Washington, DC—Today the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2005, in which four projects submitted by Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) were authorized.
WRDA authorizes Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects for navigation, flood control, damage reduction, recreation, shoreline protection, and ecosystem restoration. The legislation addresses feasibility studies and construction projects, modifications to existing projects, and program revisions and policy initiatives involving Army Corps activities. While WRDA is normally reauthorized once every two years, Congress has not passed the legislation since 2000.
“These projects are examples of real progress being made on behalf of Western New York,” said Congressman Higgins. “The era of inaction in Western New York is over and the era of progress is beginning. I am committed to the final realization of real projects, employing real people and working toward real development. These WRDA projects are a step exactly in the right direction.”
The four projects which were included in WRDA at Higgins’ request were:
1) Authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to determine the feasibility of making Gallagher Beach into a sand beach, for recreation on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.
2) Authorizing the Army Corps to spend $500,000 to expand and construct approximately 300 feet of public access (pedestrian path) on the Outer Harbor small boat harbor breakwall (Gallagher Beach area), thereby enhancing the safety and access to the area.
3) Authorizing the Army Corps to include the historic termini of the Erie Canal, the cities of Albany and Buffalo, within the New York State Canal System, and authorizing these cities for canal-related Army Corps work.
4) Authorizing the Army Corps to examine flood damage reduction at Big Sister Creek in Evans, NY.
Since WRDA has now passed the House, Higgins’ will work through the yearly Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to obtain funding for these projects. The earliest funding for these specific projects would be next year.