In combating erosion on Virginia’s coastline, Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-2) has helped secure funding that will aid the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in replenishing sand at Sandbridge Beach, located along the coastline of the Currituck Banks Peninsula at the northernmost point of the Outer Banks. “Replenishing Sandbridge Beach is an important project that supports the City of Virginia Beach, its citizens, and businesses by helping to protect the shoreline from future erosion and storm damage,” Taylor said in a press release.
The Sandbridge Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project has been an ongoing effort since 1998 to protect the small community from erosion-induced storm damage. The project requires maintenance cycles every few years, which have occurred in 2003, 2007, and 2013. Yearly monitoring of the beach happens every Spring and Fall, with the next scheduled replenishment set for later this year.
Hurricane Sandy, the immensely destructive 2012 storm, took approximately 138,000 cubic yards of sand from Sandbridge as it bypassed Virginia Beach on its way to the northeastern U.S., according to The Princess Anne Independent News. Nearly 135,000 cubic yards lost to Sandy was restored through emergency funds, but local governments have to foot a hefty bill to ensure the reestablishment of sound beaches for storm protection.
In regards to keeping the USACE on track to conduct their scheduled renourishment of Sandbridge Beach, Taylor has been in contact with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney, urging him to expedite the process and release funding.
“I am grateful for Director Mulvaney’s willingness to hear me out about this issue,” Taylor said. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the projects they support are vital to keeping coastal Virginia clean and safe, which is why keeping this project on schedule is vitally important.”
Heavily supported by Congressman Taylor, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 includes more than $3 million for the Sandbridge Beach project, and will help fund five other projects nationwide. The federal dollars will aid repairs to damage caused by natural disasters and provide the coastal area with hurricane protection, but the replenishment project does have recreational and economic benefits for the tourism-heavy area.