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Rubio, Nelson Urge Army Corps Of Engineers, OMB to Provide Additional Funding for the Caño Martín Peña Ecosystem Restoration Project
Miami, FL – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today urged the heads of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide additional funding to expedite the construction and completion of the Caño Martín Peña Ecosystem Restoration Project in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Rubio has championed this critical project as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in line with his comprehensive efforts make sure the federal government supports forward-looking projects in Puerto Rico that improve lives and the island’s future.
Congress first authorized the Corps to begin work to clean out the once-navigable channel that’s now clogged with debris in 2007. Now almost fully blocked in the wake of two major storms, the clogged canal poses a serious health threat to the nearly 26,000 residents who live in nearby communities as untreated sewage entering the canal is unable to properly move through it.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Director Mulvaney and Assistant Secretary James:
We write to strongly urge you to provide funding for the Caño Martín Peña project in Puerto Rico. Authorized in Section 5127 of the 2007 Water Resources Development Act (Public Law 110-114), this flood protection and environmental restoration project is critical to alleviating the ongoing public health risks and environmental problems caused by the blocked Martín Peña Channel.
The once navigable channel connecting San Juan Bay to the San José Lagoon is severely polluted from years of accumulated debris, mismanaged residential and commercial development, and continued discharge of raw sewage directly into the water. The resulting blockage of natural water flow has degraded habitat in the San Jose Lagoon, and poses a public health threat exacerbated by the channel’s frequent flooding of the surrounding communities.
We understand the Army Corps and the Corporación del Proyecto Enlace del Caño Martín Peña (ENLACE) are currently in the preconstruction engineering and design phase of this project. We support full funding to expedite construction and completion of this important project following the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.