Bipartisan legislation includes provisions to expedite the replacement of Cape Cod Canal Bridges, improve climate resilience, mitigate flood risks, and control coastal erosion
Washington (December 22, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren commended Congress’s passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020, a water resources and infrastructure bill that includes several key provisions benefiting Massachusetts. Senator Markey is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over the legislation.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that we provide relief and support to communities throughout Massachusetts,” said Senator Markey. “I am proud that the water infrastructure legislation passed today includes many of our key provisions, which will provide new and more robust resources to help localities recover and grow their economies, while also bracing for the impacts of climate change. I look forward to building on this progress with comprehensive investments in sustainable and resilient infrastructure in the next Congress.”
“I am glad to see this water resources and infrastructure legislation support critically important infrastructure projects across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Warren. “I will continue to fight to ensure our communities have the resources they need to protect against future impacts of climate change and allow for continued economic growth.”
“I am grateful to Senator Markey and Senator Warren for their leadership and support in preserving open space and investing in sustainable green infrastructure, two critical strategies to combating the effects of climate change and building a thriving, healthy, and innovative Boston,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “My administration has invested over $60 million in critical stormwater management projects along the Muddy River and the Emerald Necklace park system, an integral part of our resilience strategies led by Climate Ready Boston. These investments and efforts are vital to the improved health of our rivers, our long-term environmental and economic resilience, and quality of life for all of Boston’s residents and visitors.”
The Senators’ provisions incorporated into the Water Resources Development Act include:
  •  Cape Cod Canal Bridges - Directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to expedite the replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, which connect the nearly 250,000 residents of the Cape and Islands to the rest of Massachusetts, but are over eighty years old and structurally deficient.
  •  Boston Climate Resiliency – Directing the USACE to study climate resiliency in the Boston metro area, which is a necessary first step toward developing the coastal storm protection and storm risk management measures that Boston will need to address the effects of climate change moving forward.
  •  Coastal Erosion – Increasing the annual funding cap for the USACE’s Storm and Hurricane Restoration and Impact Minimization Program to $38 million, which will allow coastal communities across Massachusetts to implement more robust shoreline erosion and beach nourishment projects.
  • Towns of Newbury and Newburyport – Authorizing a feasibility study for a comprehensive erosion control project in Newbury and Newburyport, which is a necessary first step toward developing a regional approach to managing sediment, controlling coastal erosion, encouraging maritime development, and protecting human life and property from the seasonal storms that have degraded this vital coastline.
  • Muddy River – Reauthorizing the Muddy River Environmental Restoration Project in the City of Boston and Town of Brookline, which was unilaterally deauthorized by the USACE in 2016 but is needed to enhance the historic landscapes and ecosystem surrounding the river.
  • Hoosic River – Directing the USACE to work with the City of North Adams and the Hoosic River Revival Organization to develop a plan for authorizing a flood risk management project along the Hoosic River.