Today, the Senate passed “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” 99-1. The House of Representatives had passed the legislation in September by a unanimous voice vote, so the bill will now go to the president’s desk to be signed.
The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is pleased to see Congress pass Title I, a water resources development act (WRDA), of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. Passing a 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 are thrilled to see Congress to pass this critical legislation.
Title I of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 authorizes studies and sets policies that will improve the efficiency with which the USACE operates and constructs coastal projects. ASBPA particularly supports:
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 the 2018 WRDA builds upon the success of 2016 and 2014, the next Congress will need to authorize, implement, and expand upon the recommendations and results of the studies and pilot projects outlined above.
# # #
ASBPA Executive Director Derek Brockbank is available (202-827-4246) for comment or interviews.
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.