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Senate Continues to Move Forward on Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)

The Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Rhode Island Chapter, Terence Sullivan, today testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to provide recommendations for the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).


ARLINGTON, VA | November 15, 2012

The Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Rhode Island Chapter, Terence Sullivan, today testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to provide recommendations for the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The legislation will guide the conservation and development of rivers and harbors in America, and impacts water resource and infrastructure projects that meet our nation’s water needs, control and protect from floods, assist in navigation and restore freshwater ecosystems.

Although the WRDA is intended to be enacted every two years and has traditionally received strong bipartisan support, the last bill was passed in 2007.

“We have reached a critical point in how this nation is going to plan for and manage investments in our nation’s water resources,” said Sullivan in his testimony. “On the one hand, the impacts of changing weather patterns are making the importance of sound water management clearer than ever. At the same time, the tremendous backlog of funding for authorized projects and the fiscal limitations on future spending compel us to find more cost-effective ways of doing business. This WRDA bill can be an important step in addressing these challenges.”

The provisions of the bill, if enacted, will help reduce the impacts of the increasingly violent weather events now affecting the lives of so many Americans. This bill takes important steps toward modernizing America’s water resource infrastructure and putting it on a more sustainable financial footing. The Nature Conservancy is particularly interested in:

  • Improving the ability to address management of our water resources infrastructure in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
  • Strengthening support for the restoration of wetlands and other natural features so Americans can continue to enjoy the economic and social benefits our healthy water systems provide, including their ability to help deal with the threats of intensifying storms, floods and droughts.
  • Finding new ways to finance and fund water resources investments that allow a wide range of partners to participate in developing and building these projects.
  • Making a number of important changes to existing policies that will improve their ability to achieve our national water resource goals as articulated by Congress.

“This bill can improve the health and security of our nation’s water resources and the diverse benefits they provide to Americans,” concluded Sullivan. “The Nature Conservancy applauds the committee for its leadership and for moving this legislation forward.”


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org

Contact information

Tracy Connell
(703) 247-3726
tjonesconnell@tnc.org

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