With the purpose of preventing damage to the shores and beaches of the United States, its Territories and possessions and promoting and encouraging the healthful recreation of the people, it is declared to be the policy of the United States, subject to sections 426e to 426h–1 of this title, to promote shore protection projects and related research that encourage the protection, restoration, and enhancement of sandy beaches, including beach restoration and periodic beach nourishment, on a comprehensive and coordinated basis by the Federal Government, States, localities, and private enterprises. In carrying out this policy, preference shall be given to areas in which there has been a Federal investment of funds and areas with respect to which the need for prevention or mitigation of damage to shores and beaches is attributable to Federal navigation projects or other Federal activities.
The Federal contribution in the case of any project referred to in subsection (a) shall not exceed one-half of the cost of the project, and the remainder shall be paid by the State, municipality, or other political subdivision in which the project is located, except that (1) the costs allocated to the restoration and protection of Federal property shall be borne fully by the Federal Government, (2) Federal participation in the cost of a project for restoration and protection of State, county, and other publicly owned shore parks and conservation areas may be, in the discretion of the Chief of Engineers, not more than 70 per centum of the total cost exclusive of land costs, when such areas: Include a zone which excludes permanent human habitation; include but are not limited to recreational beaches; satisfy adequate criteria for conservation and development of the natural resources of the environment; extend landward a sufficient distance to include, where appropriate, protective dunes, bluffs, or other natural features which serve to protect the uplands from damage; and provide essentially full park facilities for appropriate public use, all of which shall meet with the approval of the Chief of Engineers, and (3) Federal participation in the cost of a project providing hurricane protection may be, in the discretion of the Secretary  not more than 70 per centum of the total cost exclusive of land costs.
When in the opinion of the Chief of Engineers the most suitable and economical remedial measures would be provided by periodic beach nourishment, the term “construction” may be construed for the purposes of sections 426e to 426h–1 of this title to include the deposit of sand fill at suitable intervals of time to furnish sand supply to project shores for a length of time specified by the Chief of Engineers.
Shores other than public will be eligible for Federal assistance if there is benefit such as that arising from public use or from the protection of nearby public property or if the benefits to those shores are incidental to the project, and the Federal contribution to the project shall be adjusted in accordance with the degree of such benefits.
No Federal contributions shall be made with respect to a project under sections 426e to 426h–1 of this title unless the plan therefor shall have been specifically adopted and authorized by Congress after investigation and study by the Coastal Engineering Research Center under the provisions of section 426 of this title as amended and supplemented, or, in the case of a small project under section 426g or 426h  of this title, unless the plan therefor has been approved by the Chief of Engineers.