Portman Praises Senate Passage of Legislation to Combat Invasive Species, Address Coastal Erosion, Protect Water Quality in Great Lakes, Ohio

July 28, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, applauded the Senate passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), bipartisan legislation that authorizes a host of investments in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects and programs, including a number of Portman priorities and provisions that support the Great Lakes and the state of Ohio. Specifically, the WRDA bill includes measures that will protect and improve the water quality of the Great Lakes and waterways across Ohio by delivering more resources to combat invasive species, improve water infrastructure, support shoreline stabilization, and address the threat of coastal erosion. 

“This bipartisan legislation includes a number of my key priorities that support the Great Lakes and waterways across Ohio,” said Portman. “From addressing coastal erosion along the shores of Lake Erie to combating invasive species in Ohio’s lakes and other inland waterways, this bipartisan legislation is a major win for the Great Lakes and the people of Ohio.”   

NOTE: More specifically, the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act: 

  • Includes Portman’s bipartisan Lake Erie Water Quality Protection Act, which would expand the Aquatic Plant Control Program to include the Lake Erie Basin and the Ohio River Basin, and directs USACE to prioritize hydrilla projects.  
  • Includes Portman’s bipartisan Aquatic Invasive Species Control Act, which would direct the Army Corps to prioritize the development of dredge material management plans for Ohio’s eight harbors along Lake Erie that adhere to the State of Ohio’s water quality laws. 
  • Directs the Army Corps to prioritize shoreline protection and restoration projects along the Great Lakes and Ohio’s waterways and authorizes funding to support forecasting for water levels and water level variability in the Great Lakes.
  • Directs the Army Corps to expedite the completion of the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study, which would coordinate a strategy across the Great Lakes states to help protect the Great Lakes’ 5,200-mile coastline. Portman has consistently advocated for the completion of this study.
  • Increases the federal cost-share for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project from 80% federal cost-share to 90% federal cost-share. Earlier this year, Portman was successful in securing $225.8 million for the project through funding provided by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
  • Increases the funding authorization for the Sec. 594 Ohio and North Dakota Environmental Infrastructure Program to $100 million. This program allows the Army Corps to provide assistance to non-Federal interests in Ohio for projects including the design and construction of water and wastewater treatment facilities, combined sewer overflows, water supply/storage/treatment, environmental restoration, and surface water protection.