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Rubio Supports Water Infrastructure Projects Across Florida for Funding in FY19 Army Corps Work Plan
Blountstown, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, urged the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, R.D. James, to fairly consider Florida’s critical water infrastructure projects in its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Work Plan. The letter also specifically conveys Rubio’s readiness to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to “ensure that all emergency needs for USACE infrastructure repairs and navigation dredging along Florida’s Panhandle following Hurricane Michael are fulfilled expeditiously.”
The FY19 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill (H.R. 5895) was signed into law on September 26, 2018, and included key funding secured by Rubio that could be directed towards Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation, Everglades restoration and other critical water infrastructure needs for the USACE to allocate through its upcoming work plan.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Assistant Secretary James:
As you finalize the planning and selection process for the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Work Plan following passage of the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2018, I request that all proposed and ongoing Florida projects receive full and fair consideration of their value. To build on our advancements in FY18, I look forward to working with your office, as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Headquarters, South Atlantic Division, and Jacksonville and Mobile District offices, to ensure sufficient resources to fund feasibility studies, preconstruction engineering and design (PED) work, and construction, as warranted across the state. I specifically request your assistance in ensuring that the following projects achieve steady, measurable progress towards completion:
- C&SF Upper St. Johns River Basin* – S252 construction repairs and project close out activities.
- Charlotte County, FL Shore Protection Project* – Feasibility study to reinitiate a 1981 completed Chief’s Report to include Manasota Key.
- Collier County, FL Beach Erosion Control*
- Daytona Beach Flood Protection Project*
- Florida Keys Water Quality Improvements
- Fort Pierce Beach, FL*
- Herbert Hoover Dike, FL (Seepage Control)
- Jacksonville Harbor Deepening, FL
- Jacksonville Harbor, Mile Point, FL – Payments owed to non-federal sponsor for Phase I. Phase II funding required.
- Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule Revision
- Martin County, FL Beach Erosion Control*
- Miami Harbor Channel, FL – Payments owed to non-federal sponsor.
- Miami Harbor Improvements, FL
- Monroe County, FL Shore Protection Project*
- Okaloosa County, FL Shore Protection Project*
- Panama City Harbor, FL – Limited Re-evaluation Report (LRR) completed in 2016. Contributed Funds Agreement for PED activities. No new start required. FY19 funds required for completion of construction.
- Port Everglades Harbor Deepening, FL – Sponsor to advance funds for construction of a discrete segment of the project related to relocating USCG Station Ft. Lauderdale.
- Putnam County Comprehensive Water Supply Infrastructure Modernization Project (Palatka, FL)
- South Dade Flood Protection Project* – Study, design, and construction of a comprehensive seepage management solution along the boundary of the eastern Everglades to protect farmland and homes increasingly impacted by rising water table.
- South Florida Ecosystem Restoration, FL – To include:
- Bird Drive Basin Conveyance, Seepage Collection, and Recharge;
- Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Phase I;
- Broward County Water Preserve Areas;
- C-111 South Dade;
- Central Everglades Planning Project;
- Indian River Lagoon-South (C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area, C-23/C-24 Reservoirs);
- Kissimmee River Restoration;
- Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration;
- Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration;
- Picayune Strand; and
- Western Everglades Restoration.
- St. Johns County, FL Shore Protection Project* – Feasibility study for potential North Ponte Vedra Beach segment.
*Denotes those projects with expressed feasibility, PED, or construction capabilities in FY19 that could be fulfilled via a second tranche of disaster supplemental funds provided by division B, title IV of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) projects are critical to supporting local communities that may not otherwise have the means to complete water resources infrastructure projects on their own, or are not able to compete with larger national projects. I fully support the following proposed and ongoing CAP projects in Florida:
- Big Fishweir Creek, Jacksonville, FL (Sec. 206)
- Key Biscayne Shore Damage Mitigation, Key Biscayne, FL (Sec. 111) – May also be added to the Dade County Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection Project.
- Lake Toho Restoration, Osceola County, FL (Sec. 1135)
- Lake Worth Lagoon, Palm Beach County, FL (Sec. 1135)
- Mt. Sinai Medical Center Seawall Rehabilitation, Miami Beach, FL (Sec. 14)
- Pahokee Restoration, Pahokee, FL (Sec. 1135)
I also support the allocation of all necessary Operation and Maintenance funding in the FY19 Work Plan for the following projects:
- Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, FL – Includes the Fernandina to St. Johns River, St. Johns River to Miami, and Miami to Key West segments.
- Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, GA, AL & FL
- Canaveral Harbor, FL
- Central & Southern Florida, FL
- Escambia and Conecuh Rivers, FL & AL
- Fernandina Harbor – Kings Bay
- Fort Pierce Harbor, FL
- Gulf Intracoastal Waterway – Includes the Florida portion of the Northern Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Western Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Caloosahatchee River to Anclote River).
- Inspection of Completed Works, FL
- Jacksonville Harbor, FL
- Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam, Lake Seminole, FL, AL & GA – Includes need for shoreline management activities and enhanced aquatic plant control.
- Manatee Harbor, FL
- Miami Harbor, FL
- Okeechobee Waterway, FL
- Palm Beach Harbor, FL
- Panama City Harbor, FL
- Pensacola Harbor, FL
- Port Everglades Harbor, FL
- Port St. Joe Harbor
- Project Condition Surveys, FL
- Removal of Aquatic Growth, FL
- Shallow Draft Harbors – Funds required for maintenance dredging, including East Pass Channel (Destin) and Naples to Big Marco Pass (Collier County).
- St. Augustine Harbor, FL
- St. Johns River, FL
- Suwannee River, FL
- Scheduling Reservoir Operations, FL
- South Florida Ecosystem Restoration, FL – Includes payments owed to the South Florida Water Management District and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
- Tampa Harbor, FL
- Water/Environmental Certification, FL
Floridians depend on the efforts of the USACE, often in partnership with non-federal interests, to study, design, construct, maintain, and operate important water resources infrastructure across our state. All of the aforementioned projects will provide important benefits to local communities, our state, and our nation. Thank you for your continued efforts in support of these essential water resources infrastructure projects and the USACE’s ongoing critical partnerships with non-federal interests in Florida. Additionally, I stand ready to work with you to ensure that all emergency needs for USACE infrastructure repairs and navigation dredging along Florida’s Panhandle following Hurricane Michael are fulfilled expeditiously.