© 2024 Maine Public

Bangor Studio/Membership Department
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401

Lewiston Studio
1450 Lisbon St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Portland Studio
323 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101

Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Saco OKs Army Corps project agreement to address Camp Ellis erosion

Huge waves crashes against and over a sea wall near a home during a winter storm Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 at Camp Ellis in Saco, Maine.
Joel Page
/
AP
Huge waves crashes against and over a sea wall near a home during a winter storm Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 at Camp Ellis in Saco, Maine.

The city of Saco has approved a plan from the federal government to restore the coastline at Camp Ellis, which has experienced severe beach erosion over many decades.

Dozens of Camp Ellis homes have been lost to the ocean since the federal government constructed jetties at the mouth of the Saco River over the last two centuries.

Under a new agreement with the city of Saco, the Army Corps of Engineers will build a stone spur jetty designed to intercept the wave energy that has been destroying the coastline. It will also reinforce the beach with 92,000 cubic yards of sand.

Saco City Councilors unanimously approved the project Monday night.

"We've had decades and decades of inaction and stalling and back-and-forth with the Army Corps," said City Councilor Michael Burman. "To be here tonight is an incredible step forward in protecting our shoreline, revitalizing the coast, protecting Camp Ellis and really moving Saco forward in the direction we want to go."

A recent change in federal law means that the Army Corps will cover up to $45 million of the cost to build the jetty and periodically replenish the beach with sand. Saco will be responsible for maintaining and refilling the beach once those federal funds are exhausted.

Saco Mayor Bill Doyle said construction is likely a long way away. The Army Corps must work finalize the design details, secure the appropriate easements and work with Camp Ellis and the Environmental Protection Agency.