Schumer calls for expedited coastal protection plan

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Schumer called on the Army Corps to move forward with the project as it continues that study. Earlier this month, Schumer announced that, after his push, the Long Beach protection project would be fully funded by the federal government and is estimated to cost approximately $150 million. Schumer was joined by community leaders and local officials in Point Lookout last Sunday, who urged the corps to begin construction and planning immediately so the affected communities are not left vulnerable to future storms.

Schumer said that the $60 billion federal Hurricane Sandy aid package would provide millions of dollars for dozens of long-delayed projects to protect coastal communities. The Sandy Supplemental Package, he said, includes $150 million for Long Beach.

Even if the Army Corps were to move forward with the Long Beach project as it continues its broader East Coast study, Gardner said that the corps has to finalize its specifications for the barrier island project and complete a limited re-evaluation report to update the agency’s plan, which the City Council voted unanimously against in 2006. The corps is also reviewing the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act in order to determine how funds may be spent.

“As far as we’re concerned, we have to wait for guidance to identify how to move forward with all of those projects,” Gardner said, adding that it’s too early to say when the project will begin.

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