The House Appropriations Committee has proposed nearly $200 million for coastal funding - more than we have ever seen. It will go to the House floor next week and still needs Senate approval, but it’s a great start.
Here are some highlights:
*Reminder that the House and Senate provide their own versions that are in response to the Presidential budget proposal, often called PBUD. Figures are not final until after the House and Senate conference their versions.*
TOTAL FIGURE: $8.658 million for the Corps of Engineers
(Other allocations shown below)
• Not all funds for the Corps were earmarked. This means there will be a Corps Work Plan.
• Attached is a breakdown of coastal funding so far in 2021 that Warwick Group prepares each year to demonstrate various levels of support among the PBUD, House and Senate for funding coastal projects.
• The House recognizes the enormous control the administration amassed since the 112th Congress when earmarks were prohibited. With the return of earmarks, or Community Project Funding, the Administration cannot remove earmarked projects that are inconsistent with its own policies.
• Section 1037 – Studies for the extension of federal projects (in the context of beach nourishment) for an additional 15-years beyond the 50-year design life, will not be considered new starts or a new investment decision.
• A new construction start is not necessary for work that must be undertaken to correct a design deficiency.
• The Corps is encouraged to recognize economically disadvantaged communities that are prone to hurricane damage and flooding when proposing new starts. This is interesting because it is encouraging investment in coastal areas, which OMB has prevented for decades.
• The House recognizes the importance of having data on available sediment quantities and quality along shorelines throughout the US for the purposes of resilience. The Corps is directed to use funds from the National Shoreline Management Study to conduct a study on how beneficial uses of dredged material for non-contiguous states and territories can be applied to mitigate rising sea levels, including impacts on sensitive shoreline areas.
• Planning Assistance to States – The House recommends $10,000,000 for the PAS program, an additional $1 million more than this fiscal year’s enacted amount. We love this program. The Corps is also directed to prioritize planning-level technical assistance to coastal tribes and communities. This program is great for relocating homes, infrastructure, improving resiliency features, other technical planning related to emergencies and much more. If you’re curious about an application of this program please ask!
• $61,000,000 - Continuing Authorities Programs - There are several CAP programs that allow the Corps to undertake small localized projects for various purposes
• $14,200,00 - WIFIA Program, but more than half is for administration and overhead
• $4,000,000 to modernize existing Corps coastal hydraulics models
• $4,000,000 to support ongoing sediment analysis and modeling along coastlines and rivers
• $3,000,000 for oyster reef restoration
• $4,000,000 to establish a harmful algal bloom demonstration program
• $20,000,000 - Engineering with Nature (Corps Program)
• Don’t get confused by the $35,000,000 for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies - it’s for training and preparation only
• PL 115-123 (2018 Disaster Supplemental Bill) included funds to restore beach nourishment projects to full project profile. The committee recommends an additional $20,000,000. If additional work can be done, these projects can also compete for additional funding. Eroded beaches are a priority within the additional funding account, as are stormwater systems in communities with a significant shoreline. The committee is also disappointed that none of these funds were expended in the US Virgin Islands where significant flooding has occurred.
• Beneficial Use Pilot Program - $4,300,00 to continue pilot projects to demonstrate the economic benefits and impacts of environmentally sustainable maintenance dredging methods that provide ecosystem restoration and resilient protective measures.
Reminder: Corps Now Accepting Section 7001 Proposals
This is the process to get a new Federal water resources project.
If you need help or have questions about this process, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposal period for the 2022 Report to Congress opens on April 30, 2021 for 120 days. The deadline for proposals is August 30, 2021. Submit your proposals online at: http://www.wrrda7001proposals.us/ (Try another browser if you have issues, or be patient. It take can a few seconds to load even if it says the connection has been reset!)
All non-federal interests are invited to submit proposals for new Corps water resources development project study authority; modifications to an existing Corps water resources development project study authority; modifications to an existing Corps water resources development project authority; and modifications to an existing Corps environmental infrastructure program authority.
Please let us know your comments by emailing Dan at email@example.com .
Thank you for relying on WaterLog for your coastal policy news!