The provision will fully fund construction of a 750-foot spur jetty
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that the Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA), which includes a provision she championed authorizing $45 million for a permanent solution to the severe, ongoing erosion at Camp Ellis. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 92-2 and now heads to conference with the House before it can be signed into law.
The $45 million authorized by WRDA would ensure that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the full funding necessary to construct a 750-foot spur jetty off the existing jetty and replenish 365,000 cubic yards of beachfront. Senator Collins secured language calling for the Corps to “expedite completion” of the Camp Ellis project.
“For generations, the residents of Camp Ellis and the City of Saco have had to contend with a relentlessly receding shoreline that has claimed dozens of homes,” said Senator Collins. “The devastating erosion impacting this community was caused by the jetty constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers more than 150 years ago at the mouth of the Saco River, and it is long past time to rectify this mistake. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I worked hard to secure this investment that would finally help resolve this problem, protect property, and permanently restore the beachfront.”
“On behalf of the City of Saco, we are extremely elated with the recently shared language from the 2022 WRDA Bill regarding Camp Ellis,” said Saco Mayor Bill Doyle. “Our community continues to be challenged with ongoing costs associated with storms affecting Camp Ellis. We are thankful for the efforts of Senator Collins for her advocacy and outreach on behalf of our community. Senator Collins, as well as her staffers, have been extremely diligent and helpful in all aspects of this unique situation affecting the City of Saco.”
More than 150 years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a jetty extending out from the Saco River, adjacent to Camp Ellis Beach, and expanded it in the 1950s. This jetty altered the pattern of currents and sand deposition and is the primary cause of the severe erosion of Camp Ellis, washing away 38 homes. The 1998 shoreline was 400 feet from where the shoreline stood in 1908.
WRDA is biennial legislation that authorizes flood control, navigation, and ecosystem restoration projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.