$451 Million for Puget Sound protection, restoration is approved by house following Larsen-led effort
Washington, DC, September 28, 2016
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an effort led by Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) – along with Reps. Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Jim McDermott (WA-07), Adam Smith (WA-09), and Denny Heck (WA-10) – to boost Puget Sound protection and restoration by authorizing $451 million for the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP) as part of the Water Resources Development Act.
The legislation also includes $170 million to address the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
“The Puget Sound is the largest estuary by water volume in the United States,” said Larsen. “As one of the largest habitat restoration efforts in the history of the United States, this wide-reaching project is integral to the implementation of the Puget Sound Action Agenda, the recovery and protection of several fish and mammal species listed under the Endangered Species Act, and the fulfillment of tribal treaty rights. This project will help facilitate restoration of river deltas, beaches, open coastal inlets, and barrier embayments within the region.”
On September 16, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers submitted a final Chief’s Report for the project which recommended construction authorization for three projects as well as conditional authority for an additional nine projects pending further feasibility study.
The House and Senate will now reconcile the two versions of the bill.
Larsen has a long record of fighting to protect local estuaries. In May of this year, Larsen’s bipartisan bill to fund the National Estuary Program – which supports the comprehensive plan for Puget Sound recovery – through 2021, became law.