Funding for LB Breakwater study still needs Senate support

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long-beach-breakwaterThe City of Long Beach announced last week that $90,000 for the Army Corps review of the Long Beach Breakwater Study has been included in the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Conference Agreement. If approved by Congress and signed by the President, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would have the funding and authority to review the City Council-commissioned study of the Long Beach Breakwater and East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem.

“For years our community has pondered potential changes to the Breakwater,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “While the City has conducted its own study, only the Army Corps can determine if there is federal interest in pursuing changes to the Breakwater or the East San Pedro Bay. These funds will allow the Army Corps to review the City’s study and make that determination of federal interest.”

While the House Energy and Water Subcommittee Appropriation bill included $100,000 for the study, there were no funds included in the corresponding Senate bill. The action by the Conference Committee to include $90,000 would allow the Army Corps to review the City-commissioned study, if approved by Congress.

“The City’s study showed that there are some potential changes that can be made to improve water quality, while protecting homes, navigation, and all the other complex operations in the East San Pedro Bay,” said Councilmember Gary DeLong, Chair of the Federal Legislation Committee, which is responsible for pursuing federal funding. “I look forward to hearing the Army Corps’ thoughts on what potential there may be to help us improve the water quality in Long Beach.”

“Long Beach owes a great deal of thanks to Congresswoman Laura Richardson for spearheading the effort to secure funding for this project,” said Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell. “The City Council has pursued this funding for several years, and are very pleased that our Congresswoman was successful in her efforts.”

The Long Beach Breakwater Reconnaissance Study (formally titled the “East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Study) was commissioned by the Long Beach City Council and conducted by Moffatt & Nichol, a local engineering firm. That study was completed in July 2009. The reconnaissance study is just one of the initial stages in a multi-year, multi-million dollar process that could potentially lead to reconfiguring the breakwater or making other changes in the East San Pedro Bay.

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