FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2007
Schumer, Clinton Announce $30 Million For Improvements To Mamaroneck And Sheldrake River Watershed
Project included in Water Resources Development Act
Washington, DC— Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that $30 million to study and implement improvements to the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River Watershed in Westchester County was included in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA). WRDA was recently passed in the Senate and the bill will now go to a House and Senate Conference Committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
The WRDA authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects, including flood mitigation, navigation, ecosystem restoration and shoreline protection projects. Under the authorizations, the Corps partners with local sponsors to conduct the projects. A project authorization in the WRDA bill is a necessary first step towards securing funding in an appropriations bill at a later date.
"Last month's floods left homes, businesses, and churches under water," said Senator Schumer. "This project will be invaluable in preventing future flooding and I look forward to working with the Army Corps make it a reality."
"I am very pleased that the Senate has approved this funding which will enable the Corps to work with local communities to study and implement flood mitigation projects in areas that were devastated by the floods," said Senator Clinton. "I will continue to fight for this funding to be included in the Water Resources and Development Act conference report to enable the Army Corps to work with the local community to ensure that we do not have to face this kind of devastation again."
The Mamaroneck and Sheldrake provision in WRDA will authorize the Corps to work with New York State and local governments to develop a watershed management plan for the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River watershed and to carry out flood mitigation and ecosystem restoration projects that are consistent with the plan. The types of projects that can be carried out under the provision include bank stabilization, wetland restoration, soil and water conservation, and flood damage reduction. The provision authorizes $30 million for these purposes, with a 65/35 cost share between the Corps and non-federal sponsors.
The provision streamlines the process by which the Corps studies and conducts flood mitigation projects. After developing a watershed management plan, the Corps will be able to move forward on projects without a new authorization from Congress—a step that is usually required, and which often adds years to the time it takes to complete projects.