BoatUS shows approval for water-projects law

The law authorizes investment in the maritime and waterways transportation system and provides flood protection for communities.

BoatUS said today that it applauds passage of the bipartisan bill President Obama signed on Friday that will provide critical funds for water-resource infrastructure projects at emerging harbors, channels, locks and dams.

The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which encompasses the Water Resources Development Act legislation of 2016, authorizes the needed investment in the maritime and waterways transportation system and provides flood protection for communities, BoatUS said in a statement.

BoatUS said boaters will like the new law because it supports waterway-access projects, navigation and fisheries improvements, and provides maintenance funds for harbors of refuge. It also creates a pilot program to look at beneficial uses of dredge material in hopes of lowering costs, and funds the Army Corps of Engineers for Everglades restoration, among other projects.

“Like a highway bill for boaters, passage of the WINN/WRDA is great news for American boaters,” BoatUS government affairs manager David Kennedy said in a statement. “With the renewed attention to the nation’s infrastructure, BoatUS thanks Congress and the president for acting to keep our waterways open and channels clear.”

BoatUS also said that according to a statement released by the House Transportation Committee, the WINN/WRDA also aims to cut red tape by requiring more timely approvals, accelerates the permit process on non-federal modifications to Army Corps of Engineers projects and bolsters local participation in the construction and maintenance of water infrastructure.

“These infrastructure improvements have been proposed at the local level in cooperation and consultation with the Corps, and have national economic and environmental benefits,” the statement said.