Washington, D.C. – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2023
Contact: Edie Guy, Edie.Guy@mail.house.gov
This afternoon, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s amendment to H.R. 4394, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2024, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Luna filed Amendment #44 to put the Army Corps of Engineers on notice for the agency’s shameful neglect of Floridians and force it to get to work on restoring the state’s beaches.
“I’m thrilled that my amendment was passed by the House today. I’ve battled the Army Corps since I came to Congress because it has failed to renourish Florida’s beaches and is forcing unnecessary and unattainable policies on our citizens,” Rep. Luna stated. “This is a critical step forward towards ensuring the Corps stops playing political games with our beaches and property rights.”
The Army Corps has halted beach renourishment projects in Florida due to their perpetual public access easement policy. This is now affecting over nine counties in Florida where the Corps refuses to renourish our beaches without stripping property rights from every homeowner.
The Corps has renourished Florida beaches for the past two decades, using temporary construction easements to proceed with beach renourishment.
The Corps is now going back and enforcing a policy, purportedly from 1996 but not enforced for the past two decades. The Corps refuses to address the threat of shore erosion while we continue to watch our beaches disappear before our eyes.
Numerous Members of the Florida delegation have reached out to Assistant Secretary Connor at the Corps to resolve this issue. The Corps has neither followed up nor followed through on proceeding with scheduled beach renourishment projects when there is a dire need due to damage from recent hurricanes. If the Army Corps does nothing, our beaches will dissipate, and our homes will be susceptible to destruction.
Passage of Luna Amendment #44 is a win for Florida’s beaches, marine life, and our continued efforts to mitigate the devastating impact natural disasters have on coastal communities.
H.R. 4394 passed the House 210-199 and will now go to the Senate for consideration.