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"At the present time ships lighten their draft at Philadelphia to about 23 feet before proceeding up river. However, ships have touched in the Keystone Range off Bristol during low tide stages with a draft of 21 feet 6 inches.
"The traffic problem in the upper river is a serious one and is presently under discussion by the various interested persons.
"1. Sufficient funds should be made available at once to maintain a 40-foot channel to Philadelphia Navy Yard.
"2. All existing anchorages to Philadelphia to be increased to a minimum width of 2,000 feet. Certain other modifications and changes as set forth in a brief to the district engineer by the Joint Executive Committee for the Improvement and Development of the Philadelphia port area, dated January 9, 1953, to be carried out.
“3. Anchorage No. 3, off the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, to be cut back toward shore to enable Finn's Point Range to be reestablished as before.
“4. Plans to be made in the near future to increase channel width from present 800-foot limit to 1,000 feet.” Very truly yours,
C. G. CORNWELL. Mr. MILLER. As I addressed myself to the project, from Philadelphia to the sea, the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia-Delaware-South Jersey Council are very much interested in this deepening of the channel north from Philadelphia all the way to Trenton. We are heartily in favor of the suggestion that the Army engineers should provide you with that cost so it will be before you for study.
Senator Young. At this point I would like to have a statement placed in the record by Senator Williams of Delaware
(The statement referred to follows:
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF BEACH EROSION SURVEY FOR THE DELAWARE
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, I appear before your committee today in behalf of the entire congressional delegation of the State of Delaware, which is composed of Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr., Congressman Herbert B. Warburton and myself, with their full knowledge, consent, and support and with the full support and advice of Gov. J. Caleb Boggs and his technical staff.
The basic purpose of my appearance is to advise you of the situation which presently exists with regard to beach erosion along the State of Delaware coastline, and of the corrective efforts which the State has attempted to make within its own resources. My ultimate purpose is to solicit this committee's favorable consideration of the State's request for the appropriation by this Congress of the sum of $25,000 to assist in the control of that beach erosion.
The entire eastern line of the State of Delaware is waterbound. Progressing from the Delaware-Pennsylvania line southerly to the Delaware-Maryland line, the State is bounded first by the Delaware River, then the Delaware Bay, and finally the Atlantic Ocean. The erosion area with which we are concerned exists in general in an area approximately 56 miles long, beginning at about the point on the Delaware Bay known as Kitts Hummock and extending southerly to the Delaware-Maryland line. It should here be pointed out that little distinction can be made between the Delaware Bay, as such, and the Atlantic Ocean, because of the open nature of the bay in the affected area, and damage from erosion on the beaches bounding the bay is similar to the damage from erosion of the beaches bounding the ocean.
The damage which has resulted from erosion of the beaches throughout practically the entire affected stretch of 56 miles is of the same general nature: The beaches have washed out to the point where both public and private facilities have already been, or are in immediate danger of being destroyed. The important point is, therefore, the effect which continued uncontrolled erosion will uitimately bave: Destruction of facilities and property which are of primary importance to the citizens of the State of Delaware, and to the Federal Government.
Representatives of our delegation, together with Governor Boggs and members er his highway commission engineering staff have personally visited these areas and observed the damage. I will therefore describe some of the more severely attested areas to you, and these descriptions are based upon personal observation at our officials.
The area which lies along the Delaware Bay proper from approximately Kitts Hummock south to the town of Lewes has suffered the least damage. This results only from the fact that the beaches in that area are not as highly developed to use as are the beaches further south. Yet in even these areas constant erosion exists whose ultimate result will be eventual destruction of the beaches. Furthermore, the tidal effects which result about these areas may well contribute to erosion damage in the areas further south.
The first point of major erosion damage occurs at the town of Lewes which is situated at the conjunction of the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. There, the beach has been washed away over a period of years to such an extent that the severe storm of November 6, 1953, finally completed the job: The beach was washed out from under a portion of six private cottages and resulted in their partial physical destruction to the extent that they are now unsafe for further use by their owners; other cottages, in great number, along the same beach line, are in immediate danger of being undermined if a similar winter or spring storm develops.
It should be pointed out that other than private interests are involved in this area.
l'nder the law of the State of Delaware the ocean- and bay-beach lands are within the State's public domain, held by it for the use of the whole citizenry, and in only 1 or 2 isolated cases in the 56-mile stretch under discussion does this rule vary. The public ownership extends to the high-water mark; thus, private cottages and other buildings are built behind the public lands and their owners have no greater vested interest in the beach land to the front of their property than any other member of the public. Therefore, the indication that private property has been damaged by erosion of the beaches emphasizes the fact that public lands have in most cases been already completely destroyed. This is the case in the Lewes area.
The Federal Government also has an interest in the problem at this point. The Roosevelt Inlet at Lewes is an important inlet for navigation constructed by the Federal Government some 20 years ago. Part of this construction consisted of jetties extending from the inlet's mouth seaward for a distance of about 1,500 feet; these jetties have been permitted to deteriorate and there is some indication that this deterioration may have itself affected tidal flow sufficiently to contribute to the general beach erosion.
Additionally, Fort Miles is located at this point. While no particular damage at its site has been brought to the attention of this delegaion, that such damage may occur is not outside the bound of possibility.
The area between the town of Lewes and the city of Rehoboth, a stretch of about 12 miles, is being gradually eroded away. There is no specific assessable damage in this area only because there is no private or Government property of any considerable nature located on it.
The city of Rehoboth has suffered damage in the destruction of part of its boardwalk and this condition is progressing daily.
From Rehoboth south to the Delaware Maryland line considerable beach erosion is in progress. This whole area, is in effect, an island about 22 miles long: It is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by Rehoboth Bay, and (to the south thereof) Indian River and Assawoman Bay. The maximum span from ocean to bay does not exceed one-half mile at any point. The stretch is traversed from north to south by a single two-lane macademizeri road.
Erosion of sufficient extent to cause us extreme concern, over and above the concern resulting from general erosion of the public but uninhabited beach areas throughout the whole stretch, has occurred and continues to occur at three primary points.
The first point is at Indian River Inlet. This inlet is an important narigation waterway, which gives access to the bays I have previously mentioned wherein are berthed the charter boats which support a considerable portion of our recreational fishing industry. The inlet, which has seaward jetties, carries a considerable current on tide change and some authorities believe that its existence and construction contribute to the beach erosion problem in its general area. Here, even the single highway I mentioned a moment ago is in danger of being washed out.
This highway and its continued existence undamaged is of primary importance to the State of Delaware and its citizens because it is the only means of access to this tremendously important recreational beach area, which is, incidentally, enjoyed by the residents of many other States and the District of Columbia.
Even more importantly from the Federal Government's standpoint, however, is the fact that through this area now under discussion are located, under lease arrangement with the State, three antiaircraft artillery firing ranges and a permanent camp of the Delaware National Guard. These ranges and the camp are used on an almost continuous year-round basis by Regular Army troops and National Guard units from several States. The important point with regard to the sole highway serving the area obviously is that if erosion puts it out of commission, the use of the firing ranges will be severely handicapped.
At the town of Bethany Beach, a few miles farther south, practically all of the protective sand dunes have eroded away. The destruction of the public beach is so severe that at normal high water the tide extends back of the boardwalk to within a few feet of existing buildings, and at times of storm the ocean reaches back to the highway.
This is a picture of the general problem.
The State of Delaware, since about 1925, has taken active steps to remedy this situation and to correct it in order to halt beach erosion. In recent years, nearly every session of the general assembly has appropriated funds to this work; the State has spent well over a half-million dollars toward its prosecution. The State highway department, using these State-appropriated funds, has constructed dikes, and groins and attempted artificial beach nourishment and other protective methods. Since the severe storm of November 6, 1953, the State's agency has expended its funds to correct the damage caused particularly at the town of Lewes, the town of Bethany Beach and Indian River Inlet by the emergency measure of restoring the protective beach frontage. This has been attempted by bulldozing sand from the beach at low tide to the high-water mark in an effort to create dunes.
These efforts throughout the years have been ineffective.
Competent and efficient though our State highway department is, it has not had and does not now have either the personnel or the facilities to make what has obviously always been and still remains the primary requirement toward solving this problem: a comprehensive, overall beach erosion survey which will delineate the cause of the erosion and upon which can be based a permanent control plan.
A preliminary field inspection of the entire 56 miles of coastline in question has been made by representatives of the United States Corps of Engineers, the Beach Erosion Board and the State of Delaware. It is this group's opinion that a cooperative study of the nature indicated is the most necessary and desirable step to be taken. It is believed that this fact will be confirmed in detail by these representatives.
With the situation of damage as I have outlined it above, certainly action to correct the erosion in roads alone is necessary. This action will in all probability have to be supported by large sums. Surely, before such expenditures are considered and made a competent study and survey must be made by experts in the beach erosion and shore protection fields.
The State of Delaware will apply through the channel of the United States Army engineers for this cooperative study to be made of this shoreline. It is estimated that a study of this nature will cost approximately $50,000, the cos.. to be equally divided between the State of Delaware and the United States Government.
The State of Delaware's share of approximately $25,000 is now available and can be placed in trust or escrow to meet the Federal contribution to the survey's cost.
The governor has also publicly indicated his intention to recommend to the general assembly when it convenes in January 1955 that a permanent State beach erosion control board be established to assist in executing the results of the survey.
The State can go no further within its own abilities, financially or otherwise, until it knows the course that should be taken to correct the condition.
Therefore, in behalf of my colleagues and of our governor and citizens, I urgently express the hope that this committee will see the necessity and wisdom of providing susficient appropriation, in the approximate amount of $25,000, for the United States Corps of Engineers and the beach erosion board to cooperate under present authorizations with the State of Delaware in conducting this inuch needed beach erosion survey.
Senator Young. At this point I would like to have a letter from Senator Saltonstall, of Massachusetts, placed in the record. (The letter referred to follows:)
UNITED STATES SENATE,
March 1, 1954.
Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR KNOWLAND: I understand that you are looking into the whole question of shore erosion and in this connection I wish to bring to your attention the shoreline on the western side of Massachusetts Bay between Hull and Gurnett. I hope that you will take up with the appropriate people in the Army engineers this particular stretch of beach and see just what might be done to stop further serious erosion.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the local representative in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Mr. Nathaniel Tilden, have particularly called this stretch to my attention. With best regards, I am, Sincerely yours,
United States Senator. Senator Young. At this point I would like to have a statement placed in the record by Senator Kennedy, of Massachusetts.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENTS BUITIEN BY SENATOR John F. KENNEDY I would like to urse this salommittee to give favorable consideration to the requests it has repiteti qoidade in its recommendations funds for the continuation of development and cooperative studies of this country's beach erosion problems.
I understand that the Beach Erosion Board of the Corps of Engineers which was created pursuant to legislation passed in the 79th Congress is an extremely competent organization and probably the only group in this country which has the serialized training ani knowledge to undertake this important research work. It we are to protect our beaches against the ravages of erosion, it seems to me that adequate funds for the continuation of the Board's work is necessary.
In addition to the development program undertaken solely by the Federal Government. I understand that there are many cooperative projects in which the Federal Government, State and local agencies cooperate and share the costs. I am most familiar with the Allerton to Gurnett Point study in Plymouth County, Mass.. agreed upon by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Corps of Engineers, in that particular project agreement was reached in July 1950 that the corps and Massachusetts would each provide $5,000 to finance the project. The general assembly of Massachusetts has approved the agreement and is ready and willing to appropriate its share of the costs whenever the Federal Government makes available the $5,000 which it agreed to provide. I hope that this particular project will not fail to be completed because of a shortsighted reluctance to make awailable the relatively small appropriation necessary.
I am grateful for the opportunity to express my views on this question and trust that this subcommittee will appreciate the great benefits which can flow from these studies and research. I urge you, therefore, to appropriate the funds Hecennury to continue these projects at their present levels.
Senator Young. I would also like to place in the record a letter from Senator Hendrickson, relative to the matter of beach erosion.
(The letter referred to follows:)
UNITED STATES SENATE,
February 2, 1954.
United States Senate, Washington, D. O. MY DEAR SENATOR: The budget request for cooperative studies with cer ain States to be undertaken by the Beach Erosion Board of the Army Corps of Engineers amounts to $25,000 for the 1955 fiscal year.
In my own State of New Jersey, a study of approximately one-half of our shoreline is nearing completion. That part of the survey which remains to be undertaken is a vital project to a large segment of our State.
For years now, the ravages of weather and sea have encroached upon our famed seacoast in New Jersey, whittling away a great natural resource. Damage to business and property has been incalculable.
The study jointly sponsored by the State and by the Corps of Engineers encompasses the following steps:
1. A general survey of the entire Atlantic coastline of New Jersey. (Accomplished by the Army engineers with beach erosion development funds, not cooperative study funds.) This has already been completed.
2. At the same time, a specific study detailing the work which is required to be done is underway in the stretch between Sandy Hook in the north, south to Barnegat Inlet. This will be completed.
3. Under plans of the Beach Erosion Board, that coastal section from Barnegat Inlet south to Cape May would undergo a similarly intensive study. This cannot be presently undertaken.
The prospects of imminent action to be taken upon completion of this first exhaustive study of the New Jersey shore is very real. The current survey is the first thorough job ever done in our State, and its results should bear eventual fruit of great meaning for our people.
However, there are no prospects for completion of these studies unless the Congress acts.
It is my understanding that the Beach Erosion Board necessarily must schedule other projects before it can complete New Jersey's. Applications amounting to more than $80,000 in Federal funds for cooperative surveys are pending before the Board. Two such applications are pending from your own State of California. Without an increase in funds for such studies amounting to upwards of $50,000 beyond the present budget request, the people of New Jersey will have to wait at least 1 fiscal year before it can complete the study and probably another year before it can implement in any way the plan for a major effort to save its priceless beaches.
So it would be, Mr. Chairman, that the studies already undertaken, and about to be completed, would have no meaning insofar as the total job is concerned for our State.
I trust that when your distinguished subcommittee conducts public hearings into these budget requests that I might be afforded the opportunity to present in greater detail the reasons why an increased appropriation for the completion of New Jersey's cooperative survey is clearly necessary.
Mr. Chairman, the war in Korea is thankfully over. For several year, cooperative studies between the States and the Federal Government were curtailed, due to the active conflict in the Far East. The time for resumption of such programs is now upon us, for a variety of economic reasons. I would appreciate an opportunity to present New Jersey's case. With kind personal regards. Sincerely yours,
ROBERT C. HENDRICKSON.