Legislation Provides Army Corps New Tools to Help Address Immense, Intensifying Climate-Fueled Challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Bipartisan legislation from U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Representatives Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-Del.) and Garret Graves (R-La.) will provide critical tools to help protect people and wildlife alike from climate-fueled floods and disasters. The Shoreline Health Oversight, Restoration, Resilience, and Enhancement Act also facilitates the construction of essential projects like the Brandon Road Dam, which will help block invasive carp from advancing from the Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers through the Chicago Area Waterway System and into Lake Michigan.

The bill also clarifies the federal commitments for long overdue restoration projects benefitting the ecosystem and vulnerable communities that incurred the devastating impacts from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet during Hurricane Katrina.

“Coastal and riverine communities — and especially historic communities of color — face immense and intensifying challenges as the climate changes. We need a new playbook that prioritizes the long-term resilience of communities and natural systems, like wetlands and floodplains, that can protect them,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Thank you to the bill’s sponsors for proposing better tools and more sustainable strategies for the Corps to address the changing climate and its direct impacts on communities — including using natural solutions to adapt to increased flooding, erosion, and storms.”

Among other things, the Shoreline Health Oversight, Restoration, Resilience, and Enhancement Act would:

  • Elevate shoreline and riverbank protection and restoration as a primary mission area of the Corps, with an emphasis on leveraging natural and nature-based features where practicable as a key tool to improve resilience 
  • Reduce the local cost share for projects that utilize nonstructural or nature-based features and for projects that benefit economically disadvantaged communities
  • Authorize the Corps, upon local sponsor request, to study all drivers of flooding that could impact a community, including severe rainfall events and backbay flooding
  • Support critical ecosystem restoration and resilience projects around the nation, including efforts to protect vulnerable communities in the Mississippi River Delta and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes
  • Clarify that the critical and timely Lower Mississippi River Comprehensive Study should advance at full federal expense



Get Involved

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More
Regional Centers and Affiliates