WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today led a hearing to examine the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ ecosystem restoration projects.
ON THE CRITICAL AUTHORITIES IN THE WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT (WRDA):
“As many of us know, the biennial Water Resources Development Act, known as WRDA, establishes the authorities for the Corps’ future work. In the 1986 WRDA, Congress first directed the Corps to lead ecosystem restoration efforts for the Upper Mississippi River, laying the foundation for an expanded environmental restoration role for the agency. In every WRDA since then, Congress has expanded the Corps’ ability to address critical ecosystem restoration … Most recently, we expanded the Corps’ definition of ecosystem restoration in WRDA 2022 to include factors such as climate change and coastal and riverine restoration.”
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE:
Chairman Tom Carper:
“As a Senator from the lowest-lying state in the United States … we have a special concern that climate change is driving sea level rise, land subsidence, and flooding in my state … Would you please explain for us how the Everglades project is helping to address the root causes of climate change through environmental restoration? Please also explain for us the significance of the climate mitigation and resilience benefits seen in the Everglades so far.”
Eric Eikenberg, Chief Executive Officer, The Everglades Foundation:
“It’s important to point out that the Everglades itself, these organic peat soils in the Everglades, have been sequestering, or capturing carbon for centuries … The ability to hydrate those wetlands sequesters carbon, it takes about 230,000 cars off the road just in freshwater wetlands and the climate benefits from keeping those wetlands hydrated. We are also seeing benefits along the coast, mangroves that surround the Florida peninsula also add a tremendous benefits on a carbon ‘bank’, which the Everglades is … We cannot abandon the issue of restoration within the Everglades to deal strictly with the climate concerns along the coast. They both are interconnected, it complements it.”
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s first round of questions.
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s second round of questions.
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s opening statement.