On April 19, 2007, the House passed H.R. 1495, the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA). This legislation authorizes several projects and studies for the United States Army Corps of Engineers to carry out its major missions of flood control to protect our lives and livelihoods, viable navigation corridors for the movement of goods and services, and ecosystem restoration projects to improve the health of our nation's environment.
Although the Water Resources Development Act is intended to be authorized every two years, the President has not signed one since 2000. WRDA of 2007 will fund projects and policy changes that have been awaiting authorization since 2000.
This legislation will fund many areas that have not received the attention they urgently need. It will fund more than 700 water resource development projects by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, navigation, and environmental restoration. Rebuilding and recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita is one of the major areas the bill addresses. It funds hurricane and storm damage reduction from Morganza, Louisiana to the Gulf of Mexico, and projects in the New Orleans area that will improve flood control by raising levee heights and upgrading water pumps. The Water Resources Development Act will help restore the Florida Everglades and will fund environmental restoration and lock and dam construction along the Upper Mississippi River.
The Water Resources Development Act of 2007 will provide critical funding to small communities that have gone too long without assistance. To these communities, the projects and studies authorized by this legislation will have equally beneficial impacts on public health, environmental quality, and economic vitality.