U.S. Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper (both D-Del.) today announced initial approval for federal funding of Delaware projects critical to the continued vitality of our waterways and beaches. Funding for these projects was included in the FY 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations bill which has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration before it is reconciled with similar bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Once the final Senate/House compromise bill is passed, Congress sends the funding bills to the president for final approval.
“Our beaches have built a tremendous national reputation over the years,” said Sen. Biden. “They’re an integral part of our tourism industry and a beautiful and vibrant piece of our ecosystem. I’m glad we are able to help them remain as the standard by which other coastlines are measured.”
“The rivers, ocean and beaches in Delaware a source of pride for all Delawareans,” said Sen. Carper. “It is a privilege to work with Sen. Biden to continue preservation of our natural treasures.”
A breakdown of the funding is as follows:
- $3.55 million divided among five beach maintenance and construction projects: Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach ($2.7 million); Broadkill Beach ($250,000); Roosevelt Inlet/Lewes Beach ($105,000); Fenwick Island Beach ($105,000); and funding for the Delaware Coast Protection/ Sand Bypass Facility ($390,000).
- $3.683 million for the Port of Wilmington to facilitate an enhanced site management program, along with necessary improvements to make possible the reopening of Wilmington Harbor North, a dredge disposal site.
- $2 million for the replacement of the Summit Bridge approach roadway in New Castle County to provide increased safety for motorists.
- $300,000 for Red Clay Creek in New Castle County to study the feasibility of restoration projects.
- $1.5 million to repair scour holes that threaten the United States Coast Guard facility at Indian River Inlet in Sussex County.
- $750,000 to repair the National Register of Historic Properties Breakwater at the Harbor of Refuge in Sussex County.
- $850,000 to help fund the Misipillion River Navigation Project, which will provide maintenance dredging for the commercial fishing channel in Sussex County. Placement of dredged material will also result in habitat improvement that will benefit the Red Knott, the threatened migratory bird.
- $500,000 to Compact Membrane Systems, Inc. headquartered in Wilmington to continue the development of applied membrane technology for use in processing ethanol from biomass.
- Little Mill Creek is expected to received a portion of $45 million from the Small Floods Control Projects program. The funds will help prevent flooding in the lower portion of the river.
- White Clay Creek has been allotted a share of the Flood Plain Management Services Program, which distributes $10.196 to 15 projects nationwide to update floodplain mapping of the creek.
- Delaware Bay Oyster Revitalization Task Force is expected to receive funds to continue development of a large-scale shell planting and seed transplant program in the New Jersey and Delaware waters of the Delaware Bay.