Steil Great Lakes Priorities Included in Water Resources Development Act

December 8, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Two of Congressman Bryan Steil’s Great Lakes priorities were included in the 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). WRDA passed the House of Representatives today and now heads to the Senate. The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study and the Brandon Road Project were both included in today’s bill.  

“Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes are a vital resource to Southeast Wisconsin. I am working to protect the Great Lakes today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. As we saw earlier this year, Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee counties suffered significant damage and shoreline erosion from high water levels in Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes Resiliency Study and the Brandon Road Project address our communities’ concerns. We must ensure our shoreline is protected and that Lake Michigan continues to bring economic, health, and recreational benefits to Southeast Wisconsin,” said Steil.

In February, Steil testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the need to support Great Lakes funding. Specifically, Steil requested that the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study and the Brandon Road Project are included in the 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Watch Steil’s testimony before the committee here.

The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study brings together the eight Great Lakes states and federal partners to examine our shorelines and prevent environmental hazards. The Study area includes more than 5,000 miles of shoreline. This is a federal program that helps detect vulnerabilities along the shoreline and improve our communities’ sustainability. The Brandon Road Project, an Army Corps of Engineers program, is a preventive measure to safeguard the Great Lakes. The program is intended to prevent invasive Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes, jeopardizing the $7 billion fishing industry of the Great Lakes.

Today, Steil spoke on the House floor today in support of passage of the 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Floor remarks below:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today in support of the 2020 Water Resources Development Act.

In Southeast Wisconsin, the Great Lakes are vital to our environment, our economy, our health, and our way of life.

Let me put it this way: If the Great Lakes region was a country, it would have the third largest economy in the world.

We must pass WRDA to protect the Great Lakes, invest in America’s water infrastructure, and generate economic growth. 

Earlier this year, I urged the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to include the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study and the Brandon Road Project in WRDA.

Both programs are included in today’s bill.

These programs detect vulnerabilities along the Great Lakes shoreline and prevent invasive species in the Great Lakes.

I ask my colleagues to pass WRDA and support the Great Lakes for generations to come.