Lawmakers Disappointed In Funding For Beach Replenishment Projects In New Jersey

Lawmakers Disappointed In Funding For Beach Replenishment Projects In New Jersey

Washington - U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. expressed disappointment today that only one beach replenishment project in New Jersey received funds through the administration's Fiscal Year 2010 budget.

When the administration announced its FY10 budget earlier this month, the lawmakers were pleased with a policy change to allow beach replenishment projects to compete for funding in the budget. However, they were concerned that the budget only allocated $52 million for beach replenishment projects nationwide, an amount the Army Corps of Engineers could use for New Jersey projects alone.

"Maintaining and replenishing the Jersey Shore is an issue of economic security for our state and for families in our coastal communities," Menendez said. "It protects these communities from storm damage and prepares for the inevitable sea rise. That is why it's particularly disappointing that the administration's budget proposal omits some of our major coastal needs. We will be working to address this through the budget and appropriations process in Congress."

"The guidelines imposed by the Office of Management and Budget for beach replenishment projects have allowed crucial shore protection projects to go unfunded," Pallone said. "We will once again have to fight in Congress for funding through the appropriations process, which will mean fewer dollars for these important projects that spur economic growth and protect our coastal communities."

The New Jersey lawmakers have been fighting to secure funding for these crucial projects since OMB made the decision to exclude shovel-ready beach replenishment projects from receiving funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The lawmakers plan to meet with OMB to try and change this policy for the future. For now, they will concentrate on the appropriations process, which makes all funding decisions.