A bill filed by U.S. Congressman Neal Dunn seeks to grant relief to communities on the beach whose residents have been forced to pay as much as $50,000 a year for private flood insurance after being included on a federal coastal map.

Since 1990, residents of the waterfront Florida communities Finisterre, Martinique, Bonefish Point, Alligator Point, and the RV Park Venture Out in Panama City Beach have been unable to get federal flood insurance because they were included in the Coastal Barrier Resources Act map, according to the News Herald. The map is meant to discourage development of hurricane prone, biologically rich coastal barriers by restricting federal expenditures that encourage development, but many have felt the inclusion of several already developed communities was a “mistake.”

Dunn has filed a bill, H.R. 2947, the “Strengthening Coastal Communities Act,” which would take the communities out of the protection area, allowing homeowners to get the much more reasonably priced federal flood insurance.

After a hearing last week in Washington D.C. before the House Natural Resources Committee on the bill, during which Bay County Commissioner Philip “Griff” Griffitts testified, Dunn said he’s confident the bill will pass.

“I think there is an excellent chance,” Dunn said. “We had a very favorable hearing at the Natural Resources Committee. We had people on all sides of the issue, including the Audubon Society, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, who all spoke in favor of passing this.”

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