WASHINGTON, RI – Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) voted for the Water Resources and Development Act of 2020 Wednesday, supporting nationwide water infrastructure improvements at ports, harbors and waterways, as well as ecosystem restoration and RI flood control.
The legislation passed the House by a voice vote.
“The House has once again come together to pass a Water Resources and Development Act that will support water resource infrastructure across the nation,” said Langevin. “I’m pleased that key water projects in Rhode Island’s Second District have been taken into account. Important provisions within this legislation will help preserve natural resources, protect families and businesses, and promote prosperity and economic growth within our state by investing directly in our waterways.”
For Rhode Island, the legislation authorizes $37,848,000 in federal funding in support of hurricane and storm risk reduction as part of the Pawcatuck River Coastal Storm Risk Management Project. The focus area covers approximately 28 miles of coastline in Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown, and Narragansett, which is near residential and commercial properties vulnerable to flooding.
“With climate change causing extreme weather, inland and coastal flooding, and sea level rise, Rhode Islanders already have seen places we love eroded, flooded, degraded, and lost,” said Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Director Janet Coit. “DEM is grateful for Congressman Langevin’s tenacity in fighting for funding to make our state and coastal communities more resilient.”
Following a request from the Town of Westerly, the legislation also deauthorizes the anchorage portion of the Federal Navigation Project in Watch Hill Cove. The change will allow Westerly residents to have preference when mooring in Watch Hill and supports the Town’s Harbor Management Plan.
Across the nation, the bill clears way for 34 construction projects with final Chief’s Reports and 35 feasibility studies within the Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works mission areas which include navigation, flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, shoreline protection, and ecosystem restoration.