On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed S.2848, the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA), which includes many provisions to help protect, restore, and increase the resilience of U.S. coastlines. The bill passed 95-3, with overwhelming bipartisan support. The House of Representatives must now act for the bill to move to the President’s desk.
“Hurricane Hermine should serve as a reminder of the vulnerability of coastal communities. Although Hermine caused minimal damage, a stronger storm with just a slightly altered course could have devastated the Gulf Coast, Florida, North Carolina and the Northeast,” said Derek Brockbank, Executive Director of American Shore & Beach Preservation Association. “WRDA takes a number of important steps to reduce the risk coastal communities face from coastal hazards, and allow communities to take preventive measures – which are far cheaper than paying for recovery – to restore their coastlines and improve their resilience.”
“The Coastal States Organization commends the Senate for acting in bipartisan fashion to address the country’s coastal challenges,” comments Bradley Watson, Director of Coastal Resilience at the Coastal States Organization. “It is important that this legislation is considered and acted on each Congress given its potential to address immediate and long term challenges facing our Nation’s coasts” he concludes.
The focus of this WRDA was the authorization of 29 water infrastructure projects. This includes 7 hurricane and storm damage risk reduction projects on the coasts of South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Louisiana and California, as well as other coastal and inland flood risk reduction and environmental restoration projects.
In addition to authorizing projects, WRDA also establishes a number of policies and authorizes studies to help improve coastal resilience across the country. Some of these include:
Derek Brockbank, ASBPA Executive Director – (202) 827-4246 or email@example.com
Bradley Watson, CSO Counsel and Director of Coastal Resilience – (202) 508-3844 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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ASBPA Executive Director Derek Brockbank is available at (202) 827-4246 for comment, interviews or background.