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Biden nixed a Trump order. It left a beach without sand.

Sand is moved onto the beach during a rebuilding project in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, in January.

Posted on April 29, 2024

A feud between the Biden administration and a North Carolina coastal town over pumping sand onto its beach from a federally protected area could be resolved under bipartisan legislation that passed the House earlier this month.

The bill, sponsored by North Carolina Rep. David Rouzer (R), would restore the Army Corps of Engineers’ authority to siphon sand from a barrier island inlet just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, to rebuild storm-battered beaches. Masonboro Inlet, which for decades had provided soft, white sand to periodically “nourish” Wrightsville Beach, was placed off-limits by the Interior Department in 2021 because the inlet is within a federally protected coastal zone.

Rouzer’s bill would allow the corps to continue pumping sand from the inlet for emergency purposes but not for routine rebuilding projects, which have happened roughly every four years at Wrightsville Beach since 1965.

“This legislation allows these beaches to continue to use their historic borrow sites for protection from storm damage, maintain their natural ecosystems, and protect our local economy,” Rouzer said in a statement after the bill passed April 11 and was referred to the Senate.

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