WASHINGTON, D.C.Last week, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ranking Member and Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Chair and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), secured the inclusion of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022) in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The Water Resources Development Act is biennial legislation that authorizes flood control, navigation, and ecosystem restoration projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

WRDA 2022 is now heading to the Senate for consideration following passage of the NDAA in the House by a vote of 350-80.

Here’s what a range of local government leaders, business organizations, industry stakeholders, and environmental advocates are saying about the Water Resources Development Act of 2022: 

Agricultural Transportation Working Group

“American agriculture’s competitive advantage depends upon the quality, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of a comprehensive transportation system including inland waterways and ports, rail service, highways, roads, and bridges. As policymakers, we commend your leadership in crafting the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, on a bipartisan basis. Undertaking the WRDA process every two years allows for the examination of policies and projects that enhance and promote the reliability and utilization of this critical mode of transportation.” 

Alliance for the Great Lakes

“As you work to complete legislative action in the 117th Congress, we urge you to enact [WRDA 2022] … Several key provisions in WRDA 2022 … ensure that the [Brandon Road] project moves forward expeditiously to construction in recognition of the serious threat posed by invasive carp, [the introduction of which] would devastate a $7 billion fisheries industry and would undermine the outdoor recreation economy on which many Great Lakes communities depend.” 

American Association of Port Authorities

“The biennial WRDA is an unqualified success for the health of the U.S.’s maritime navigation and supply chain. The collaborative and bipartisan development of WRDA 2022 demonstrates the national significance of prioritizing our nation’s water resources which strengthen our economy and the communities that support our seaports. Congress has made great progress to construct and maintain 21st century Federal navigation channels to ensure America continues its leadership in global trade. We now need passage of WRDA 2022 to authorize new construction projects and studies, as well as streamline Corps processes to efficiently deliver its products.”

American Iron and Steel Institute

“The final FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act contains the bipartisan, bicameral agreement for the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022). This legislation would authorize and fund key investments in critical U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) [projects] across the country, including the construction and maintenance of ports, inland waterways, locks and dams … The WRDA legislation would further facilitate critical investments in our nation’s waterborne transportation system and enhance the economic competitiveness of the domestic steel industry.” 

American Rivers

“The safety and environmental provisions in this bill will help to protect the people and waterways of the U.S. and we applaud your dedication to address these critical bipartisan and bicameral issues. This paramount piece of legislation protects our natural and engineered water infrastructure and the people that rely on it.”

American Shore and Beach Preservation Association

“ASBPA applauds the bipartisan spirit in which [WRDA 2022] was drafted, and this noteworthy action is a direct reflection of the shared commitment to critical water resource issues and the dedication to finding common ground to advance these efforts … The health of the nation’s shorelines is instrumental to advancing the economic vitality of the entire country and we appreciate that the WRDA bill includes coastal issues among its priorities. We can and must do more to protect our precious coastlines and this bill puts us on a path to do just that.” 

American Society of Civil Engineers

“Several provisions in this year’s WRDA are critical to ensuring that the nation’s water infrastructure is built to withstand increasingly harsh conditions, provide more effective services to the American people, and protect the health and safety of communities … it is critical that infrastructure resilience remains a key priority for water resources policy. This bipartisan agreement includes several provisions which will allow for the chance to build on progress made over the past several years and provides new opportunities to enhance the resilience of infrastructure systems.”

American Society of Landscape Architects

“On behalf of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and our 15,000 members, [we] write in support of [WRDA 2022] … WRDA 2022 is critical to support the Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) water management infrastructure projects, studies, and policies that assist in protecting our nation’s people, infrastructure, and vital natural resources.”

American Waterways Operators, Waterways Council, Inc.

“America’s inland waterways system includes 12,000 miles of commercially operated and maintained navigable channels that directly affect 38 states. The inland waterways system is tasked with transporting the nation’s bulk commodities that keep America competitive in the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly way. In 2016, 558 million tons of commodities valued at $300 billion transited the waterways, supporting 541,000 American jobs … Enacting [WRDA 2022] through regular order is critical to ensuring waterways continue to be reliable to keep America competitive.”

Associated General Contractors of America

“WRDA 2022 is an essential step forward as Congress works to continue the biennial process of passing legislation that invests in our nation’s water resources infrastructure. The predictability of the biennial passage of water resources development acts is critical for all stakeholders involved in the planning and execution of water resources projects. Through these investments, WRDA 2022 will create jobs, improve the quality of life for all Americans, protect our communities, facilitate waterborne commerce, restore environmentally sensitive areas of the country, and help grow our economy." 

Association of National Estuary Programs

“The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is essential to everyday American life. That’s because projects enacted by WRDA … protect our homes, businesses, and families; and restore and protect national ecological treasures … WRDA 2022 enables critical investments in the protection and restoration of shorelines and riverbanks from erosion and other damaging forces … The bill [also] enables communities to partner with the Corps to develop water resources projects that directly address risks of extreme weather. [Finally,] the bill supports the ability of states and localities to plan for, and respond to, water resources challenges … Passage of this bill has been highly bipartisan and benefits coastal communities along every coast. We urge you to pass this bill this year.” 

Clean Water Action, Earthjustice, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council

“As the 117th Congress comes to a close, we strongly urge Congress to pass the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022. We applaud the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for their work to craft this strong, bipartisan bill that makes important progress in helping communities across the country – especially tribal communities – address infrastructure challenges, especially in the face of worsening climate disasters … We urge Congress to pass WRDA before the end of the year to ensure that every community has the ability to work with the USACE to address their infrastructure challenges, and to prepare for and recover from natural disasters without being weighed down by financial hardship.”

Coastal States Organization

“The Coastal States Organization (CSO) strongly supports the 2022 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and the continued commitment of Congress to passing this important legislation on a biennial basis … CSO commends Congress in developing a robust 2022 WRDA that supports increased USACE capabilities to address coastal enhancement, restoration, and resilience. Across the country, coastal communities are facing emerging issues including flooding and erosion caused by sea level rise, increased coastal storm frequency, and other coastal hazards that threaten the lives and livelihoods. Many of the provisions in the 2022 WRDA will make significant strides to enable both USACE and local partners to better address these emerging coastal hazards and build coastal community resilience.”

Environmental Defense Fund

“Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) appreciates the hard work that went in to crafting the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022 and writes in strong support of its passage. We thank you and your colleagues [for] crafting a bill with an emphasis on environmental infrastructure … addressing America’s growing flood risk … enabling ecosystem restoration and prioritizing natural and nature based solutions … [and] providing additional resources and consultation with Tribes, Territories, and Economically Disadvantaged Communities … We look forward to continuing to work with you for a flood and storm-resilient future for the communities who live, work, and play around our nation’s coastlines, rivers, and waterbodies.”

Environmental Law & Policy Center

“As you work to complete legislative action in the 117th Congress, the Environmental Law & Policy Center urges you to pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022) … Provisions in this bill bring a constructive and common sense approach to ensuring projects that will withstand the challenges of a changing climate and that federal dollars are responsibly spent … The Environmental Law & Policy Center appreciates the work of both the House and Senate Committees in developing this important legislation, and we urge you to pass WRDA 2022 as quickly as possible.”

Everglades Foundation

“[WRDA 2022] contains important water resource, natural infrastructure, and climate resilience policy for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). It is important that each Congress pass this historically bipartisan legislation, and the passage of WRDA 2022 would cap a decade of this important milestone.”

Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition

“We appreciate Congress’ efforts to advance the Water Resources Development Act [of 2022] in a bi-partisan manner, keeping this key legislation on its regular two-year cycle. We urge both chambers quickly move to consideration of this WRDA package that will enable the Army Corps to enhance the resiliency of key projects protecting our communities and improve the environmental restoration of the Great Lakes.”

Maritime Coalition

“[We] urge swift action by Congress to ensure this critical legislation moves to the President’s desk to become law before the end of the year. WRDA is critical biennial legislation that authorizes water resources infrastructure projects that maintain the health of our nation’s ports and modernizes inland waterway infrastructure to benefit key manufacturing and consumer goods transfer ports.”

National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies

“The National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA) thanks [Congress] for all your efforts to develop a bipartisan agreement on the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022). NAFSMA represents flood control, flood risk and stormwater management agencies throughout the country, many of which are non-federal partners of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on flood risk management and ecosystem restoration projects. NAFSMA strongly supports passage and enactment of WRDA 2022. This action is necessary to keep the policies, projects and funding priorities authorized and moving in a timely manner.”

National Audubon Society

“WRDA 2022 provides an opportunity to drive ecosystem restoration and climate resilience by ensuring that related policies and projects provide maximum conservation and community benefits … This bill [also] continues a bipartisan tradition of advancing project authorizations and provisions for the Army Corps on a two-year timeframe … We urge you to swiftly pass this legislation and we look forward to the implementation of these critical conservation projects and studies.”

National Estuarine Research Reserve Association

“[WRDA 2022] is essential to American life—particularly in the Coastal Zone, where half of our citizens live, work, and recreate and which contributes some $143 billion to the national economy each year … we are pleased to see provisions in [WRDA 2022] to address harmful algal blooms and guidance to manage invasive species … [which] will help protect tourism-dependent industries, recreational fishing, and public health … we applaud the bill’s support for shoreline protection and restoration, for states, and for those communities most vulnerable to coastal hazards … The progress of this bill has been highly bipartisan, and its passage in 2022 will benefit coastal communities along every coast.”

National Grain and Feed Association

“A strong inland waterways and port system is crucial to the competitiveness of U.S. grains and oilseed exports. The National Grain and Feed Association thanks Chairmen Carper and DeFazio, and Ranking Members Capito and Graves, for the bipartisan WRDA deal.”

National Parks Conservation Association

“[WRDA 2022] continues to focus the work of the Army Corps on preparing the areas around coastal and river parks for extreme weather, restoring these landscapes and making them and nearby communities more resilient. The legislation prepares the Army Corps to play its critical role in protecting coastal and riverine areas from climate-enhanced flooding and storms. The benefits to national park landscapes are many, including more resilient and safer beaches, new or restored habitat for wildlife, improved water quality for drinking and outdoor recreation, and protection for people from flooding, sea level rise and storm surge … The Army Corps is an important partner in many places where we work to protect and restore national park waterways and landscapes, the communities that surround them, and the millions of people who visit them each year.”

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

“[WRDA 2022] will support efforts to improve and invest in all levels of our nation’s infrastructure network, including critical navigable waterways that are essential to America’s economic competitiveness … The enactment of this two-year legislation will … build critical water infrastructure projects across the nation that will improve our supply chains, mitigate flooding and better our communities. [WRDA 2022] is a responsible bill, which provides aggregates producers from around the country the certainty needed to supply the worthwhile projects funded by this legislation.”

National Water Supply Alliance

“The National Water Supply Alliance (NWSA) strongly supports the passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022. NWSA greatly appreciates the commitment and effort by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to consistently produce a meaningful and impactful bipartisan water resources bill every two years. Addressing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers policies, programs, and projects on a regular basis is critical to ensuring the efficient and effective management of the nation’s water resources. WRDA 2022 is a welcome enhancement to Corps authorities and directives.”

National Wildlife Federation

“The National Wildlife Federation writes in support of provisions within the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 that would advance the development of equitable solutions to entrenched water resources challenges and protect and restore vital wildlife habitats … Coastal and riverine communities—and especially communities of color and Tribes—face immense and intensifying water resources challenges in the face of climate-fueled floods and disasters and decades of assaults on the natural systems that protect people and wildlife alike. These same assaults are also pushing the nation’s fish and wildlife to the brink. Numerous provisions in the bill will help make progress in addressing these challenges and infusing resilience into the nation’s water resources projects.”

The Nature Conservancy

“The Nature Conservancy applauds the bipartisan and inclusive efforts of both chambers to invest in and modernize our nation’s water resource-related infrastructure and to maintain regular order of advancing water resources development legislation every two years ... The projects and policies included in [WRDA 2022] are vital to the economy, the environment and the public safety of communities across the country.”

Pacific Northwest Waterways Association

“[WRDA 2022] balances the needs of waterways, ports, and communities of all sizes across our nation and helps to modernize Corps policies and practices to ensure more efficient and safe movement of trade. The Pacific Northwest is one of the most heavily trade dependent regions in our country. PNWA supports the economic development, maintenance of domestic agriculture and other industries, bolstering of domestic manufacturing, ensuring navigation infrastructure resiliency, and shoring up supply chains that this legislation addresses.”

Restore the Mississippi River Delta

“On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, [The Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition] write[s] to express our enthusiastic support for two particular provisions included in WRDA 2022: language clarifying that the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Comprehensive Management Study (Sec. 8343) and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) Ecosystem Restoration Plan (Sec. 8341) both be funded and at full federal expense … These critical clarifications will help protect millions of Americans and support coastal habitat for a wide array of wildlife.”

Transportation Construction Coalition

“The 33 national associations and construction trade unions of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) applaud your work on the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022). This bipartisan legislation will authorize much needed investment for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) projects, including ports, dredging, locks, levees, dams, and water supply projects and we support its passage and enactment.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the bipartisan reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act, which would authorize much needed water projects, including navigation, flood risk management, recreation, and associated environmental infrastructure… Reauthorizing these Army Corps of Engineer programs will provide the certainty of federal commitment needed to allow state, local, and private partners to move forward with needed planning and construction. These important water projects will ensure long-term, sustainable, and resilient economic and environmental benefits to both rural and urban regions of the nation.”

United States Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties

“On behalf of the nation’s mayors, cities and counties, we encourage you to take up and quickly pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA). Maintaining a strong water infrastructure system and supporting the nation’s economic growth of global competitiveness is more important than ever as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our members recognize the substantial benefits provided to the nation by our water resources and hope for the swift passage of this bipartisan WRDA bill before the end of the year to maintain the two-year authorization schedule.” 

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