Eight years after the Army Corps of Engineers finished a $100 million flood-control channel for the San Luis Rey River in Oceanside, Calif., homeowners in the area are still required to carry pricey flood insurance while various government departments haggle over maintenance and environmental concerns. The unused channel is choked with brush, which has become a nesting ground for several endangered species, and FEMA will not certify the new flood plain until the brush is cleared.

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