Contact: Kevin Hall (202-224-2023)
WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner today announced that more than $26.4 million in funding was secured for a number of water projects in Hampton Roads. The funds were included in the FY2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, passed in the Senate on Wednesday night, which provides funding for the Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Interior, and economic development projects.
The projects will enhance economic development, improve public safety, bolster waterway infrastructure and restore protions of Virginia’s eroded coastline. Key projects include the deepening of the Norfolk Harbor and Channel, a major economic engine for the entire commonwealth, and the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration program which is vital in both cleaning the Bay and restoring the oyster industry in the region.
“Better infrastructure, improved waterways and increased public safety are essential to spurring economic development in the Hampton Roads area,” said Senator Webb. “I am pleased Virginia will allocate more than $32 million to Virginia to invest in renewable energy technology, implement restoration and conservation measures, and increase economic growth throughout the Commonwealth.”
“These investments will allow southeastern Virginia to make progress on important flood mitigation, wetlands restoration and additional oyster beds,” said Senator Warner. “I also am pleased we were able get approval for funding to upgrade navigation and security related to the Port. This additional investment in the Jefferson Lab, added to the $75 million in Recovery Act funds we secured earlier this year, will promote cutting-edge research and scientific discovery in partnership with our leading public universities.”
The list of projects secured below:
- Dismal Swamp and Dismal Canal; Chesapeake, VA -- $78,000
Funding to conduct an Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study to determine if mitigation measures are feasible to minimize future flood damages, environmental restoration, and other water resource related problems in the vicinity of the Dismal Swamp.
- Chowan River Basin, Chesapeake, Va -- $215,000
Funding to conduct an Army Corps of Engineers reconnaissance study to evaluate the Federal interest in ways to protect the water resources of this highly productive basin including restoring wetlands, reducing flood damages throughout the basin, and determine if a more detailed feasibility study is needed.
- Storm Water Management Program, Chesapeake Bay -- $220,000
Funding to help Chesapeake Bay cities, counties, and towns in Virginia to administer effective storm water/flood water management programs including sea level rise.
- Willoughby Spit and Vicinity, Norfolk, VA -- $243,000
Funding to restart of Project Engineering Design [PED] investigations that include a General Reevaluation study into jetties at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek that currently block natural sand movement and accelerates coastal erosion on beaches which decrease protection against severe weather events.
- Dismal Swamp Canal Route, Chesapeake, VA -- $320,000
Funding to continue to operate the canal’s navigational locks and bascule bridges and perform contract administration of the oldest operating artificial waterway in the United States.
- Regional Sediment Management, Mathews County, VA -- $350,000
Funding to to construct a sediment budget for the area and to investigate utilizing dredge material from several local/adjacent federal navigation channels to address shoreline conditions along the western shorelines of the Chesapeake Bay. The Benefit-To-Cost ratio for this project is 2.7 to 1, meaning that there is a return to the federal taxpayer of $2.70 for every $1.00 expended.
- Norfolk Harbor and Channels – Deepening, Norfolk, VA -- $1,000,000
Funding to be used for PED investigations on the 45-foot authorized project on the main branch of the Elizabeth River and the 40-foot authorized project into the southern branch of the River. Funding will also be used to update the Navigation Management Plan for the Port of Hampton Roads to improve security conditions and meet the demands of growing container traffic.
- Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery Program, Chesapeake Bay, VA -- $2,000,000
Funding will allow program to continue oyster restoration and build additional oyster reefs within the Lynnhaven estuary, a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. The project has successfully created over 100 acres of new oyster reefs in the Lynnhaven Basin to restore this vital natural resource and improve water quality and its continuance is very important for environmental restoration.
- Tangier Island Jetty, Accomack County, VA -- Listed To Be Eligible To Receive Funds
The project, a proposed jetty/breakwater to protect the inner channel and harbor and reduce shoreline erosion, will be eligible for a portion of $7,000,000 that has been designated for “Construction Navigation.”
- Thomas Jefferson National Lab, Newport News, VA -- $22,000,000
Funding will permit the Jefferson Lab to continue construction of the 12 GeV continuous electron beam accelerator upgrade and to provide support for the university users in biological and life sciences, physics, chemistry, environmental sciences mathematics, computer science, and engineering.