Corps move seen as ‘positive step’ for Dauphin Island

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has committed $4 million to putting sand from channel dredging work into an area where it could help feed the eroding beaches of Dauphin Island.

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said that while the move wasn't a magic cure-all for the health of the barrier island's fragile shores, it definitely was a step in the right direction. "Certainly an effort like this is something we've been pushing for, calling for, for a number of years," he said.

Collier said he'd gotten a call earlier this week from U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, who said such a project had been a priority for himself and Sen. Richard Shelby. Byrne said on social media that the funding "will help support the restoration and long-term stability" of the island.

On Wednesday, Corps officials provided some additional detail after the news was announced Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne. In fiscal 2019, the Corps has allocated about $10 million for maintenance dredging of the Mobile Ship Channel, plus about $2 million for transport and disposal of dredge spoil. E. Patrick Robbins, legislative affairs chief for the Corps' Mobile District, said that's a normal annual expenditure.

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