THIS SAYS IT ALL
To inspire you, here’s what Rep. Rutherford (R-FL4 – Fernandina Beach/Jacksonville Beach) said at a Congressional Transportation and Infrastructure hearing last week:
“For coastal communities like mine, beaches, sand dunes and other shoreline infrastructure provide the first line of defense against storm surge. New Jersey saw it 5 years ago with Superstorm Sandy, and Florida saw it last year with Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, and again, this September, with Hurricane Irma. Shore protection is very personal to coastal districts, like mine. However, shore protection projects should be important to more than just coastal communities.
Fifty percent of the U.S. population lives within one hour of a seashore. Beaches help generate $225 billion for the national economy and contribute $25 billion in federal tax revenue. They also contribute a $26 billion trade surplus in tourism. Not to mention that when local, state and federal agencies invest in shore protection projects before a storm, less funding is needed for rebuilding roads, utilities, businesses and homes after a storm hits. When we look back at Hurricane Matthew last October, studies show that beach renourishment saved billions of dollars in infrastructure damages. This is a matter of safety, but it is also a matter of fiscal common sense.”