Town of Palm Beach, Florida

Developed by Henry Flagler as a high-end tourist metropolis and site for luxurious hotels like the The Breakers, ca. 1920s, with
Developed by Henry Flagler as a high-end tourist metropolis and site for luxurious hotels like The Breakers, photograph taken ca. early 1930’s, with “cottages” for the super-rich already built along the beach in the background (not seen).   In the foreground, the privately owned, tollway Florida East Coast Canal (a dredged linear portion of Lake Worth) became the federally controlled, toll-free Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in 1929.  Amenities included a golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and arrangements for deep-sea fishing.  Courtesy, SMU Libraries.

Army Corps to Begin Eliminating Worst Shoaling on ICW, North of Charleston at Isle of Palms

Corps of Engineers to dredge north of Charleston, SC

Despite the President’s promise to fund shovel-ready projects, the photograph here clearly depicts a vessel run aground in shoaled water in the ICW, a federal waterway.  Entire stretches are two feet deep or less where federal law requires a minimum controlling depth of twelve feet. After decades of neglect and without requested funding, the Army Corps of Engineers will begin the elimination of shoaling at the Isle of Palms stretch several miles north of Charleston, SC, this fall, 2015. The Corps intends to spend  $2.4 million on the project.

Prediction: Too many millions of dollars and several decades short,  Congress will fail again in its commitment to maintain a federal  waterway. The federal government expressly agreed to maintain this and many other waterways if the states kept up their end of the agreement as “local sponsors,” as referred to in federal legislation.  Not one state has failed to comply with its promises.  Where has Congress been in failing to keep its end of the bargain in Florida?  No one seems to know. “When in doubt, mumble.  When in trouble, delegate.  When there is time, ponder.”  Nothing ever gets done in Washington because bureaucratic legislators mumble, delegate, ponder and never hold anyone accountable.