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Congress extends Carolina Beach renourishment funding

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Beach renourishment at Carolina Beach will continue to get federal help through the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-7th District) announced overnight.

Carolina Beach's 50-year renourishment project was set to expire this year. That left the possibility of finding a way to use state and local funds only to pay for the multi-million-dollar sand replenishment projects. Instead, the WRRDA authorizes a three-year extension of coastal storm damage projects scheduled to expire in the next five years, including Carolina Beach. It also creates a process by which successful projects can be extended by up to 15 years with the help of federal funds.

New Hanover County Commissioners recently approved a plan to use room occupancy tax money to speed up renourishment at Carolina Beach to take advantage of federal money before it ran out.

"With the new language included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, we have successfully created a way to keep sand on the beach and continue to protect our homes, businesses and communities from the devastating effects of storms," McIntyre said in a statement. "The town of Carolina Beach is a perfect example of a beach nourishment project that has proven its worth over and over again, sustaining our environment and driving our economy upward year after year."

A House-Senate agreement on the final WRRDA bill was finalized this week after months of negotiations between the two chambers. It has been seven years since the passage of a WRRDA bill, a comprehensive piece of legislation that authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers' participation in water– related infrastructure projects.

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