Washington, D.C. – Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the statement below following the introduction of the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2016.  This legislation will provide important flood protection, restore vulnerable ecosystems, and maintain ports and navigation routes across the State of California.

Senator Boxer said: “I am proud that this bipartisan legislation includes vital support for ongoing work in my home State of California, including the Los Angeles River and Salton Sea.  The revitalization of the LA River will ensure the opportunity for increased economic and recreational development along the river, and the restoration of the Salton Sea will provide critical habitat and improve serious air quality issues affecting public health.”

The bill would:

  • Allow the Corps of Engineers to begin restoration of 11 miles of the Los Angeles River. This $1.3 billion project will remove concrete from the river and restore hundreds of acres of habitat and wetlands. 
  • Broaden a program Sen. Boxer authored in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 that would allow the restoration of the Salton Sea. WRDA 2016 would expand who could partner with the Corps of Engineers to carry out Salton Sea restoration and other projects. Some of those entities include: the Salton Sea Authority, local governments, non-profit organizations, and tribes. 
  • Require the Corps of Engineers to provide Congress with a plan for expeditiously completing projects to restore ecosystems, such as the Salton Sea, that address an identified threat to public health and restore habitats for federally protected species, including migratory birds. 
  • Invest in innovative technologies to address drought, including desalination, water recycling, and groundwater recharge. 
  • Make permanent the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which Sen. Boxer authored in WRRDA 2014.  This program helps leverage investment in critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects and is an important complement to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. 

To read a three page summary of the bill, click here. 

To read a full section by section of the bill, click here. 

To read the full text of the bill, click here.