Luna Continues Fight with USACE Over Pinellas Beaches

Luna Continues Fight with USACE Over Pinellas Beaches

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
August 8, 2023

In April, Representative Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) criticized the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for their perpetual easement requirement which delayed hurricane prevention ahead of Ian and is now preventing the renourishment of Pinellas County beaches. Rep. Luna has recently sent an additional letter demanding action.

"Unelected bureaucrats at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are sitting on their hands, refusing to do their job, while our beaches are washing away right before our eyes. I sent a follow-up letter to the Corps, reiterating the need to renourish our beaches before it’s too late," tweeted Rep. Luna.

To reiterate, the USACE had interpreted a statute of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) on projects that prohibited authorization unless private property owners approved through a local sponsor, even if no private property is intruded upon. Rep. Luna called this perpetual easement requirement "outrageous" and "unnecessary," adding that the USACE was "trying to strongarm property owners... impacting our economy, our beaches locally, and... also interfering with an area that provides habitat for endangered species."

In Luna's new letter, she specifically called out the erosion of Sand Key, the focal point of the issue, and of Treasure Island's beaches, whose erosion threatens the foundations of local residents' houses. "We are living with washed-out beaches as we approach the most dangerous time of hurricane season," Luna warned.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that the USACE denied a waiver that would allow the renourishment of the area's beaches without the easement, and Treasure Island mayor Tyler Payne stated the easements were not required before, yet the Corps did not specify what properties would need the easement.

Luna accused the Corps of "playing games" in another tweet, vowing to "change their policy so they can never pull this again."

"The Army Corps is playing games. They have also notified 9 other FL counties that they cannot help them. We are going at this from a legislative angle to change their policy so they can NEVER pull this again," said Luna.

Additionally, she told the Times she was "not looking for any more excuses," and that it was "time for action on this issue."

Related Posts

Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


More Related Posts