The House and Senate have passed HR 5895, a “mini-omnibus” (a.k.a. “mini-bus”) of three appropriations bills, one of which is Energy & Water that includes funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). It is being sent to the president’s desk to be signed. The federal fiscal year ends September 30th, so this bill – if signed – will go into effect on October 1st. This will be the first time in years that the Army Corps will have its budget at the start of the fiscal year, rather than dealing with a continuing resolution before getting a final budget midway through the year.
ASBPA was instrumental in securing increased funding in FY19 for three critical coastal programs: shore protection, beneficial use of dredged material and the coastal inlet research program. Combined, these programs saw an increase of $18 million dollars over FY18.
|Line Item||FY18 (current)
|FY19 Omnibus allocation|
|Shore Protection (construction)||$50 mil||$55 mil|
|Beneficial Use of Dredged Material (Cont. Auth. Prog.)||$1.5 mil||$10 mil*|
|Regional Sediment Management||$8.95 mil*||$3.5 mil|
|Coastal Inlet Research||$2.975 mil||$7.975 mil|
|National Coastal Mapping||$6.3 mil||$13 mil|
|Coastal Ocean Data System||$6 mil||$6.5 mil|
|Coastal Field Data Collection||$1 mil||$1 mil|
*Regional Sediment Management for FY18 was originally appropriated at $3.5 million, but the USACE FY18 work plan added $5 million to the Regional Sediment Management program to be used for implementing the Sec.1122 Beneficial Use of Dredged Material pilot projects; in FY19 Congress directed the program to be funded from CAP 204 Beneficial Use of Dredged Material.
ASBPA is actively advocating for federal funds for coastal programs in other departments including United States Geological Survey (USGS) and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).
USGS is under the Department of Interior, which is part of “mini-bus” appropriations package that may come up before the September 30th end of the fiscal year. NOAA is under Department of Commerce, whose appropriations bill is seen as one of the more controversial (because it includes issues on immigration) and so is unlikely to come up before the mid-term elections. So for NOAA, FY19 will probably start with continuing resolution.