Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pressed the Administration to provide funds for the sand replenishment project at Presque Isle in its upcoming budget that is due to be released in the coming weeks. In a letter to Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Casey highlighted the $77 million that visitors annually spend at Presque Isle and the 1,000 jobs it supports throughout the Erie region. Casey has consistently pressed the Administration and Congress to provide adequate funding to Presque Isle.
“Presque Isle is a major driver of the region’s economy and its critical that the Administration provides adequate funding to this project in its upcoming budget,” Senator Casey said. “Presque Isle is one of our state’s treasures. Putting appropriate funding into this project will maintain one of our state’s most visited state parks and bolster Northwestern Pennsylvania’s economy.”
The full text of Casey’s letter can be seen below:
Dear Director Donovan:
As the Administration prepares the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, I would like to request your support for the sand replenishment project at Presque Isle in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Presque Isle State Park, located on Lake Erie, draws over four million visitors annually for a variety of recreational activities and is the top attraction for the regional tourism economy. The Presque Isle State Park is also one of the most visited state parks in Pennsylvania. Visitors spend nearly $77 million annually at Presque Isle and help to create over 1,000 jobs in the Erie region. This project is crucial to the economy in northwestern Pennsylvania. In this tough economic climate, we need to make targeted investments in projects that will help our economy grow, and investment in the Presque Isle project will help maintain this important economic boost to the region.
The beaches at Presque Isle continually battle storm erosion and require annual sand replenishment to address this problem. Without sufficient funding for annual sand nourishment the beach will be subject to continued erosion which could breach the Peninsula and damage the park’s infrastructure. In the past, erosion has caused significant damage to beaches and hiking trails as well as ecosystems that support endangered species that reside in the park. If unaddressed, the damage that erosion causes will threaten the region’s economy.
For these reasons, I respectfully request that you include Presque Isle in the Budget for Fiscal Year 2016. In the past, this project has annually appeared in the President’s Budget. Unfortunately, that has not been the case for the past few years. I respectfully urge you to support by restoring funding for this important project for Fiscal 2016. In closing, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your consideration of this project.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator