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Jacksonville seeks $10M from feds for beach renourishment

Two consecutive years have seen hurricanes strafe Duval County shorelines. And Jacksonville leadership wants $10 million in federal help.

Last week, Jacksonville’s Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa emailed Susie Wiles, a City Hall veteran and Ballard Partners lobbyist who ran the stretch run of President Donald Trump‘s Florida campaign.

The subject: getting federal movement on beach renourishment funds.

“The City of Jacksonville needs the USACE to fully fund the Project Information Report (PIR) that is currently in their DC office,” Mousa wrote.

“The PIR includes the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (FCCE) component to bring the beaches back to the Design Template (100% Federal) and to then increase the amount of material to reach the normal ‘Beach Renourishment’ plan (this would have the normal local partnership contribution). The Dunes Restoration is not a part of the PIR…it would be accomplished as a piggyback onto the USACE effort but completely funded by COJ,” Mousa added.

“We believe St. Johns County & Nassau County PIR has already been approved/funded. We cannot seem to get ours moving,” Mousa continued.

Florida Politics reached out to Mayor Lenny Curry‘s administration for more context on this email.

The city seeks “approximately $10 million to restore the beach to its normal renourishment template.”

Though Mousa bemoaned getting the PIR moving, the city does “not consider the matter stalled, but rather the request proceeding through normal channels. We have no information on neighboring county efforts.”

And regardless of what happens, the city asserts that “Duval County will do whatever is needed to protect our shoreline.”

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The city, of course, has put major money into beach restoration: $7.5 million of a $22 million price tag, for a project completed in June.

And these issues run concomitant with other storm-created needs, adding up to an $85 million hit from Irma, after a $45 million hit from Matthew (from which the city is still waiting on the vast majority of anticipated federal reimbursements in the $26 million range).

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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