Feds Ax Beach Rebuilding Programs

The federal government has dropped renourishment programs across the country. That means each community will now be responsible to come up with the millions of dollars it can cost to rebuild their shoreline.

There may be exceptions. The federal government could provide emergency money for an area hit hard by a storm like a hurricane.

Eighteen miles of coastline at Panama City Beach has sand dredged from the offshore sand bars and pumped ashore to build up the local beaches after they were devastated by Hurricane Opal in October 1995.

That project cost about $25 million with most of it being paid by the federal government. A portion of the overall cost is being paid by an additional one cent on the county’s bed tax.

The bad news couldn't have come at a worse time for some regions of the Gulf Coast.

A new federal study shows 61 percent of the Gulf Coast shoreline is eroding. The study shows coastal Louisiana and Texas barrier islands are most vulnerable to erosion.

Florida's erosion is concentrated around tidal inlets, but experts say the Florida coastline is the most stable, and some areas of Texas have been gaining sand.

The Gulf assessment is the first of several erosion studies planned by the U.S. Geological Survey.