Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester recently highlighted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fiscal 2017 work plan, which includes a total of $40 million for Delaware public works projects, including full funding of $29 million to complete the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project, $6.5 million to complete Bethany Beach nourishment and $4 million to complete Fenwick Island beach nourishment.
“Completing the Delaware River deepening project and repairing our retreating beaches are smart investments that will grow Delaware’s economy and continue to create jobs in the first state,” said Carper. “As is clear from these projects, the Army Corps continues to be a critical partner in maintaining Delaware’s beaches and waterways as we see the growing impact of climate change on our low-lying state. The president’s proposal to cut $1 billion from the Army Corps budget is a dangerous proposition for Delaware’s coastal communities and our economy, and I’ll continue to fight with my colleagues for full funding of the Army Corps in the months and years ahead.”
“From day one in office, I committed to securing funding for this project because I knew it would keep jobs safe and help increase the number of jobs at the Port of Wilmington,” said Coons. “The work done as a delegation for a number of years is finally coming to fruition. The Delaware River deepening project will continue to keep Delaware competitive for cargo shipping. The replenishment for our state’s biggest natural resources, the beaches, come just in time as hundreds of thousands of tourists visit our seaside communities. Securing the funding for these projects will pay economic dividends for years to come.”
“I take great pride in the role the Port of Wilmington and our beaches play as drivers of Delaware’s economy,” said Blunt Rochester. “These investments will assist us in modernizing the port so we remain competitive in the global market and spur job growth, while also ensuring we preserve our miles of pristine coastline. It is a win-win for Delaware and the region, and I’m incredibly grateful to the Army Corps of Engineers and my colleagues for their work to secure funding for the project’s completion.”
The Army Corps’ fiscal 2017 work plan utilizes federal funds approved by Congress earlier this month in an omnibus spending bill. The bill funded the federal government through the fiscal year and included full funding for the Army Corps, amounting to $6.038 billion.
The Army Corps’ work plan includes the $29,250,000 needed to complete the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project in 2018, which will allow larger commercial ships to access Delaware River ports. The completion of the Delaware River Deepening comes after nearly 10 years of federal investment to help the Port of Wilmington accommodate new, larger ships and ensure the port’s continued competitiveness in the growing global marketplace.
The plan also includes $6.5 million for Bethany Beach nourishment, to be combined with $15 million in Army Corps Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program funding recently announced and $4 million of supplemental funding to complete the Bethany Beach project. It also includes $4 million for Fenwick Island beach nourishment, to be combined with $4 million in Army Corps FCCE program funding and $1.9 million of supplemental funding to complete the Fenwick Island project.
The Army Corps’ fiscal 2017 work plan comes days after the president’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget recommended cutting $1 billion, or 16 percent, from the Army Corps of Engineers.