After a late July budget deal set total budget caps for FY2020 and FY2021, Congress came back to session in September with a goal of passing appropriations bills before the September 30th end of the fiscal year. That goal seems likely to come up short, with Congress expected to pass a short term continuing resolution that will extend the FY19 budget for a few weeks. However, the Senate did markup its Energy and Water Resources Bill, giving us a sense of what we might expect for US Army Corps of Engineers budget in FY20.
Here are some of the programs ASBPA cares about with what the House and the Senate are proposing in FY20 ($ in thousands):
|Program||FY19 – Final||FY20 House||FY20 Senate|
|Shore Protection (Construction)||55,000||50,165||45,000|
|Shore Protection (Investigations)||2,000||2,000||4,000|
|Shore Protection (CAP Sec. 103)||4,000||4,000||4,000|
|Beneficial Use Of Dredged Material Pilot Program||0||7,500||7,500|
|Beneficial Uses Of Dredged Material (CAP Sec. 204)||10,000||20,000||10,000|
|Planning Assistance To States||9,000||9,000||9,000|
|Coastal Inlet Research Program||7,975||5,000||10,975|
|Coastal Field Data Collection||1,000||1,000||2,500|
|Coastal Ocean Data System (Cods)||6,500||7,500||7,500|
|National Coastal Mapping Program||13,000||6,300||10,000|
|Regional Sediment Management Program||3,500||3,500||8,500|
Beach projects mostly fall under “Shore Protection.” While construction funding has unfortunately dropped this year, that’s largely because of the enormous funding provided by recent disaster supplemental appropriations. Well over a billion dollars has been appropriated for shore protection via flood risk reduction projects in 2017, 2018 and 2019 disaster supplementals (following Hurricanes Matthew in 2016, Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017, and Florence and Michael in 2018).
ASBPA is particularly pleased to see on-going support for the “Coastal Inlet Research Program”, which is funding the interagency-academic collaborative U.S. Coastal Research Program, with the Senate Report stating: “Funding… is recommended for the Corps-led multi-university effort to identify engineering frameworks to address coastal resilience needs, to develop adaptive pathways that lead to coastal resilience, that measure the coastal forces that lead to infrastructure damage and erosion during extreme storm events, and to improve coupling of terrestrial and coastal models.”
We are also pleased to see the on-going support for the Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Pilot Program. Although less than we requested, Congress’ on-going commitment to this program demonstrates that they intend to see the pilot program through, and would like to see the Corps improve and increase its beneficial use of dredged material.