Money from the 2009 Recovery Act has started to flow at the
state and local level. While the broad purpose is clear
— create or save jobs, and jump-start the economy
— the detailed decisions about spending the cash are
setting off debate all over the country. Coastal regions are no
exception. One contentious issue, for example, is whether
stimulus money would be well spent on "beach nourishment."
South Florida's Sun-Sentinel covers that controversy here
Should South Florida seek millions to shore up its
beaches?" by William E. Gibson). On the one hand, some
argue that trucking tons of sand onto eroding beaches is a
costly waste that accomplishes no long-run benefit. But others
argue that beaches provide an economic boost to communities and
states, and that they offer a broad benefit to vacationers from
all over the country.
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has
already ruled out using stimulus funds to replenish beaches.
But politicians from coastal states are pushing the White House
to reverse that policy (see
Six NJ pols urge stimulus funding for beach projects," by
Raju Chebium, in the Morris County, New Jersey, Daily Record).
A final decision may not be made for months.
In Georgia, meanwhile, three coastal communities have
received stimulus grants for a less controversial purpose:
buying and repairing foreclosed properties to provide
low-income housing and stabilize troubled neighborhoods. The
Jacksonville News covers that story
Recovery funds to help buyers purchase coastal Georgia
homes," by Carole Hawkins).
With the new administration less than four months old, the
shape of economic recovery efforts is still very much in flux.
Stay tuned to Coastal Connection for continuing coverage of the