U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin wrote Monday to the newly confirmed Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, who leads USACE, spotlighting the major priorities across Maryland.
“The enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides an opportunity to accelerate progress on the effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, of which the Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency partner,” they wrote.
The letter includes requests to continue the “multi-year effort in transitioning from Poplar to Mid-Bay,” as well as “timely maintenance” for Maryland’s beaches and shorelines.
The senators “ask for your consideration of the large maintenance backlog for smaller, federally-authorized navigation channels and harbors in Maryland,” urge the expanded staffing of the Army Corps’ Baltimore District to support its regulatory program, and request greater engagement through Planning Assistance to States and Flood Plain Management Services to help communities undertake resilience planning and adapt to the new kinds of storm and flood risks they face in Maryland.
Finally, they ask the Assistant Secretary to recommit to implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Restoration and Protection Program (Section 510 of WRDA 1996), which plays an important role in the restoration and protection of the Bay.