Water Resources Bill: Missed Opportunity For Our Nation’s Waters

"Tough choices are looming, but provisions in this bill undermine how we sort out the beneficial projects from the boondoggles."

05-20-2014 // Lacey McCormick

Javier A. LescanoToday, the House voted on a final Water Resources Development Act.

Adam Kolton, Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s National Advocacy Center, said of today’s vote and the final water resources bill:

"There will never be enough money to construct every item on the Army Corps’ existing $60 billion backlog. Tough choices are looming, but provisions in this bill undermine how we sort out the beneficial projects from the boondoggles. Furthermore, the bill approves billions of dollars of damaging projects and hurts taxpayers again by increasing subsidies for the already heavily-subsidized navigation industry.

"There are certainly bright spots in this legislation including provisions that will help advance restoration of coastal Louisiana and the Everglades as well as control the spread of Asian carp. But at the end of the day its new restrictions on public participation and expert input into environmental reviews will lead to even more damage to our nation’s waters.

"In an era of more intense storms and floods, sea level rise and tight federal budgets it is more important than ever that every dollar spent on Corps of Engineers projects makes people and communities safer while protecting and restoring our natural resources. With the expected passage of this bill that job gets tougher.

"We hope to work with the Administration, Congress and other stakeholders to improve the way Corps of Engineers projects are planned, constructed and prioritized for funding. They must be guided by sound science and the realities of climate change, shaped by independent experts and driven by the principle to work with rather than against nature."

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