On Wednesday an initial group of 87 organizations–now up to 93–asked in a letter that the U.S. Senate pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA; S.2848) before leaving for summer recess. The coalition, led by the American Society of Civil Engineers, includes a wide range of interests—demonstrating the impact that WRDA has on many industries, and the benefits of this infrastructure to Americans. Among the signers are The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Counties, the Labors International Union of North America, Water Environment Federation, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Manufacturers, and dozens more.
Water resource bills were once viewed as so important that Congressional leaders tried to pass one every two years. The legislation is the main mechanism for authorizing new projects at the Army Corps of Engineers—the nation’s largest manager of flood control, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects. WRDA also authorizes funding for improvement projects for ports, inland harbors, waterways, dams, and flood control systems. The last bill was passed was passed in the 2014, by a 91-7 vote in the Senate and a 412-4 vote in the House. However, before 2014, the process had lapsed for seven years.
By passing a bill this summer, WRDA can get back on track for an every two years cycle. You can share your support of WRDA by sending a letter to your Senators.