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U.S. to Study Boosting Erosion Protection

October 17, 1998|ANN L. KIM

Responding to a request from Reps. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), Congress has approved plans for the Army Corps of Engineers to study whether more aggressive action is needed to remedy worsening erosion along the coast of Seal Beach.

The stretch of land south of the Weapons Support Facility-Seal Beach--from the mouth of the San Gabriel River to the entrance of Newport Bay--has faced continuing erosion due to artificial jetties at the naval facility that impede the natural flow of sand along the coast.

The Army Corps of Engineers has been charged with replacing the sand in the area, which contains popular public beaches.

But the recent El Nino weather pattern compounded the erosion problem, and Cox and Rohrabacher believe the Corps' efforts no longer are sufficient.

"The current . . . maintenance program has proven ineffective at solving the sand erosion problem facing this heavily populated area of Southern California," Cox and Rohrabacher said in a letter to the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

As a result, Congress recently authorized the secretaries of the Army and Navy "to review the feasibility of providing immediate and long-term shore protection improvements" at the Seal Beach shores.

Cox and Rohrabacher expect to request an appropriation from Congress to fund a restoration project after the military officials report back to Congress.

"This is a victory for Seal Beach and Southern California," Rohrabacher said.

"Our beaches are eroding due to a federal presence; therefore, a federal solution is in order."

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