Beach Bills Could Help Channel Dredging

BoatU.S. Magazine November 2003 - page 9

Two bills in Congress, if enacted, could require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider the economic benefits of recreation in evaluating beach restoration projects. This precedent could force the agency to consider recreational boating benefits for federal dredging projects.

House and Senate versions of the National Beach Recreation Act (HR. 2492 and S. 1653) mandate that the Corps consider the economic benefits of recreation equally with storm damage reduction and environmental restoration to rebuild beaches like those lost on North Carolina's Outer Banks during Hurricane Isabel.

"If Congress mandates these changes it will bolster our case for counting recreational boating's economic contribution in navigation projects," reported BoatU.S. Chairman Richard Schwartz.

Meanwhile, Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL) has introduced related legislation H.R. 3154, allowing for more productive uses of dredged material for recreation projects, habitat restoration or storm damage repair.