Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

December 6, 2012

Superstorm proves value of protecting beaches

(Continued)

Our coast has been long been spared a direct hit like the one suffered by stretches of the New York and New Jersey coasts, though it is regularly pounded by damaging northeasters.

Locally, over $5 million has been spent over the past couple of years to “renourish” Plum Island and Salisbury Beach with sand dredged from the mouth of the Merrimack River or just outside and pumped ashore. A handful of homeowners on Plum Island were allowed to spend their own money this fall to scrape sand from the low tide zone to build up dunes on which their houses were precariously perched.

Another $3.5 million is being spent now on restoring deteriorating sections of the South Jetty on Plum Island, which is expected to help mitigate erosion on the barrier beach. Local governments have had to pay a small share toward these projects, and they have done so willingly. The state and federal governments have paid the bulk of it.

These are investments in homes, neighborhoods, publicly-owned infrastructure, and yes, tax-generating properties.

They are wise investments, as the Long Beach disaster has clearly pointed out.

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