Congressman Charlie Crist yesterday applauded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to fully fund the Pinellas County Shore Protection Project.
This announcement followed months of advocacy by Rep. Crist and Pinellas County, led by Chair Janet C. Long, which included a meeting with the Army Corps officials in Washington, D.C.
“I thank Commissioner Long and the entire Commission for their commitment to our beaches, and the Army Corps for listening to our concerns. I look forward to continuing our work together, to push forward with this major project benefiting Pinellas,” said Congressman Crist.
“The Army Corps of Engineers allocation of $28.8 million towards the Pinellas County Beaches projects, including Sand Key, Treasure Island, and Upham Beach, is great news for our entire region,” said Commissioner Janet C. Long, Chair, Pinellas County.
In addition to beach renourishment funding, the Corps’ work plan includes the full federal cost share of $9 million for the Port Tampa Bay Big Bend Channel navigation project, as well as a “New Start” designation for this deepening and widening project.
According to the Kelli Levy, director of environmental management in Pinellas County, construction is expected to start in the fall and should take six to eight months.
The Pinellas County Shore Protection Project, aimed to restore and protect the county beaches, totals 21.8 miles of shoreline. Three constructed and authorized segments are actively maintained by the federal government in a cost share agreement with Pinellas County. These segments include Sand Key, Treasure Island and Long Key.
The federal government has invested nearly $120 million in restorative beach erosion control measures, including beach nourishment and the construction of groins, to date.