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Federal Legislation Includes $4 Million for Santa Barbara County Projects

The bill allots $1.69 million for dredging in Santa Barbara Harbor, and money for Goleta Beach, Lake Cachuma and Carpinteria projects

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Friday the approval of $4.36 million for water projects in Santa Barbara County as part of the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill (House Resolution 3183) passed by the House. The measure passed 320-97.

At Capps’ request, the bill includes $1.69 million for dredging in Santa Barbara Harbor

“Annual dredging of the Santa Barbara Harbor is essential to ensuring the vitality of our fishing and tourism industries,” Capps said. “We have to regularly dredge the channel to make sure it remains navigable throughout the year. Failing to properly maintain our channel would result in accumulated sand in the channel and would likely lead to the closure of Coast Guard operations, important marine resource research and monitoring, local commercial and recreational fishing and other successful businesses in the harbor.”

The Santa Barbara Harbor, a commercial and recreational harbor, is the home port to a variety of U.S. government vessels, including the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin, which provides critical law enforcement and search and rescue missions in the Santa Barbara Channel, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research and monitoring vessel, the R/V Shearwater.

In addition, the bill gives $500,000 to investigate shoreline protection and coastal storm damage reduction at Goleta Beach. The project would create and maintain a wider beach for shore protection and recreation and prevent future loss of sand, and other park amenities.

The bill includes $500,000 to continue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study to investigate shoreline protection and coastal storm damage reduction along the Carpinteria shoreline. This is in addition to the $350,000 the study received earlier this year through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The study will examine proposed alternative plans to protect the shoreline, including beach nourishment, submerged artificial reefs and seawalls.

“I’ve seen firsthand how the city of Carpinteria’s coastline and beaches have suffered tremendous erosion and storm damage over the last decade,” Capps said. “We need this study to examine proposals to protect the shoreline and minimize coastal storm damage.”

The legislation also includes $1.67 million for annual operations and maintenance projects at Lake Cachuma.

— Emily Kryder is communications director for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.


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