U.S. Rep Lawrence Secures Three MI-14 Water Infrastructure Projects in House-Passed Bill to Combat Floods and Restore Vital Ecosystems
Washington, DC – This week, U.S. Rep. Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) voted to pass the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022 (H.R. 7776), which authorizes projects for communities to address flooding, restore ecosystems, and improve our crumbling water infrastructure. Rep. Lawrence secured three projects for feasibility studies that were included in the final passage of the bill:
- Lower East Side of Detroit: Project for flood risk management
- Grosse Pointe Shores and Grosse Pointe Farms: Project for ecosystem restoration and flood risk management
- Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties: Project for flood risk management
“The severe storms Southeast Michiganders experienced have flooded our communities and damaged countless homes, businesses, and water, wastewater, and sewage systems. I’m proud that three of my projects to strengthen our water infrastructure were included in the House passage of WRDA,” said Rep. Lawrence. “With these projects, we’re working to combat flooding, restore vital ecosystems, and protect underserved communities. From the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to WRDA, we are making historic investments in improving our water infrastructure that so many Americans rely on.”
WRDA authorizes studies and projects that are carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who work to rebuild and repair the water infrastructure that millions of Americans depend on. Feasibility studies are a crucial first step taken for projects to determine costs, benefits, and potential solutions. WRDA 2022 authorizes 72 new feasibility studies and expedites 15 ongoing studies, including one that would increase the resiliency of the Great Lakes. WRDA 2022 also authorizes the construction of 16 projects that have been studied and approved by the Army Corps from WRDA 2020.
WRDA-authorized projects include maintaining and improving our port, harbor, and inland waterways infrastructure, of which 80% of traded goods in America rely on; reducing the damage caused by floods, storms, and hurricanes, especially as climate change increases the intensity and occurrence of these events; and protecting the environment and ecosystems, such as repairing shorelines, creating aquatic habitats; and restoring natural waterways.
A 2021 study by Wayne State University stated that over 40 percent of Detroit households reported household flooding and Black households were found to be at greater risk of flooding. The flooding has resulted in countless power outages, flooded roadways, flooded homes, and displaced residents. Improving our water infrastructure has been a priority for Rep. Lawrence. Last year, following historic flooding in June 2021, she sent a letter to congressional leadership urging for water infrastructure investments. Rep. Lawrence also introduced, with over 100 cosponsors, the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2021 (H.R. 1352), which would create a WATER Trust Fund, dedicating nearly $35 billion towards water infrastructure improvements across the United States.