Insufficient Funding of Dredging Has Raised Safety Concerns / Project Will Promote Recreational Opportunities, Safety, Economic Growth in Philadelphia Area
Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize funding and work on the Schuylkill River dredging project. The Army Corps of Engineers has previously received congressional authorization to address these issues through dredging operations that would restore the river to a depth of six feet. However, the project has not received sufficient funding raising safety concerns. In a letter, Senator Casey urged the administration to dedicate sufficient resources to this project that will enhance safety, increase recreational opportunities, create jobs and spur the region’s economy.
“Dredging the Schuylkill will have a tremendous positive impact on everyone who enjoys one of Pennsylvania’s most popular natural recreation areas,” said Senator Casey. “As the Army Corps develops its plans and priorities for the next fiscal year, I am calling on them to prioritize providing funding for this important project that helps generate economic growth in the Philadelphia region.”
The text of Senator Casey’s letter is below:
Dear Assistant Secretary Darcy:
I am writing to request that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prioritize the Schuylkill River dredging project in its FY 2015 Work Plan for Operations and Maintenance. This project is necessary to keep the Schuylkill River safe and accessible for Pennsylvanians, and I urge you to ensure that the project receives the funds it needs to be dredged to the authorized level of six feet.
I have been advised that significant shoaling of the Schuylkill River has been taking place in the Philadelphia region for the last several years. I have been informed that the shoaling starts at the basin behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, extending from the Fairmount Dam and up to the Falls Bridge, and is most acute adjacent to Boathouse Row and on the rowing race course between the Columbia Railroad Bridge and the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. This activity not only raises significant safety concerns, but also interferes with recreational opportunities on the river.
The Army Corps of Engineers has previously received congressional authorization to address these issues through dredging operations that would restore the river to a depth of six feet. However, the project has not received sufficient funding resulting in safety issues. As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers develops its plans and priorities for the next fiscal year, I urge you to prioritize providing funding for this important project that helps generate economic growth in the Philadelphia region.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of my views. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact me or my staff.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator