Beach Replenishment Gets Fed. Funding Boost
Joining the $4.5 million in state funds already allocated for this year’s beach replenishment project, which is scheduled to start after Labor Day this year, is another $2.45 million from the Army Corps of Engineers, according to a release from Congressman Andy Harris’ office.
“The beaches of Ocean City were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and I am pleased to see the Army Corps of Engineers working with Ocean City officials to fund and complete the beach replenishment project. This project will restore our beaches and encourage growth in the city’s tourism industry,” Harris said in the release.
Harris had requested clarification from the corps at the end of March, after he learned the money had not yet been allocated for the project. The release was timed with the corps’ reply to his concern.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the repair project will include pumping approximately 371,000 cubic yards of sand onto the beach to replace sand lost during the January 2016 winter storm.
Additionally, up to another 512,000 cubic yards of sand will be placed to replenish the beach and berm to bring the project up to design standards.
After Hurricane Gloria in 1985, officials recognized the need to mitigate storm damage and erosion and embarked on the replenishment program. The resort had a building limit line, but property owners could build right up to it, which precluded the construction and maintenance of dunes between them and the ocean.
It took until 1988 to get all 284 voluntary public easements in place to allow the project and to carve out the dune line and the 10-foot walkways between the dunes.
The seawall that protects the Boardwalk was also installed around this time.
The sand will be pumped from a borrow area three miles offshore.
“I’m proud the entire Maryland delegation continues to support our beach,” State Sen. Jim Mathias said. “I’ve always said the two best things that happened to Ocean City in the 20th century were the bay bridge and beach replenishment.”
City officials estimate that the program has prevented an estimate $900 million in storm damages in its nearly 30 years in existence.