Washington, DC – Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA). The bill authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin navigation, flood control, storm damage, and other water-related infrastructure projects. Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (NY-17) supported the bill.

Included in WRDA is the authorization of the Byram River Basin Flood Risk Management project.  The Byram River runs for approximately 14 miles through Lowey and Himes’ districts in Southeast New York and Southwest Connecticut. Because it is prone to damaging flooding, local and federal officials have called for years for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to look at ways to mitigate or prevent flooding.  The plan approved as part of WRDA proposes removing and replacing two bridges in Port Chester, New York in order to reduce restrictions to river flow.

"Chairwoman Lowey and I are excited that this year’s WRDA authorizes the Byram River Basin Flood Risk Management project, because flooding has been a serious concern for homeowners and businesses alike in Greenwich for decades,” said Himes.  “As we continue to see more frequent extreme weather events due to climate change, our coastal areas and rivers that are vulnerable to flooding need their infrastructure updated significantly. This plan will not only provide flood relief, but help efforts to restore the River's habitat to a more natural environment and improve resiliency for future storms.” 

“Congressman Himes and I are pleased that flood prevention infrastructure along the river will be updated through the WRDA,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “Recent history has shown us the devastating impact the Byram River can have on our communities when it floods, and the effects of climate change could only worsen that impact. Authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin flood mitigation projects on the Byram River is an important step in protecting our homes, businesses and environment.”

For more information or with any questions, contact Jane Richter at Jane.richter@mail.house.gov (Lowey) or Patrick Malone at Patrick.malone@mail.house.gov (Himes).