Delaware Delegation Celebrates Major Wins for the First State in Water Infrastructure Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, as well as U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) voted to pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA 2020) as part of legislation to fund the government. From improving and expanding water infrastructure to investing in disadvantaged communities, replenishing beaches, and improving coastal resilience, WRDA 2020 delivers major wins for Delaware.

“In Delaware and across the country, our nation’s water infrastructure keeps our economy moving forward. This year’s Water Resources Development Act authorizes funding to improve our ports, like the Port of Wilmington. It also implements several much-needed reforms to fortify our most vulnerable communities in the First State from the impacts of climate change and rebuild our beaches,” said Senator Carper, who co-authored the legislation with Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY). “I’m proud that my colleagues in Congress came together to get this critical bill across the finish line. Our bipartisan legislation will create and sustain jobs and help secure a better future for the American people.”

“Delaware is the country’s lowest-lying state, and our economy and ecosystems rely on the protection of coastal communities and navigability of our waterways,” Senator Coons said. “I’m pleased that WRDA 2020 includes critical priorities for the First State: safeguarding Delaware’s beach communities, enhancing resiliency in the face of climate change and rising sea levels, and facilitating important projects to support the men and women who work at the Port of Wilmington. I’m glad to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate – particularly Senator Carper who played a leading role in these negotiations – to deliver water infrastructure updates that meet the unique needs of our state.”

“We know that one of the most important aspects of infrastructure is maintaining our waterways and systems. This year’s WRDA, led by Delaware’s Senator Carper makes those critical and necessary investments,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “As the state with the lowest mean elevation in the country, Delaware is on the front lines of climate change – from eroding shorelines, to changing growing seasons, to flooding neighborhoods. The bill prioritizes rebuffing the impacts of climate change along with improving our overall water infrastructure. I thank Senator Carper for his leadership in getting this bipartisan bill passed.”

Among its provisions, WRDA 2020 will:

  • Protect Delaware’s beaches from storm damage and assist with their re-nourishment;
  • Promote resiliency projects in communities throughout the First State to address the impacts of climate change; and,
  • Ensure the operation and maintenance of Delaware’s ports and waterways, including the Port of Wilmington and Indian River Inlet.

Click here for more in-depth background information on WRDA 2020, and click here for additional background about the major wins for Delaware in WRDA 2020.