5 Key NY-1 Projects Advance in Newly Passed Federal Maritime Infrastructure Legislation
In a district nearly completely surrounded by water, we have a unique responsibility to safeguard our local waterways, from improving our area’s water quality to bolstering our local maritime infrastructure. Since coming to Congress, I’ve worked with Commander of the New York District of the Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Thomas Asbery and his incredible team to secure desperately needed victories for our Congressional District, including the Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) project and localized projects across the East End.
Last week marked another important victory for these local projects with House passage of this year’s Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). This legislation authorized construction of the long-awaited FIMP project, which includes essential dredging and shoreline projects spanning 83 miles of coastline, 80% of which is in the First Congressional District. The massive FIMP project includes a variety of coastal and wetland restoration projects that will use the natural environment to reduce flooding, erosion, and storm damage, while also preserving the natural environment and habitat for wildlife and provides various coastal management initiatives for the bay side of the barrier beaches.
This legislation also included authorization for construction of the Hashamomuck Cove Coastal Storm Risk Management Project in Southold where right now local residents, businesses and first responders are paralyzed during even a severe thunderstorm. This project, authorized through WRDA, will help reduce coastal storm damage to residents who live along the Long Island Sound and is expected to play a key role in protecting County Road 48 - a major transportation route used for hurricane evacuation, while also protecting critical infrastructure including nursing homes and hospitals.
This legislation builds on these two victories, jumpstarting movement on 3 other East End projects. This legislation authorizes feasibility studies at Reel Point Preserve in Shelter Island, which will focus on navigation and shoreline stabilization, Goldsmith Inlet in Southold, which will focus on improving navigation, and Wading River Creek in Riverhead, which will focus on hurricane and storm damage risk reduction, flood risk management, navigation, and ecosystem restoration.
Our area waterways are vital arteries for our vibrant coastal economy of marinas, restaurants, recreational boaters, commercial fishermen, and all of the small businesses that support these industries. Whether it’s along the north or south shore or on Shelter Island, there’s still a lot of work left to do. The hundreds of miles of coastline that comprise our shores have been forever ingrained in the culture and livelihoods of Long Islanders. Continuing to safeguard and invest in our maritime infrastructure will preserve our way of life for generations to come, and thanks to House passage of this year’s Water Resources Development Act, NY-1’s local priorities are well on their way.
Congressman Lee Zeldin represents New York’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives where he serves as Co-Chair of the bipartisan Long Island Sound Caucus and member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.