On September 10, House and Senate released America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which includes 4 titles related to water infrastructure. The first title is, essentially, a water resources development act (WRDA) that includes a number of provisions ASBPA supports (the remaining titles address clean drinking water, hydropower, and stormwater infrastructure financing, none of which ASBPA has a position on). Below is ASBPA’s statement on the bill:
The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is pleased to support Title I of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. Passing a water resources development act (WRDA) every congress allows our nation’s coastal communities to invest in the critical natural infrastructure, such as beaches, dunes and wetlands, that keep them protected from flooding, storms and hurricanes. As Section 1101 of the bill outlines, “flood control, beach erosion control and shoreline protection… environmental protection, restoration, and enhancement… benefit all Americans, and… water resources development projects are critical to maintaining the country’s economic prosperity, national security, and environmental protection.”
By authorizing project construction and studies, and by setting policy for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), WRDA is essential for effective management of our coastlines and to increase coastal resilience across the United States.
We urge Congress to pass this critical legislation as soon as possible.
America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 includes policies and projects that will help improve coastal communities’ resilience, but many of its best provisions are studies and pilot projects. These are important steps toward a making a more effective, more efficient Army Corps of Engineers, and helping coastal communities across the country. However, studies and pilot projects are intended to provide information for future systemic changes, which underscores the importance of revisiting and passing a WRDA every congress. Just as this year’s WRDA builds upon the success of 2016 and 2014, Congress will need to authorize, implement, and expand upon the recommendations and results of the studies and pilot projects outlined above.
ASBPA looks forward to working with the Environment & Public Works and Transportation & Infrastructure committees to ensure passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 in the coming weeks, and working with Congress over the coming years to continue to improve our nation’s water infrastructure, in particular our natural coastal infrastructure, such as beaches, dunes and wetlands.
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ABOUT ASBPA: Founded in 1926, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that advocates for healthy coastlines by promoting the integration of science, policies and actions that maintain, protect and enhance the coasts of America. For more information on ASBPA, go to www.asbpa.org, www.facebook.com/AmericanBeaches or www.twitter.com/asbpa.