$45 Million Authorization to Fix Camp Ellis Erosion Secured by Senator Collins in NDAA

Government and Politics

December 8, 2022

$45 Million Authorization to Fix Camp Ellis Erosion Secured by Senator Collins in NDAA

The provision will fully fund construction of a 750-foot spur jetty to resolve the severe erosion impacting the community

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that the text of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was released last night includes a provision she championed authorizing $45 million for a permanent solution to the severe, ongoing erosion at Camp Ellis.  The NDAA is the annual defense spending authorization bill that sets our military’s priorities and policies, and it is expected to pass the Senate and the House in the coming days.

The $45 million authorized by the NDAA would ensure that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the full funding necessary to construct a 750-foot spur jetty off the existing jetty and replenish 365,000 cubic yards of beachfront. 

“For generations, the residents of Camp Ellis and the City of Saco have had to contend with a relentlessly receding shoreline that has claimed dozens of homes,” said Senator Collins.  “The devastating erosion impacting this community was caused by the jetty constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers more than 150 years ago at the mouth of the Saco River, and it is long past time to rectify this mistake.  As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I worked to secure this investment that would finally help resolve this problem, protect property, and permanently restore the beachfront.”

“On behalf of the City of Saco, we are extremely elated with the language included in the NDAA regarding Camp Ellis,” said Saco Mayor Bill Doyle.  “Our community continues to be challenged with ongoing costs associated with storms affecting Camp Ellis.  We are thankful for the efforts of Senator Collins for her advocacy and outreach on behalf of our community.  Senator Collins, as well as her staffers, have been extremely diligent and helpful in all aspects of this unique situation affecting the City of Saco.”

More than 150 years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a jetty extending out from the Saco River, adjacent to Camp Ellis Beach, and expanded it in the 1950s.   This jetty altered the pattern of currents and sand deposition and is the primary cause of the severe erosion of Camp Ellis, washing away 38 homes.  The 1998 shoreline was 400 feet from where the shoreline stood in 1908.