November 28, 2018

Van Hollen, Cardin Applaud U.S. Army Corps of Engineers FY2019 Work Plan’s Focus on Critical Navigation, Restoration Projects in Maryland

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (Both D-Md.) today applauded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) FY2019 Work Plan, which directs the investment of more than $10 million in additional federal funding for critical navigation and ecosystem restoration projects in Maryland. The annual Army Corps Work Plan defines where project money can be spent across the country, above and beyond the itemized funding in the FY2019 appropriations bills.

Every year the Army Corps clears tons of eroded sediment from the federal navigation channels that lead into and out of the Port of Baltimore. Keeping this vital port open and the channels dredged is essential not just for Maryland, but for the nation. The Corps then uses some of the dredged material to restore natural features like Poplar, James and Barren islands, restoring critical wildlife habitat and better protecting coastal communities.

Projects in Maryland receiving additional funding from the Army Corps FY2019 Work Plan include:

• Baltimore Harbor and Channels will receive almost $5 million additional for maintenance dredging, bringing the 2019 total to $28.595 million.

• The James and Barren Islands (Mid-Bay) restoration project will receive an additional $4.259 million for pre-construction engineering and design efforts. No funding for this project had been included in the FY 2019 budget.

• The Fishing Creek dredging project, originally allocated only $10,000 in the FY2019 budget, will receive $1.36 million under the Work Plan.

• The Ocean City Harbor Inlet project will receive an additional $250,000 for dredging, essential to providing access to commercial and recreational fishing vessels alike, bringing the total funding to $255,000.

• The Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan will receive $133,000 in funding from the Work Plan. These funds will complete the watershed study.

• The Jennings Randolph Lake project was listed in the FY19 budget at $6.285 million, but the FY19 Work Plan provided $6.324 million.

“Maryland’s continued success requires that we make strategic investments to modernize our infrastructure and protect vital resources. From Western Maryland, to the Port of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay, to the Eastern Shore — these projects will stimulate economic growth, help create new jobs, and improve our environment,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen. “Team Maryland worked hard to secure this funding, and we will continue working with the Army Corps to invest in our state.”

“The Army Corps has engaged in an ongoing dialogue with Maryland’s federal delegation about our state’s most pressing needs – and opportunities for lasting change – and then taken concrete action to address them,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. “The Army Corps FY2019 Work Plan shows a willingness to devote significant resources to projects we have highlighted as being of tremendous importance to Marylanders. The agency also is showing that it is mindful of the ability of its projects to support a diversity of goals, ensuring, for example, the improved navigability of our waters and ecological functionality of our coastal landscapes.”