CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

Himes Announces Funding to Protect Local Shorelines, Water Quality

July 18, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Himes today secured federal funding for three water infrastructure projects that will ensure the vitality of local water resources and the livelihood of the businesses and communities that depend on those waters. The U.S. House today approved the Energy & Water Appropriations bill, which included funding to restore the Mill River in Stamford and dredge the Norwalk and Greenwich Harbors.

“Our rivers, harbors, and beaches are a big part of what makes our communities great places to live, own a business, and raise a family,” said Congressman Himes. “Our economic recovery depends on making smart, targeted investments like these infrastructure projects in Norwalk, Stamford, and Greenwich.”

Two Long Island Sound dredging projects will remove contaminated sediment in local harbors to maintain the natural health of Sound and keep the waters clean and clear. The City of Norwalk will use $2,000,000 to continue comprehensive maintenance dredging of the Norwalk Harbor. Completion of this project will ensure the long-term viability of Norwalk Harbor’s water-dependent businesses and the economic benefits associated with those businesses. The Town of Greenwich is on track to receive $178,000 to conduct an initial assessment for maintenance dredging. This channel provides access to water and land-based facilities in Greenwich including the Town’s pump-out dock for recreational boater waste disposal.

The House also approved funding to continue the restoration of the Mill River in downtown Stamford to a healthy, viable, and self-maintaining river system. The project will include river shoreline stabilization and restoration, ecosystem restoration, and green infrastructure for stormwater management.

The Energy and Water Appropriations Act builds on the investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to move toward American energy independence and rebuild our infrastructure – major tenets of the long term economic plan that President Obama laid out and this Congress approved.

The legislation includes investments in new technologies that will create the next generation of vehicles with improved fuel efficiency, better and cleaner engines and better batteries. It also helps modernize our electric grid by investing in “smart grid” technology that will ensure efficient and reliable delivery of electricity to American homes and businesses.  The bill also funds for weatherization grants to help struggling families improve their homes’ energy efficiency and save hundreds of dollars annually in electricity and heating costs. It also invests in the water infrastructure needs of our communities to improve water quality and spur economic development after years of neglect.