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May 25, 2005:
WASHINGTON - Congressman Steny Hoyer today announced that the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations bill last night which included, at the request of Congressman Hoyer, $400,000 to help clean up the Anacostia River, $240,000 more than was included in Fiscal Year 2005.
"This project will make significant environmental and economic improvements to Prince George's County," said Congressman Hoyer. "The Anacostia River is a natural element that links the metropolitan region and the nation's capital. We have a wide and scenic urban river that is crying out to be restored, renewed and reclaimed for the people of this region and its visitors. I will continue to work to secure funds for the Anacostia as I believe we have a special responsibility to invest in this critical waterway for the surrounding neighborhoods, businesses, and visitors."
In the early 1990's, the Corps of Engineers completed a study of the present and future uses and problems of the Anacostia River's water and related land resources. A comprehensive plan of environmental alternatives was developed. The reconnaissance report made a number of important recommendations to address the degraded river system that is a gateway to our nation's capital. Since then the Corps has undertaken or participated in a variety of studies and projects in the watershed including the beneficial use of dredged materials, removal of fish passage blockages, and wetlands restoration. The quality of the watershed continues to improve greatly with these and efforts conducted by local, State, and other Federal agencies.
Congressman Hoyer has secured more than $30 million over the years for projects to improve the water quality of the Anacostia River and to restore the health and natural beauty of the river and the surrounding natural resources. These improvements enhance public enjoyment of the river, and improve the health of plants and animals throughout the watershed.
As the lead Federal agency in water resource management, the Corps has a vital role to play in the restoration of the Anacostia River. Last year, the Congress provided $160,000 for the Corps to develop an updated comprehensive plan for the Anacostia River in cooperation with local, State and Federal stakeholders. This plan is essential to the long-term health and revitalization of the watershed and this funding will continue the Corps efforts.