Beach re-nourishment 'one vote away'

Treasure Island, Florida -- Congressman David Jolly says Treasure Island was left out of legislation which would renew beach re-nourishment -- a 50-year deal that is close to ending. The congressman says he got the community back in the bill; it's one vote away from being final. But not everyone at the beach would put their vote behind it.

Sunset Beach and its narrow shoreline are one example the congressman says speaks to the need for re-nourishment. Local leaders joined Jolly at a much wider beach, the municipal beach, to say the beaches can avoid the danger zone with re-nourishment. They say this will continue to keep them as beautiful as you see.

"It provides a buffer for infrastructure, protects environmental habitats, protects human life in case of a storm," says Congressman Jolly.

Sixty percent of the money comes from the federal government. Twenty percent comes from the state and the local municipality matches that.

Jolly calls it a wise investment. Some beach goers, though, say the Treasure Island Coast has built beautiful beaches. And now millions of dollars should be better spent. "I think it is good the way it is. We could use that money elsewhere," says one beach goer.

Other people who lived through shoreline devastation say they support it and they're sensitive to safety.

"Still, there are parts of New Orleans that are still not fixed. [It has] taken years, complete catastrophic changes," says another beach goer.

Congressman Jolly is hoping for one change: with the coast being built up, he wants to cut down on costly research and repetitive surveys.

"Corporation of Engineers say the need will never go away. So, why do we keep spending money on the issue we already know is there and let's just continue the program?" he says.

This is expected to cost taxpayers a little more this go around, because the sand isn't local. It will be voted on in a couple weeks.


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