Tybee Island, GA (WTOC) – Tybee Island is in the process of getting federal aid to maintain its shoreline.
The US Senate recently passed the Tybee Island Storm Risk Management Act.
It’s a bill that would secure federal funding to help the beach community reduce the effects of climate change and storm surges.
The bill would continue a federal partnership to help the island fight climate change and storm surges.
The initial partnership was due to end in 2024.
“This is a very non-partisan bill because it literally protects our coastline, it protects the coast, it protects lives, it protects marine life,” said Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions.
Georgia senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock co-sponsored the bill.
According to Ossoff, Tybee Island has experienced a sea level rise of 10 inches since 1935.
Under the bill, Tybee officials would work with the Army Corps of Engineers to nourish areas affected by erosion and reinforce existing sand dunes to combat storm surges.
“Dunes and sand are really the first line of defense against storm surge, against bad waves, any type of tropical or northeasterly storms that we experience during the year, so we’re really pleased” , said Sessions.
And beachgoers who lived through the devastation of the hurricanes said they were optimistic about a possible expanded partnership with the federal government.
“A few years ago, I think it was about 4 or 5 years ago, we had a hurricane and our house actually got about 2 inches of water. So hopefully the dunes and sand extra will help protect homes when hurricanes pass,” said Tybee Island owner Emily Stillwell.
Mayor Sessions says the bill is now heading to the US House of Representatives where she hopes it will pass.
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