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Senate OKs Funds for Maryland Waterways Projects

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski

Posted on May 17, 2016

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., vice chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Senate passage of fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water Development funding legislation, which includes $112 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in Maryland making public investments in waterways that support private sector jobs.

“These public investments in Maryland’s waterways create and sustain private sector jobs. This is a federal investment in the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on clean and open waterways. It will keep businesses open and keep Marylanders working,” Mikulski said.

The spending bill includes funding for the following U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects on the Eastern Shore:

  • $62.3 million for the continuation of the Poplar Island environmental restoration project, which is taking clean dredged materials from the shipping lanes leading to the Port of Baltimore and using them to stabilize the shoreline, create habitat area and restore the wetlands of one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most valuable island ecosystems off Talbot County. The Maryland Congressional Delegation, in an effort led by Senator Ben Cardin, reauthorized the expansion of Poplar Island in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act.
  • $1 million for the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration program to continue efforts to increase the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay by building new oyster habitat in the Choptank River in a Maryland Department of Natural Resources-designated permanent sanctuary. Once oyster reefs are established, larvae will be carried by the tidal cycle to open-harvest areas for the watermen.
  • $600,000 for Assateague Island to prevent and repair island erosion caused by Ocean City jetties.
  • $2 million for the Wicomico River for maintenance dredging of the upper river channels where the Port of Salisbury, the second largest port in Maryland handling petroleum products and grain, is located. This waterway also supports barge traffic, which is crucial to maintaining adequate fuel supplies for the Delmarva Peninsula.
  • $1.95 million for the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan to develop a plan for the restoration and conservation of the entire Chesapeake watershed.

Source: delmarvanow

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