Carper Celebrates Key Committee Approval of Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation

Water Resources and Development Act would provide vital protections for Delaware's natural resources and water infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, a top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement regarding the committee’s broad bipartisan support for the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA), legislation that authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works activities, including flood control, navigation, and environmental restoration projects and studies. The legislation was reported out of the committee by a vote of 19 to 1.

“Today the Environment and Public Works Committee came together and approved legislation to enhance protections for our natural resources and water systems, and boost our infrastructure in ways that would improve public safety while also strengthening our local and national economies.

“Delaware is blessed to be situated between the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, the Delaware River and Bay, and rich with inland bays, rivers and tidal marshes. These bodies of water support the First State in countless ways, providing leisure activities and facilitating commerce. Whether it’s relaxing on a beach, paddling on a river or shipping goods through our port, the water sustains both our quality of life and our livelihoods in Delaware. The Army Corps of Engineers is a valued partner in managing our state’s waters and beaches through navigation, flood control and environmental restoration projects – and the Water Resources Development Act authorizes Corps water infrastructure projects to protect and preserve Delaware’s tremendous water resources. The legislation we approved today contains a number of critical provisions for Delaware, including protections for our beaches to mitigate against damage from severe weather events, like the historic nor’easter we experienced in January. The bill includes provisions to expand our state’s ability to reuse dredged material to build up our beaches’ resilience and restore vital ecosystems, as well as improvements to federal agencies’ coordination when it comes to investing in projects to protect our coasts against sea level rise and increasingly extreme weather events.

“I’ve long believed an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s what we’re doing with this bill. In the First State, we know that extreme weather and other natural events out of our control can wreak havoc on our water systems and coastal areas, causing harm to families and businesses alike. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that we continue to invest in infrastructure maintenance and prevention so we can recover faster when bad things happen. It’s my hope that today’s broad bipartisan show of support in advancing this bill out of committee will chart a strong course forward for the Senate to keep working on this legislation in a productive and bipartisan process.”