, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 16, 2013

'Sand Wars' waged all along state's coast

Replenishing sand to protect against coastal erosion has become big business


“We don’t like to have a neighbor that doesn’t take care of their property,” said Champagne.

The trials of Salisbury and Plum Island helped spark state Sen. Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, to sponsor legislation this year to create a special commission on coastal erosion to decide a critical question.

“Are we going to retreat or are we going to defend the coast,” Tarr asked. “And if we are going to defend, how are we going to do it?”

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting ( ) is a nonprofit investigative reporting newsroom based at Boston University and WGBH TV/radio and supported in part by New England news outlets. NECIR interns Michael Bottari and Alicia Juang helped research and prepare this report. Follow Beth Daley at @BethBDaley

Conservative estimates are that more than $40 million in federal, state and local funds has been spent to place sand on Massachusetts' public beaches in the last decade.

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