House Vote On Bush Veto Aids Local Dredging Plans

Posted in: Region
Nov 8, 2007 - 8:46:01 AM
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     On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted to override President George W, Bush’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act by an overwhelming bipartisan count of 361 to 54.
     “I applaud the House in sending a clear message to President Bush, that passage of WRDA is long overdue,” Congressman William D. Delahunt said.  “The last three Congresses have failed to pass this legislation, which has resulted in the backlog of a number of vital projects in my district. Today’s override will finally allow these projects to move forward.”
     The Water Resources Development Act is a comprehensive legislative proposal that authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to undertake dredging and navigation projects around the country.  The legislation also includes numerous technical adjustments as well as changes in harbor boundaries.  According to a press release, the legislation that passed the House included several provisions authored by Mr. Delahunt that will boost a number of local projects.
     Among those include authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to expand the Woods Hole channel so that oceanographic research vessels can safely navigate to government and private research facilities.  Failure to dredge the channel could mean that NOAA may no longer be able to home port its fisheries research vessels in Woods Hole. This has long been a priority for Mr. Delahunt.
     The bill includes language to direct the Army Corps to study Oak Bluffs Harbor and the East Boat Basin in Sandwich to determine whether further changes are needed to expand the basin and improve navigation.
     WRDA will also modify the coordinates of the federal navigation channels of Aunt Lydia’s Cove in Chatham and in Falmouth Harbor. The modifications will improve economic development by improving access to these channels.
     “Maintaining our harbors and waterways is essential for the economic development of the region, and failure to do so is a disaster waiting to happen,” Mr. Delahunt said. “This is victory for fishermen and for the safety of mariners on Cape Cod, The Islands, and the South Shore. I look forward to working with Senators Kennedy and Kerry for a successful override in the Senate.”  
     This legislation also includes numerous projects designed to better protect the United States against flooding and severe weather at a time when many regions nationwide face serious threats from natural disasters. WRDA contains authorizations for projects that are essential to rebuilding the Gulf Coast still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.