Senate committee approves $112 million for Maryland waterway projects

Christina Jedra
Contact Reportercjedra@capgaznews.com
Senate committee approves $112 million for Maryland waterway projects

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved funding legislation on Thursday that includes a $112 million investment in Maryland waterways, according to a news release from Sen. Barbara Mikulski's office.

The committee approved the Fiscal 2017 Energy and Water Development funding legislation, enabling it to move to the Senate floor this week, the release said.

The projects would be led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and would net $16 worth of economic benefits for every dollar spent, according to the release.

"This is a federal investment in the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on clean and open waterways," said Mikulski, the vice chairwoman of the committee. "It will keep businesses open and keep Marylanders working."

The spending bill includes funding for the following:

•$20.57 million for annual maintenance dredging of the Port of Baltimore's 50-foot shipping channels

•$21.62 million for the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal for annual maintenance dredging of its shipping channels

•$62.3 million for the continuation of the Poplar Island environmental restoration project

•$325,000 for Baltimore Harbor drift removal to remove trash and debris from the Port of Baltimore's shipping channels

•$450,000 to allow the Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District to investigate conditions of federal channels when bay pilots and the public raise concerns about shoaling

•$1 million for the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration program to continue efforts to increase the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay by building new oyster habitat in the Choptank River in a Maryland Department of Natural Resources-designated permanent sanctuary

•$600,000 for Assateague Island to prevent and repair island erosion caused by Ocean City jetties

•$2 million for the Wicomico River for maintenance dredging of the upper river channels where the Port of Salisbury, the second largest port in Maryland handling petroleum products and grain, is located

•$186,000 for the City of Cumberland to support the operation and maintenance of a project that protects Cumberland and Ridgeley, West Virginia, against flooding.

•$1.95 million for the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan to develop a plan for the restoration and conservation of the entire Chesapeake watershed

•$2.15 million for the operation and maintenance of Jennings Randolph Lake in Garrett County, which provides flood control and recreation to Western Maryland and water quality and water supply for Montgomery and Prince George's counties. This funding includes $61,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District to coordinate the operation of this project.

•$119,000 for annual levee system inspections on seven levees in Prince George's County, two in the town of Kitzmiller in Garrett County and three in Cumberland

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