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August 17. 2013 7:45PM

Mass. beach alliance seeks funding

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (MCT) - Members of the Merrimack River Beach Alliance on Friday launched a drive that they hope will result in funding to refurbish the north jetty at the mouth of the Merrimack River.

The alliance drafted and approved a letter to the federal legislative delegation in Washington asking for help to secure "$200,000 needed to complete the plans and specifications for the north jetty on Salisbury Beach."

The alliance played a major role in obtaining funding to strengthen and heighten the south jetty.

Phase one of the project, costing about $3.5 million, was completed this spring. Money to pay for phase two, about $5 million, has been approved. Bids for the second phase are expected to go out within the month.

State Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, co-chairman of the alliance, said that the alliance's success at securing funding for the south jetty offers hope that money can be found for the north jetty.

The letter from the Alliance states, "The north jetty continues to deteriorate and that deterioration threatens navigation and the accelerating erosion of Salisbury Beach.

"The letter added, "Storms destroyed large parts of Salisbury's protective beachfront dunes and damaged many beachfront homes. Hundreds of homes and businesses are gravely threatened."


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