, Inc. (WCI) expressed its gratitude for the aggressive work of the House and Senate this week to override the President’s veto of the Water Resources Development
Act of 2007. WRDA, delayed for more than seven years, is now law. It authorizes critically important projects on the inland waterways including the modernization of seven locks along the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway, and projects on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Bayou Sorrel, Matagorda Bay and High Island to the Brazos River. Late Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted 361 to 54 to override the veto; the Senate voted 79 to 14 to override today.
“This is an historic event in the improvement of America’s waterways and for the Nation overall,” said R. Barry Palmer, Waterways Council’s President and CEO. “Some have worked for 17 years to achieve construction authorization on the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway. Investment in navigation infrastructure and in ecosystem restoration will pay huge dividends to our U.S. economy and to the American people,” Palmer said.
The Congressional override of the President’s veto and final passage of WRDA legislation underscores the value of the inland waterways system and its role in keeping the Nation economically competitive. WRDA will also improve ports, flood and hurricane protection systems, and restore critically important ecosystems and marine habitats.
America’s waterways system is an economic generator, attracting significant private and public investment in plants and equipment. This investment creates economic activity and family-wage jobs. The river system is a critical energy supply line, facilitator of exports, and an environmentally superior mode of transport.