Senate Approves $15 Million in Water Infrastructure, Research Projects for Delaware

WASHINGTON (July 1, 2005) – Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper announced today that Delaware would receive nearly $15 million in beach replenishment, water infrastructure and energy research projects as part of the FY 06 Energy and Water appropriations bill. The legislation passed the Senate early Friday morning by a vote of 92-3. “Over the past several years, we have seen first-hand how devastating heavy rainfall can be to some of our most vulnerable communities,” said Senator Biden. “Raging flood waters have literally wiped out entire neighborhoods, robbing families of their lifelong possessions and eroding the sense of safety and security they feel in their homes. This money will allow us to restore some peace of mind to folks in these areas and mitigate the physical, financial and emotional damage caused by flooding.” “Once again, the Senate through this legislation has shown its commitment to restore Delaware’s beaches, one of our state’s main tourist attractions and a key ingredient to the economic health of Sussex County,” said Senator Carper. “We’ve also been able to secure money for various environmental and flood control projects, which should be good news to the areas in our state that have suffered in recent years thanks to a series of large storms. In addition, the bill would provide federal dollars to help medical and energy-related research activities in Delaware.” The legislation must now be married with a corresponding House bill before being sent to the president to become law. Among the Delaware projects funded in the bill: Beach replenishment: · $4 million to continue construction on the Bethany/South Bethany. · $1 million to continue construction on the Fenwick Island project. · $1 million to fund the Port Mahon project to halt shore erosion and provide critical horseshoe crab habitat. · $500,000 to begin the Broadkill Beach project. · $60,000 for continue the project at Roosevelt Inlet/Lewes Beach. · $320,000 to fund the Sand Bypass Facility at the Indian River Inlet. The project could help provide periodic nourishment to control beach erosion and protect beaches from hurricane damage. Flood control projects: $2.018 million for the flood control project at Little Mill Creek. The money will help deepen the existing channel and make other improvements to the area. $300,000 for a study to investigate how to mitigate the flooding potential of the Red Clay Creek, which has seen considerable damage the past three years. $250,000 to complete the removal of two dams and associated sediment from the Delaware portion of the Red Clay Creek. Removal of the dams will lessen future flood damage. $250,000 to repair storm water systems and prevent future flooding in Elsmere. $150,000 to begin investigation for flood mitigation projects in Rutherford, New Castle County. $300,000 for the Delaware City, Dragon Run flood control project. The money would help protect approximately nine city blocks, including 50 residential structures, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Other environmental and water projects: $2 million for the oyster revitalization project in the New Jersey and Delaware waters of the Delaware Bay. The project will lead to a significant expansion of the oyster industry in both states, expanding the economic base for the most impoverished coastal towns. $275,000 to remove the “State of Pennsylvania” from the Christina River in Wilmington. $600,000 to reconstruct the shoreline near the Indian River Inlet to protect a road to both the state of Delaware and U.S. Coast Guard facilities. $150,000 to study better ways to use recreational land owned by the Corps of Engineers along the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. $100,000 to study environmental restoration opportunities with regard to wetlands creation and habit enhancement along the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. $150,000 to allow the continued study and modeling of groundwater in New Castle County in order to assess a possible better allocation of resources in times of droughts. Research and technology projects: $500,000 to renovate and expand the Medical Research Laboratory/Animal Care Facility at the University of Delaware, including upgrades in sanitation, air handling and support facilities. The upgrade would expand UD’s capacity to help support the growth of the university’s cancer research program. $500,000 to find new ways to process ethanol from biomass. Applied membrane technology being developed by Compact Membrane Systems in Delaware could reduce the energy needed to make fuel-grade ethanol by as much as 90 percent and cut capital costs by 25 percent. Bridge projects: · The bill includes language that would prohibit the federal government from dismantling the St. Georges Bridge. · The bill also includes $1 million for maintenance of the SR-1 bridge.