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Newburyport’s Plum Island to receive additional federal funds for coastal repair

Posted by Terri Ogan  February 21, 2013 05:25 PM

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The US Army Corps of Engineers has secured the remaining federal funds needed to complete the repairs on the south jetty along Plum Island. The funds are a result of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, and are expected to total $5.5 million.

This additional aid is coupled with $3.5 million, which was given to the repair project in February 2012 bringing the total aid to $9 million. Congressman John F. Tierney, who spearheaded the effort to secure the funds, announced the funding acquisition this week.

“For years, I have been working with the Army Corps and seizing every opportunity to advocate for funds to repair the jetties,” Tierney said in a recent announcement. “The recent winter storms have only reinforced how urgent this matter is for homeowners and the surrounding communities. With these funds, the Corps advises that the south jetty project will be completed.”

Jetties are structures, such as piers, that project into the ocean to influence the current and protect the shoreline from storms or erosion.

The south jetty on Plum Island runs about 1,400 feet from the mouth of the Merrimack River into the ocean. It was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and previous inclement weather as well. As a result of the detrimental storms destroying the jetties, Plum Island has experienced erosion for several years.

Despite a long wait for aid, repairs are now underway.

“This money is a major step forward and will help preserve critical waterway infrastructure,” said State Representative Michael A. Costello. “The completion of the south jetty will ensure safe navigation of the Merrimack River channel for years to come.”

Terri Ogan can be reached at oganglobe@gmail.com, or follow her on Twitter.

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