Collins Secures Funding for Army Corps Account to Fund Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) secured passage of an amendment on the House floor today to increase funding for Army Corps Investigations Account, which funds studies like the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study (GLCRS). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed this study to coordinate a strategy across the Great Lakes states to efficiently and effectively manage and protect the Great Lakes coastline.
Working in a bipartisan effort with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Collins’ amendment was added to the FY19 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. Along the shores sit 60 commercial harbors that move over 123 million tons of cargo each year and boasts a $14 billion recreation and tourism economy, which all could be devastated by severe weather and high water levels. The GLCRS would provide shoreline communities with more information, allowing them to become better equipped to protect their shoreline during such occurrences.
“Being from Western New York, we are fortunate to have the Great Lakes not only as an essential part of our region’s economy, but to enjoy with our children and families,” said Collins. “Last spring, Lake Ontario experienced the worst flooding we have seen in decades, devastating businesses and municipalities and destroying homes. In order to preserve our lakes for generations to come, and to prevent future destruction to businesses and homes, we need more information on the best ways to protect our shorelines.”
“This study will take a holistic view of how to make our Great Lakes coastline more resilient with an eye towards using more sustainable green or natural infrastructure to reduce runoff, mitigate erosion and flooding, and protect property,” said Kaptur. “Ultimately, this approach will save money as the Corps looks to fulfill its mission in the face of changing climate.”
The GLCRS was authorized in 1986, and although it is a priority of the Army Corps, has not been funded. Collins’ amendment would increase the Army Corps account by $1.2 million, which is the amount needed to cover the first phase of the study.
The Collins amendment, which passed the House unanimously, comes on the heels of the United States Senate clearing the Water Resource Development Act, which included a new authorization for the GLCRS. House passage of H.R. 5895, Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019, is expected tomorrow.