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Rubio Urges Army Corps to Support Florida Water Projects
Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fairly consider Florida’s critical water projects in their fiscal year 2018 Work Plan.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Assistant Secretary James:
The State of Florida is blessed with important freshwater and coastal resources, and a robust economy that is buoyed by tourism and water-borne trade and navigation. As a result, Floridians depend on the efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), often in partnership with non-federal interests, to study, design, construct, maintain, and operate key water resources infrastructure. These projects prevent flooding in our communities, protect vital drinking water and irrigation sources, bolster economic growth and prosperity, and conserve and restore unique aquatic ecosystems in our state, including America’s Everglades.
As you finalize the planning and selection process for the FY18 Work Plan following passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, it is critical that all proposed and ongoing Florida projects receive your full and fair consideration while taking into account each project’s value to the local community, our state, and to our nation as a whole. I look forward to working with your office, USACE Headquarters, South Atlantic Division, and Jacksonville and Mobile District offices, to provide sufficient resources to fund feasibility studies, preconstruction engineering and design (PED) work, and construction, as warranted. Our joint mission must be to ensure that the following Congressionally-authorized projects achieve measurable progress in FY18 towards completion:
- Brevard County, FL Shore Protection* – Requires additional funding to fulfill owed non-federal project sponsor credits.
- Canaveral Harbor Sand Bypass*
- Collier County, FL Shore Protection* – Vanderbilt, Park Shore, and Naples segments.
- Daytona Beach Flood Protection Project*
- Flagler County, FL Shore Protection*
- 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.
- Martin County, FL Beach Erosion Control*
- Miami Harbor Channel, FL – Payments owed to non-federal sponsor.
- Nassau County, FL Shore Protection*
- Okaloosa County, FL Shore Protection*
- Palm Beach County, FL Beach Erosion Control* – New Mid-Town Beach segment.
- Panama City Harbor, FL – Limited Re-evaluation Report (LRR) completed in 2016. Funds required for completion of PED activities and construction. No new start required.
- Pinellas County, FL Shore Protection* – Sand Key and Treasure Island segments.
- Port Everglades Harbor Deepening, FL
- Putnam County Comprehensive Water Supply Infrastructure Modernization Project (Palatka, FL)
- South Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study* – To be conducted at full federal expense.
- South Florida Ecosystem Restoration, FL – To include:
- 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
- Loxahatchee River Watershed
- Picayune Strand
- Western Everglades Restoration
- St. John’s County, FL Shore Protection* – Includes Vilano, South Ponte Vedra Beach, and North Ponte Vedra Beach segments.
Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) projects are especially 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:
- Lake Toho Restoration, Osceola County, FL (Sec. 1135)
- Mt. Sinai Seawall Rehabilitation, Miami Beach, FL (Sec. 14)*
I also support the allocation of all necessary Operation and Maintenance funding in the FY18 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
- 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 increased aquatic plant control.
- Manatee Harbor, FL
- Miami Harbor, FL
- Okeechobee Waterway, FL
- Palm Beach Harbor, FL
- Panama City Harbor, FL
- Pensacola Harbor, FL
- Ponce De Leon Inlet, FL – Funds required for maintenance dredging and North Jetty repair.
- 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 at Anclote River (Tarpon Springs), East Pass Channel (Destin) and East Point Channel (Apalachicola Bay).
- St. Augustine Harbor, FL
- St. Johns 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.
- Suwannee River, FL
- Tampa Harbor, FL
- Water/Environmental Certification, FL
Once again, 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.