Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Chair DeLauro, and Chair Leahy,
Thank you for your leadership and work to advance appropriations bills through regular order for the 2022 fiscal year. We write this letter to express our strong support for the $1.2M dollars allocated for the Hudson Raritan Estuary (HRE) efforts in the FY 2022 Energy and Water Senate Bill and report language accompanying the House bill. These efforts will strength the estuary and restore wetland habitats. As you know, New York City and New Jersey have suffered from historic levels of flooding and storm surges over the past few decades. Restoring these wetlands will help mitigate flooding and storm surge, as well prevent erosion, ensure adequate groundwater levels and base flow, assimilate nutrients, and protect drinking water sources.
By passing the $1.2 million in funding in the Senate's Energy and Water Bill for the HRE program, we can help catapult the following projects forward:
Bronx Zoo and Stone Mill Dam (New York's 13th, 14th, and 16th Congressional Districts)
Stony Creek Marsh Island in Jamaica Bay (New York's 5th and 8th Congressional Districts)
Flushing Creek (New York's 6th Congressional District)
Lower Passaic River (New Jersey's 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Congressional District)
Hackensack Meadowlands (New Jersey's 9th Congressional District)
Oysters at Naval Station Earle in Lower Bay (New Jersey's 6th Congressional District)
These projects will provide the New York and New Jersey harbor area with enormous benefits that will improve wildlife quality of life, as well as mitigate damages to human infrastructure. The goals of these projects are to restore approximately 381 acres of estuarine wetland habitat, 50 acres of freshwater riverine wetland habitat, and 27 acres of coastal and maritime forest habitat. In addition to this, a total of 1.6 miles of stream banks and 72 acres of stream beds and channels would be restored. If passed into law, the HRE funding will allow for the rehabilitation of 39 acres of shallow water habitat, 52 acres of oyster habitat, the inclusion of two fish ladders to re-introduce and expand fish passages and control the flow rate volume along particularly the Bronx River. This investment holds long-term benefits and prevents large-scale degradation in the HRE. The result of these investments will cause drastic improvement to the anadromous fish population by improving quantity, but also expanding quality of habitat and life. In addition, these investments provide long term sediment stabilization while also reigning in shoreline erosion, which is crucial to New York and New Jersey's ability to mitigate flooding and habitat destruction along our rivers.
Overall, this funding is crucial to the viability and sustainability of the Hudson Raritan Estuary, and necessary to the long-term safety of constituents of New Jersey's 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th and New York's 5th, 6th, 8th, 13th, 14th, and 16th Districts, along with those in neighboring Districts. That is why we are urging you to include the Senate FY 2022 Energy and Water $1.2M dollars allocated for the Hudson Raritan Estuary and the House report language in the final FY 2022 final conference agreement. Thank you for your consideration of this request.