The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their fiscal year 2018 work plan, investing tens of millions of additional federal dollars for flood mitigation and ecosystems restoration projects in Maryland.
While the funding is encouraging, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen were disappointed the plan did not provide for large scale oyster restoration efforts in the Tred Avon River.
“Supporting Maryland’s water infrastructure is crucial to our state’s economy and environment. After advocating for these investments, I’m glad to see the Corps has included critical funding for the Baltimore Harbor, Poplar Island, Mid-Bay, and Ocean City inlet projects. And I appreciate Colonel Chamberlayne for working with us on this and many projects across the state,” said Senator Van Hollen. “That being said, I am deeply disappointed in the lack of funding for Maryland’s oyster reefs. This industry is vital to our Bay economy. What’s more – thriving oyster reefs help improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. We have made clear to both the Corps and the Governor that this issue is a priority, and I am determined to bring all parties together to work to address it.”
Projects receiving funding include:
• $3.96 million for maintenance dredging (bringing the 2018 total to $29,517,000)
• $30.9 million for Poplar Island's Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration (bringing the 2018 total to $67,225,000)
• $644,000 for pre-construction engineering and design efforts at James and Barren Islands
• $500,000 for the Ocean City dredging project (bringing the 2018 total to $750,000)