The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, received an $18.225 million boost for fiscal 2020, including funds for oyster restoration, study of Baltimore Harbor improvements and more.
This funding is through the 2020 Work Plan, published Feb. 10, 2020, for the Army Civil Works Program, which is Congressionally authorized funding specifically for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in addition to the roughly $70 million in funding outlined in the fiscal 2020 Administration’s Budget for Baltimore District. The Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters, is required to submit a Work Plan to Congress annually after release of the appropriations bill. Headquarters, working through the Office of Management and Budget, determines the allocation of these additional funds for the many Corps districts throughout the nation.
“These additional funds provide us the opportunity to do even more in support of our diverse stakeholders throughout the region to include our commitment to the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and keeping our local waterways safe and open for navigation,” said Baltimore District Commander Col. John Litz.
Additional Work Plan funding highlights:
• Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery - $5 million – For the continuation of oyster restoration in both Maryland and Virginia tributaries in the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore District plans to use the majority of this funding in Maryland to complete oyster reef construction in the Tred Avon River oyster sanctuary. To date, Baltimore District and its partners, including the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Oyster Recovery Partnership, have restored 85 acres in the Tred Avon River, with approximately 40 acres of reef still to be constructed in accordance with the Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan.
• W.R. Grace FUSRAP Remediation - $2.75 million – For the oversight of remedial action implementation for Building 23 on the W.R. Grace Curtis Bay Facility in South Baltimore, through the Formerly Utilized Site Remedial Action Program. In the 1950s, radioactive thorium and other rare earth elements were extracted from sand as part of a contract with the Atomic Energy Commission.
• Anacostia Watershed Restoration in Prince George’s County - $1.935 million – For carrying out the engineering and design phase in order to construct this ecosystem restoration project to restore 7 miles of in-stream habitat in the northwest and northeast branches of the watershed that will open 4 miles for fish passage and connect 14 miles of stream to previously restored stream reaches.
• Baltimore Harbor Sea Girt Loop Improvement Study - $1.5 million – For the initiation of a new study to assess potential navigation improvements, like deepening or widening, for federal channels serving the Seagirt Terminal in the Port of Baltimore.
• Whitney Point Lake and Tioga-Hammond lakes - $590,000 – For additional dam maintenance efforts.
• Cowanesque Lake - $310,000 – For construction of a new water reservoir and renovations to a boat launch on Tompkins Campground.
• Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island - $500,000 – For continued engineering and design work for the restoration of James and Barren islands, totaling more than 2,000 acres, through the placement of dredged material. Once constructed, this project will replace Poplar Island as the site for the beneficial use of dredged material from the approach channels to the Port of Baltimore with the capacity to contain up to 95 million cubic yards of material during the course of at least 30 years.
• West Virginia Environmental Infrastructure (Piedmont, West Virginia) - $450,000 – For design and local coordination of drinking water infrastructure improvements.
• Potomac and Anacostia Drift Removal - $240,000 – For pier improvements to accommodate delivery of a new crane barge to support the collection of drift and debris from the Potomac and Anacostia rivers to ensure safe navigation.
• Baltimore Harbor and Channels - $4.95 million – For funding to provide to the Maryland Port Administration for routine operation and maintenance activities through the Donor and Energy Transfer Ports program.
For additional information, including the President’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget, also published Feb. 10, 2020, visit: http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx
Of note, the proposed fiscal 2021 budget includes $14.5 million to continue Poplar Island construction; $4.4 million to dredge the Wicomico River; $1.115 million to dredge the Ocean City inlet and Assateague Island restoration; $20.085 million for routine Baltimore Harbor maintenance dredging; and operations and maintenance funding for dams, including $7.968 million for Alvin R. Bush Dam and $8.124 million for Raystown Lake.