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By Jim Shilander

A federal bill to provide critical flood protection, ecosystem restoration and commerce port maintenance could benefit California in more ways than one, specifically San Clemente’s shoreline.

The Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2014 moved through the House of Representatives Tuesday after a bipartisan conference committee recommended its passage.

The bill, which includes $1 billion to strengthen National Basin levees near Sacramento and $734 million for flood control measures in the Sutter River and San Joaquin River basins, could fund an initial beach replenishment project in south Orange County.

The initial project would add about 50 feet of beach from Linda Lane, past the San Clemente Pier, to south of T-Street Beach. Costs are estimated at $11 million, with $7 million coming from the federal government.

The project was reviewed and recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers, making it eligible for federal funds. Under the bill, this city is eligible for $51 million in federal funding for the project. State and local officials must match the funds to pay for the project’s $99 million cost, over 50 years.

The bill could go to the Senate within the next two weeks, said Tom Bonigut, San Clemente’s assistant city engineer. The city has discussed, on a preliminary basis, ways to fund its $4 million obligation, as well as how to fund it on an ongoing basis if the project continues.

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