The House of Representatives, in a bipartisan vote, approved an amendment sponsored by Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08) that would increase funding for the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Construction account by $20 million.  The increased funding would assist the Army Corps of Engineers with the construction and maintenance of storm reduction infrastructure, commonly known as sea walls, in order to protect coastal communities from severe storms.
Lynch’s amendment, which passed by a vote of 217-206, was included in H.R. 2609, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which will fund Department of Energy programs, the Army Corps of Engineers and other related agencies for Fiscal Year 2014.
“100 year storms seem to be happening every few years now.  I have seen firsthand the damage caused in the coastal areas I represent- Boston, Quincy, Weymouth, Hull, Hingham Cohasset and Scituate,” said Lynch.   “As the severity and frequency of these storms increase, it is time to enable the Army Corps of Engineers to respond. We must ensure adequate funding so the Corps can help protect coastal communities from future devastation.”
The Army Corps of Engineers Civil Construction account funds construction of storm reduction infrastructure, which includes sea walls.  Since 2010, this account has been reduced by $688 million, with $331 million cut last year alone.  Lynch's amendment’s $20 million increase would be offset by a decrease in the Fossil Energy Research and Development account.
“The use of fossil fuels is at the very least partly responsible for the number and intensity of these massive storms, such as Hurricane Sandy.  Yet, funding to protect our shoreline and our ports has been consistently cut.  As long as we continue to rely on fossil fuels we need also to address the consequences of our energy policies.  We have a responsibility to the Army Corps of Engineers and our coastal communities to provide the resources necessary to protect against these severe storms,” Lynch added.