WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today applauded the passage of H.R. 7575, the Water Resources and Development Act of 2020. The bill, which passed the House unanimously, authorizes projects to strengthen our ports and harbors, inland waterways, and improve flood and storm protection.
“In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House took unanimous action to strengthen our nation’s waterways and improve our water quality,” said Rep. Gallagher. “This is a huge win for Northeast Wisconsin, and I’m proud to have secured provisions in this bill that help improve flood mitigation infrastructure in our community, ensure local ports have increased funding, and protect our Great Lakes from invasive species. I hope the Senate quickly passes this common-sense bill.”
As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. Gallagher secured a number of provisions benefitting Northeast Wisconsin, including:
  • Authorization for the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers to conduct a multipurpose study on the Upper Fox River and Wolf River watersheds. This study identifies where flood storage structures can be used to reduce flooding impacts downstream. Flood storage structures improve water quality by filtering nutrients and preventing them from draining into the Lower Fox River and bay of Green Bay.
  • Authorization for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study on the Lower Fox River basin. This study builds on an earlier study on storage capacity for flood waters in the Lower Fox River. If enacted, this would provide the Army Corps the authority to convene stakeholders for the purpose of discussing jurisdictions and developing a comprehensive agreement on the basin for the purposes of flood mitigation.
  • A 12% set-aside in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for the Great Lakes Navigation System. Previous legislation included funding for small harbors like the Port of Green Bay, but failed to sufficiently increase the funding to adequate levels. This provision increased the amount allotted to small harbors on the Great Lakes Navigation System from 9.8% to 12%.
  • Construction authorization for Brandon Road Lock and Dam and consideration of additional treatment and control techniques to manage invasive species. This would help prevent the movement of certain invasive species, such as Asian Carp, from the Mississippi and Great Lakes basins.
  • Clarification that natural and nature-based features can be considered when carrying out Small Flood Control Projects. This allows stakeholders in Northeast Wisconsin to gather data and develop a greater understanding of the efficacy and costs of nature-based solutions, such as wetlands, as a way to help with flood control.
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