Shoreline Under Repair Along NASA Wallops Flight Facility - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Shoreline Under Repair Along NASA Wallops Flight Facility

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Wallops Island, Va.- For more than one year, the Atlantic Ocean has been chewing up a zone that protects NASA's most critical launch assets on Wallops Island. Hurricane Sandy is to blame. Now, a coastal restoration project is underway to fix the damage on the coastline.

The NASA Wallops Flight Facility was well protected from shoreline erosion in August of 2012, but Hurricane Sandy washed much of that security away when it barreled through the area just a few months later. Paul Bull, the deputy chief for facilities at Wallops Island, describes the devastating loss. 

"We lost 1.2 million cubic yards of sand, so we went from 3.2 million to about two million cubic yards, " Bull said. NASA officials and its partners spent millions  of dollars on a dredging and beach construction project two years ago.  Bull said the beach helps keep the water away from the launch site and protects 1.2 billion dollars of state and federal launch assets.

Tess Bissell enjoys spending time in the area. She is a big fan of the rockets that take off from the launch site. She was shocked to see how much damage Hurricane Sandy left behind. 

"I cannot believe the devastation,"said Bissell, who was looking at a before and after picture of the coastline. "I thought it would be in a more protected environment, it's not." 

"It just destroyed it," she said. "That's horrible." 

Federal Sandy relief money was given to NASA and its partners for the $11.4 million project. Officials said restoration efforts will replenish at least two miles of the beach.

Robert Fanz, who was visiting from New Jersey, thinks the project is necessary. He fully supports it.

"I think they ought to reconstruct everything and in about five years, come back to the area again," Fanz said. "I'd like to see it  restored to where it was." 

Bull said the coastal restoration project will be complete by the end of September. 

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