After Year of Unprecedented Disasters, U.S. House Strengthens Resilience of Nation’s Waterways, Communities and Infrastructure

EDF statement from Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President, Political Affairs

December 8, 2020
Jacques Hebert

(Washington, D.C. - December 08, 2020) Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed with overwhelming bipartisan support S. 1811, the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA), a key piece of legislation that authorizes vital projects and priorities in the nation’s water infrastructure systems, such as advancing natural infrastructure to reduce flood risk and increase community resilience. 

The reauthorization also includes a range of regional priorities, such as addressing sea level rise on the New York-New Jersey coasts, advancing large-scale ecosystem restoration of Louisiana’s coast and increasing resilience from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and its delta. This bill also commits resources to traditionally underserved communities, helping build equity for those most at risk from flooding and climate change. 

“At the end of one of the most devastating years on record for extreme weather, the U.S. House of Representatives today acted boldly to protect communities and vital infrastructure from future disasters. 

“In reauthorizing WRDA, the U.S. House prioritized solutions, such as natural infrastructure, that will better protect communities from flooding, while also creating jobs and restoring vital ecosystems from our coasts to the heartland.

“This legislation recognizes that traditionally underserved communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change and commits to building equity and resilience in these communities. We are pleased to see the legislation direct resources to boost local capacity and reduce flood risk for traditionally underserved communities, federally recognized tribes and Indigenous groups.  

“Our nation’s waterways are vital to the health, safety and prosperity of all Americans. We applaud the bipartisan and inclusive process of developing this bill and look forward to working with leaders in both chambers and parties in the remaining days of this Congress to advance this vital piece of legislation forward to the president.”

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