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Army Corps of Engineers Planning to Spend $41 Million to Renourish Beaches on the First Coast

July 9, 2018 - 12:15pm

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is sending almost $41 million to the First Coast to help renourish the beaches of Northeast Florida.

Freshman U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., who was named to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee back in May, announced on Friday that USACE will set aside $36.8 million in St. Johns County for the Vilano Beach renourishment project. Nassau and Duval Counties will each be getting $2 million from USACE to repair their beaches after flooding and recent storms. 

Rutherford, who was first elected to Congress in 2016 after three terms as sheriff of Duval County, weighed in on the matter on Friday. 

“Hurricanes Matthew and Irma hammered Northeast Florida’s coastal communities, causing severe flooding and erosion, so I am pleased to see the Army Corps invest in making Northeast Florida more resilient,” said Rutherford. “These funds will allow for rebuilding and recovery for Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties, strengthening our communities in the face of future storms. I am especially glad to see that the Army Corps will be investing $36.8 million to rebuild Vilano Beach, which was severely depleted by Hurricanes Irma and Matthew. There is still much work to be done, but this funding represents real progress toward restoring the way of life for so many who were affected by these storms and protecting our communities in the future.”

Congress approved these funds as part of the budget that President Donald Trump signed back in February.  The monies will come out of the USACE Long-Term Disaster Recovery Investment Program and, according to Rutherford’s office “will be used to construct flood and storm damage reduction projects.”


Rutherford represents parts of the First Coast in a secure Republican district. He faces attorney Ges Selmont, who has the Democratic nomination, in November. Two candidates with no party affiliation--teacher Joceline Berrios and veteran Jason Bulger--are also running as are two write in candidates. 


I hope Rutherford insures that the ACOE will require beachfront "property owners" to sign off on a perpetual public beach access easement from the dune line to the mean high water mark - before a grain of sand is paid for by Federal tax dollars and placed on any "privately claimed" beachfront.

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