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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Water Resources Development Act passes House Committee

If passed by Congress, the act would authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue beach renourishment projects and according to Congressman David Rouzer, would benefit Carolina Beach

U.S. Representative David Rouzer speaks at the beach town breakfast about securing beach nourishment funding. (Port City Daily/Johanna Ferebee)
U.S. Congressman David Rouzer speaks at the “beach town breakfast” about securing beach nourishment funding. The Water Resources Development Act of 2018 was passed in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure May 23. (Port City Daily/Johanna Ferebee)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C.—After years of not knowing if federal funding would continue to support beach renourishment projects, coastal communities are one step closer to being given the assurance of financial support.

This week, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2018.  The act would provide federal backing to municipalities with flood damage reduction needs if approved by Congress.

RELATED: Towns discuss beach renourishment with shrinking federal funding

According to U.S. Congressman David Rouzer, the act would allow Carolina Beach to continue its Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project, which expired in 2014 after a 50-year stint.

The act would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to continue construction on halted “water resources development” projects.

Water projects outlined under the legislation include “navigation, flood control, beach erosion control and shoreline protection, hydroelectric power, recreation, water supply, environmental protection, restoration, and enhancement, and fish and wildlife mitigation” according to the act.

Congress passed Water Resources Development Acts(WRDA) in 2014 and in 2007. According to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s website, the WRDA is following a two-year cycle of renewable.

The committee claims the seven-year interim before the WRDA of 2014 passed created a backlog of incompleted projects.

“As a result, many improvements languished while project costs rose and regulatory burdens remained unaddressed,” the committee’s packet on the act states.

After the act passed in the House Committee on Transporation and Infrastructure Wednesday, May 23, Rouzer released a statement citing his support of the legislation that could offer Carolina Beach the “longest new cycle of authorized nourishment possible.”

Correction: This article has been corrected to clarify that the WRDA has passed by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, not passed into law, as originally published.


Send tips to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or follow Johanna on Twitter @j__ferebee

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