Galveston, Texas (Feb. 29, 2016) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District will receive new feasibility funding for the Houston Ship Channel and Coastal Texas studies; continued funding for the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Brazos River Flood Gates and Colorado River Locks as well as the Matagorda Ship Channel widening and deepening; construction funding for Addicks and Barker dams in Houston, and continued Operation and Maintenance funding for the Texas waterways in the president’s fiscal year 2017 budget for the Corps’ Civil Works program.
“The President’s Budget for FY17 reflects federal priorities for managing vital water resources in coastal Texas,” said Col. Richard Pannell, USACE Galveston District commander. “The Corps of Engineers is committed to effectively and efficiently delivering high value projects and programs across our navigation, flood risk management, regulatory and environmental restoration business lines. This includes not only ongoing operations and maintenance, but also new study investigations and construction. ”
General Investigation studies refer to the traditional and most common way for the Corps to assist a community in addressing large-scale, complex water resource problems. A General Investigation study often begins with a request for assistance from a community or a local or state government entity with a water resource need (navigation, flood protection or ecosystem restoration) beyond its capability. Before initiating a study, the Corps generally requires two types of congressional authority – authorization and appropriations. Once the study is authorized and funds are appropriated, the project will advance through two phases using General Investigation funding: feasibility and preconstruction engineering and design. If the study is approved by Congress, additional authorization and appropriations must occur for construction to begin.
“The 2017 Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the administration’s priorities to support and improve the nation’s economy, protect the American people and restore our environment,” said the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “This budget supports the core mission areas of coastal and inland navigation, reducing flood and storm risks and restoring aquatic ecosystems.”
According to Rob Thomas, chief of the Project Management Branch for the USACE Galveston District, the funding will enable staff to work with non-federal partners to continue ongoing studies and design on various projects.
“The FY17 budget funds important studies that enable USACE to quantify needed improvements to our navigation projects that will dramatically enhance commerce for the nation while improving safety for our mariners,” said Thomas. “The Coastal Texas Feasibility Study for storm risk management and ecosystem restoration will help us establish plans that optimize benefits to the national economy and environment.”
The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 250 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates. Its main missions include navigation, ecosystem restoration, emergency management, flood risk management and regulatory oversight.
View the FY17 Civil Works budget online at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx, under the heading Program Budget: Press Books. For more news and information about the USACE Galveston District visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.