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July 28, 2022

Collins, King Celebrate Senate Passage of Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill With Wins for Maine

The Water Resources Development Act of 2022 will expedite several key Maine water infrastructure projects, including port dredging and shore damage mitigation

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today applauded the Senate’s near-unanimous passage of bipartisan legislation to support U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water projects across the country – including several projects in Maine. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, supported by both Senators, invests in the construction and maintenance of essential community water infrastructure, including shore damage mitigation in Saco and dredging along the Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River. The bill also authorizes the Corps to work with coastal communities to increase climate resiliency, confront extreme weather, and protect coastal ecosystems. 

“Maine’s ports and waterways are vital arteries of our state’s economy, creating good jobs and facilitating the shipping of Maine products around the globe. As the country faces new challenges from stagnant supply chains and a changing climate, it’s clear much of this infrastructure is in need of improvement,” said Senators Collins and King. “The Water Resources Development Act of 2022 is a major investment in crucial water infrastructure across our country that will spur economic growth, clear up our shipping routes, and protect coastal areas from evolving climate threats. Perhaps most importantly for Maine, this bipartisan legislation includes important funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to speed up key projects in Saco and Kittery – each of which will be a significant boost for the region and address serious challenges facing the towns.

“In Saco, the Corps will ramp up work to remedy the ongoing erosion on Camp Ellis Beach, a continual problem threatening local homeowners, businesses, and ecosystems. We are hopeful this investment will help the community avoid further erosion. In Kittery, the Corps will expedite their efforts to dredge the narrow Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River. This widening will increase trade and improve safety in the waterway by giving boats greater maneuvering space, while also allowing more, larger boats to travel into the harbor,” continued the Senators. “We’re glad the legislation was able to include our provisions to address Maine’s needs, and that it received the near-unanimous support of our colleagues. This overwhelming, bipartisan backing is a testament to the bill’s importance, and to the positive impact it will have on coastal communities across our nation.”

The WRDA of 2022 authorizes 36 new Corps feasibility studies and authorizes or modifies 21 water infrastructure projects for construction. The bill also includes provisions directing the Corps to expedite the completion of a number of ongoing studies and projects that are critical to coastal and inland flood risk mitigation, navigation, and ecosystem restoration, among other purposes. It will expedite completion of the following Maine projects:

  • Mitigation of shore damage from navigation works at Camp Ellis Beach, Saco
  • Maintenance dredging to improve navigation along the Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River, Kittery

Full details on the WRDA of 2022 can be found HERE

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