Water Resources Development Act of 2016

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 28, 2016
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. RIBBLE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

My amendment is very simple. It is a 40-word technical correction from my perspective. This amendment simply states that the Secretary of the U.S. Corps of Engineers needs to consider--it doesn't mandate anything--it just says they should consider the use of natural and nature-based products when they are looking at various scopes of work.

Let me give you an example, Mr. Chairman. I serve the Eighth Congressional District of Wisconsin and Green Bay is in my district.

The waters of Green Bay have been affected by overflows of phosphorus and various nutrients. In this case, as part of the mitigation of trying to retain that phosphorus on the ground rather than in the bay, the Corps of Engineers could use natural berms. They could use weeds and grasses and different landscaping methods that are both aesthetically and technically better in this case.

So my amendment simply says that in this case the Secretary should allow consideration of these products. Not recommend them, not push them, not advocate for them, but simply have them in their consideration as they carry out the design, construction, maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation of water resources in this country.
This amendment is supported by the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and about ten others or so.

Mr. Chairman, that is the scope of the amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.