Washington, D.C. – Congressman David W. Jolly, FL-13, announced Friday May 9 that he was able to include language in the revised Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) that will extend the federal authorization of the 50-year ongoing beach renourishment project in Treasure Island.
“This is a big victory for Pinellas County and an issue that’s critical to our economy, the environment and to public safety.” Jolly said in a press release. “When I arrived in the House on March 13, the House WRRDA bill excluded Treasure Island from any extension of its beach renourishment program. Through extensive negotiations with my colleagues, I am proud to announce today that the Treasure Island project will now be authorized through 2022. I applaud House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bud Shuster for his leadership on this matter.”
Since taking office, Jolly has made continuing federal support for Pinellas County beach renourishment a top priority, saying it helps the local economy by ensuring the area’s beaches remain a sought-after destination for visitors from around the world.
“In Pinellas County alone, tourism officials estimate that visitors, most coming to enjoy our pristine beaches, have an annual economic impact of $7.3 billion.”
But Jolly notes renourishment is a safety issue too.
“Stable beaches protect public and private infrastructure along our coastline, and the communities that call them home. Beach renourishment provides a flood buffer, which is vital for protecting both lives and property during severe storms and hurricanes. Hurricane Sandy serves as a perfect example of how renourished beaches protect communities from damage and individuals from harm.”
The language clearing the way for continued federal support of beach renourishment in Treasure Island is included in the House and Senate conference agreement which will be filed in the House the week of May 19.