Maine seaside village seeks solution to erosion

By Clarke Canfield

Associated Press

Published: Monday, May 27 2013 9:25 a.m. MDT

The city still has to figure out how to pay for future costs, he said. After the initial project is completed, the Army Corps says the beach will need to be replenished with more sand about every 12 years at an estimated cost of roughly $2 million to $4 million, depending on the rate of sea level change. Those costs, according to the plan, will be split evenly between the Corps and a "local partner," which could be the city, the county or the state.

Michaud is hopeful that the state will step in and help share the costs, especially given that Ferry Beach State Park, just north of Camp Ellis, stands to benefit.

"I think we are at a decision point on this project," Michaud said. "We need to decide whether to move forward or not. I support moving forward."

Saco Mayor Mark Johnston has seen government reports come and go in the past.

"Let's hope this isn't another study using taxpayer money that sits around uselessly," Johnston said. "I'm getting to the point where I think if we piled up all the studies that have been done in the ocean, we'd have another breakwater."

But with the erosion accelerating and spreading to other beaches to the north, the time for action has arrived, said Cristina Trahan, who owns a bed-and-breakfast a few lots back from the ocean. Some homeowners have put their homes on stilts to keep them out of harm's way, and roads are sometimes covered in calf-deep sand after storms.

"We need something immediately because it's gotten to the point where we see way too much damage to the beach and properties," she said. "It's sad to see what was a beautiful beach reduced to almost nothing."

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