How WRRDA Will Help Delaware

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), passed in May 2014, includes the following measures that will benefit Delaware:

•           Northeast Coastal Region Ecosystem Restoration: Creates a regional program to plan, design, and construct small projects for aquatic ecosystem restoration within the coastal waters of the Northeastern United States from Virginia to Maine.

•           Beach Nourishment: Modifies the authority of the Secretary of the Army to provide periodic beach nourishment – replacing sand that is lost through erosion – for authorized projects by authorizing the secretary to review the feasibility of extending periodic nourishment beyond the current 50-year limit by a period of not to exceed 15 years.

•           Regional Sediment Management: Modifies an existing program for sediment management to allow expanded uses and increase flexibility in using sediment for shoreline protection and coastal restoration.

•           Planning for Extreme Weather: Requires an analysis of how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is building infrastructure in response to extreme weather.

•           Post-Disaster Watershed Assessments: Authorizes the Army Corps to conduct post-disaster watershed assessments immediately following a disaster and implement flood control and ecosystem restoration projects identified in those assessments, ensuring the Army Corps can more quickly respond to future disasters.

•           Independent Technical Review: Extends peer review requirements for large, costly, or controversial Army Corps projects, or at the request of a governor, for five years.

•           Chesapeake Bay Environmental Restoration and Protection Program: Reauthorizes the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Restoration Program, which was originally authorized in Section 510 of WRDA 1996, including expanding the program to New York, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia.

•           Delaware Bay Oyster Restoration: Increases the federal funding limit for Delaware Bay oyster restoration program, which was authorized in 1986, from $5 million to $10 million.

•           Removal of Unexploded Military Munitions Along the Delaware Coast: Ensures the federal government covers the cost of removing any unexploded ordnance accidently contained in beach fill material for federal storm damage protection projects.