Water Bill Will Restore Rivers, Coasts and Provide Safe Drinking Water

“Every American should be able to turn on the tap and get safe, clean drinking water.”

WASHINGTON – Today the Senate passed its version of the Water Resources Development Act. Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, applauded final passage of the Senate bill today with this statement:
"The bill passed today will make America more resilient and prepared for increasing floods, extreme storms, and sea level rise by helping to ensure that the Army Corps can meet the nation’s 21st century water infrastructure needs while protecting and restoring our nation’s rivers, coasts, and wetlands. Most provisions in the bill represent an improvement over the status quo, although there are some parts that could further damage our already stressed river and coastal areas.

“Every American should be able to turn on the tap and get safe, clean drinking water. We are delighted the Senate bill includes $100 million dollars for Flint, Michigan and additional funding to improve drinking water quality across the county. We urge the House to act immediately to provide similar assistance to Flint and other communities with lead in their drinking water.

“We are also pleased WRDA 2016 authorizes several ecosystem restoration efforts that will benefit the nation’s fish and wildlife. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will help restore world’s largest freshwater ecosystem, which provides drinking water for more than 30 million people. The Central Everglades Planning Project will improve habitat throughout the Everglades and will help prevent future algae outbreaks like we saw this summer. The Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project will undo decades of mismanagement and will restore broad stretches of this once-vibrant river. The bill will also pave the way for efforts to benefit Delaware River Basin, Long Island Sound, and Lake Tahoe.

“Unfortunately, the bill also authorizes projects that could cause harm, including the Port Everglades dredging project, which could affect the region’s irreplaceable coral reefs."

"Despite some shortcomings, we are overall pleased at the passage of the bill and we look forward to working with the House to secure adoption of additional common sense reforms."

Additional Resources:

National Wildlife Federation Letter to the Senate on WRDA
Leaders from Flint call on Congress to Provide Federal Aid to Communities with Elevated Levels of Lead in Tap Water
Diverse Coalition Asks Congress to Fund Water Infrastructure in Flint

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