Legislation Would Also Fund Various Energy Technology Initiatives
Nov 19 2003
WASHINGTON -- The House and Senate this week cleared a $27.3 billion measure that will fund a host of energy-related and water projects for Delaware, including new funds to protect and replenish various beaches across the state. Among the beaches targeted to receive money under the bill: -- Dewey/Rehoboth Beach: $5.768 million. -- Lewes/Roosevelt Inlet: $2.008 million. -- Port Mahon Beach: $750,000. -- Bethany Beach/South Bethany Beach: $500,000. -- Fenwick Island: $214,000. -- Indian River Sand Bypass Facility: $285,000. The funding will enable the Army Corps of Engineers to reverse the effects of beach erosion by replacing sand that is washed away each year. Such projects should help keep these valuable recreational and tourist areas healthy in the future, the delegation said. "Delaware's costal communities are vitally important to the economic health and environmental well-being of the state," said Senator Biden. "Our beaches have always been a popular vacation spot for folks up and down the coast, but obviously, smaller beaches would mean fewer tourists. Beach replenishment is a worthwhile investment in our economy." "Our beaches are vitally important to Delaware's economic well-being," said Senator Carper. "These replenishment projects, when completed, will encourage more tourism for Sussex County and other areas in the state, bringing more business to shopping centers, restaurants and the hotel industry." "Our shorelines are vital to Delaware's economic and environmental well-being, as are the vacationers who visit southern Delaware from all over the country," said Congressman Castle. "I saw first-hand the erosion our beaches have experienced due to increased rains and heavy storms, and I am glad to see many of our affected beaches obtained funding in this bill. We have worked very hard to bring federal assistance to protect our shoreline, and I look forward to seeing construction begin soon on these important projects." In addition to the beach money, the delegation also secured the following projects in the bill: -- $1.51 million to continue erosion control at Pea Patch Island, home of Fort Delaware, the oldest state park. Congress has now appropriated almost $7.5 million for the project, which is now in its final phase. -- $1 million for a Clean Energy Research Center in Delaware. The center would be a cooperative public, private, and academic research facility designed to advance the use of stationary fuel cells and other clean energy devices. The center would research, design, and develop new technologies, which would benefit Delaware and the country as a whole. Among the participating entities: University of Delaware, Delaware State University, DuPont, W.L. Gore, Air Products, DG Interconnect, and AstroPower. -- $150,000 for a study and analysis of removing the sunken ship, State of Pennsylvania, in the Christina River. The vessel currently impedes navigation to the newly renovated Wilmington Riverfront. -- $250,000 to help modernize equipment at St. Francis Hospital's Emergency Services Department in Wilmington, DE. The money would help the hospital, which is designated as a Level IV trauma center and a paramedic command center, to update both equipment and infrastructure. -- $300,000 for Christiana Care, Delaware's largest provider of cancer services, to buy new equipment, including a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner, which is widely considered to be the most accurate method for diagnosing and staging cancer. Presently, there is no PET scanner in the state, and Christiana Care rents a mobile unit. With a new one, the hospital will be able to treat more patients. "Delaware made out well in this bill," said Senator Biden. "I am very happy that we will soon be finishing the work we began several years ago to restore Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island, an important part of our state and national history. And I am pleased that we were able to secure funds for state-of-the-art equipment for Christiana Care and St. Francis Hospitals. Delawareans deserve the best care possible, and these improvements and equipment will help ensure they get it." "The delegation is pleased that we could help secure funding for various energy and water projects that can help Delawareans in their everyday lives," said Carper. "With this year's appropriation, we're almost done with the restoration at Pea Patch, and the money for St. Francis Hospital and Christiana Care will go a long way toward improving the health resources of the state. I am particularly pleased that Congress has recognized Delaware's position as a technological leader in clean energy research. The new research center will help Delaware share its success with the rest of the country, as we strive to find viable energy alternatives." "I am pleased to see final restoration funding included for Pea Patch Island as it holds cultural significance for Delawareans by housing historic Fort Delaware," said Castle. "Additionally, I am pleased we were able to obtain funding for Christiana Care Health System to provide support for technology that will better provide an accurate method for cancer diagnosis and in turn assist with earlier and more effective treatment."