorities for federally-authorized coastal projects that incorporates a regional approach to coastal resilience.
  • Policy that requires the Corps to calculate the full range of benefits when evaluating coastal projects, including reducing storm damage to property and infrastructure; promoting public safety; protecting, restoring, and creating aquatic ecosystem habitats; enhancing shorelines; promoting recreation; supporting risk management adaptation; other public economic or environmental benefits.
  • Language to clarify that Flood Control and Coastal Emergency (FCCE) funding should be used to repair damaged beaches to pre-storm levels and/or bring the beach to its design level of protection, whichever is greater.
  • Authorization for the South Atlantic Coastal Study (WRDA 2016, Sec. 1204) at full federal expense; construction for coastal storm damage risk reduction projects that have an approved Chief of Engineers report; and a California Sediment Management program.

Read ASBPS’s full Position Statement on WRDA 2018 at http://asbpa.org/wpv2/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Position-Statement_WRDA2018_ASBPA.pdf.