(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Federal dollars again have been earmarked for sand replenishment at Presque Isle State Park.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced $1.5 million has been budgeted for the local park’s beach nourishment and sand replenishment. The funding is part of the corp’s 2022 work plan and 2023 budget.

“I am very pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers has once again recognized the importance of properly maintaining Presque Isle State Park’s seven-mile shoreline,” said Rep. Mike Kelly. “These beaches are a natural and economic treasure that serve as an integral part of Erie’s identity. Thank you to the U.S. Army Cops of Engineers for recognizing the importance of maintaining these resources. I will continue doing my part to ensure that the beaches remain pristine and healthy for the millions of families and tourists who visit them each year, as well as the hundreds of local jobs they support.”

According to a news release from Kelly’s office, In February, the U.S. congressman from Erie sent a letter to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and the Lieutenant General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers formally requesting a high-priority status for the project.

Each year, the park and the Corps of Engineers share the cost ($1.5 million each) to truck sand to Presque Isle. About 40,000 cubic yards of sand would naturally travel to the park, but development along the shoreline has changed the way sand moves in Lake Erie, Park Operations Manager Matt Greene told JET 24 in March. In 2019, the park was in a period of high water, so they delivered 100,000 cubic yards of sand to the beach. In 2021, they delivered 70,000 cubic yards. Greene said he hoped the park was ebbing out of the high-water period and expected they would truck in 50,000 to 60,000 cubic yards of sand this year.

“The Army Civil Works FY 2022 Work Plan is yet another increment of transformative investments during this administration that will yield high economic and environmental returns, by supporting the use of the nation’s waterways and ports to strengthen supply chains; building resilience to climate change to protect people and infrastructure; and increasing opportunities to work with and support disadvantaged communities,” said Michael Connor, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

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Some 4.9 million visitors came to the park in 2020, and in 2021, that had dipped down to 4.7 million visitors. Park officials were hopeful the attendance would return to normal this season.