WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT

The Water Resources Development Act is a biennial bill enacted by Congress that authorizes new water transportation infrastructure projects as well as protecting and maintaining existing water infrastructure systems including ports, dams, locks, and waterways. These programs address various aspects of water resources: environmental, structural, navigational, flood protection, hydrology, etc. Typically, the United States Army Corps of Engineers administers the bulk of the Act's requirements. In addition to the provisions concerning water transportation infrastructure, the bill also includes provisions to support management of aquatic invasive species including aquatic weeds, non-native carp, and Dreissenid mussels.

Current Legislation / Prior Legislation / Funding / Reports
Current Legislation

116th Congress:

Introduced: 6/12/19​

Status: passed Senate 7/10/19, passed House 12/8/20 as part of the fiscal year 2021 omnibus appropriations bill

 

For AIS language in the bill, see SEC. 505. INVASIVE SPECIES MITIGATION AND REDUCTION. (Page 4062)

 

The House 2020 WRDA website has Section By-Section Summary with the following AIS and invasive related mentions. Italicized text is taken directly from S. 1811. 

TITLE V—OTHER MATTERS
Sec. 501. Update on Invasive Species Policy Guidance. This section requires the Corps to periodically update its Invasive Species Policy Guidance.

(b) INCLUSION.—The Secretary may include in the updated guidance invasive species specific efforts at federally authorized water resources development projects located in—

(1) high-altitude lakes; and
(2) the Tennessee and Cumberland River basins.

Sec. 502. Aquatic Invasive Species Research. This section amends an existing authority for the Corps, through its Engineering Research and Development Center, to: (1) include aquatic invasive species prevention activities; (2) include research on elodea and quagga mussels; and (3) expand the scope of activities to include the Arctic, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes, and reservoirs operated by the Corps.

Sec. 503. Terrestrial Noxious Weed Control Pilot Program. This section requires the Corps to carry out a pilot program to address terrestrial noxious weed control on Federal land under the jurisdiction of the Corps, and to submit a report to Congress describing the new and improved strategies developed through the pilot program.

Sec. 504. Invasive Species Risk Assessment, Prioritization, and Management. This section authorizes the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force to develop a priority list of invasive species that impact the structure and function of the South Florida ecosystem and that have a strong potential to reduce key indicators used to measure Everglades restoration progress.

Sec. 505. Invasive Species Mitigation and Reduction. This section increases authorization levels for invasive species mitigation and reduction activities; adds two additional locations to an existing watercraft inspection station authority to control the spread of aquatic invasive species; and establishes a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) led pilot program to remove invasive plant species in certain watersheds.

Section 104 of the River and Harbor Act of 1958 (33 U.S.C. 610) is amended—

(1) in subsection (b)—

(A) in paragraph (1)—

(i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking ‘‘this section $110,000,000’’ and inserting ‘‘this section (except for subsections (f) and (g)) $130,000,000’’;

‘‘(D) $30,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(iv); and
‘‘(E) $10,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(v).’ ’

(III) in clause (iii), by striking ‘‘Arizona River Basins.’’ and inserting ‘‘Arkansas River Basins;’’; and (IV) by adding at the end the following:

‘(iv) to protect the Russian River Basin, California; and ‘‘(v) to protect basins and watersheds that adjoin an international border between the United States and Canada.’’; and

‘‘(B) LOCATIONS.—The Secretary shall place watercraft inspection and decontamination stations under subparagraph (A) at locations with the highest likelihood of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species into and out of waters of the United States, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Governors and entities described in paragraph (3).’’;

‘(2) DEVELOPMENT OF PLANS.—The Secretary, in coordination with the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, shall carry out a pilot program under which the Secretary shall collaborate with States in the Upper Missouri River Basin in developing voluntary aquatic invasive species management plans to mitigate the effects of invasive species on public infrastructure facilities located on reservoirs of the Corps of Engineers in those States

‘‘(2) INVASIVE SPECIES PARTNERSHIPS.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may 5enter into partnerships with applicable States and other Federal agencies to carry out actions to prevent the introduction of, control, or eradicate, to the maximum extent practicable, invasive species that adversely impact water quantity or water quality in the Platte River Basin, the Upper Colorado River Basin, the Upper Snake River Basin, and the Upper Missouri River Basin

‘‘(B) PRIORITIZATION.—In selecting actions to carry out under a partnership under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall give priority to projects that are intended to control or eradicate the Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) or saltcedar (of the genus Tamarix)

 

‘‘(B) PILOT PROGRAM.—The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, shall establish a pilot program under which such Secretary shall work with eligible entities to carry out activities—‘‘(i) to remove invasive plant species in riparian areas that contribute to drought conditions in— ‘‘(I) the Lower Colorado River Basin; ‘‘(II) the Rio Grande River Basin; ‘‘(III) the Texas Gulf Coast Basin; and ‘‘(IV) the Arkansas- White-Red Basin; ‘‘(ii) where appropriate, to replace the invasive plant species described in clause (i) with ecologically suitable native species; and ‘‘(iii) to maintain and monitor riparian areas in which activities are carried out under clauses (i) and (ii).

Sec. 506. Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention. This section expands the program to slow the spread of Asian Carp beyond the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River Basins and tributaries to all six sub-basins of the Mississippi River.

Sec. 507. Invasive Species in Alpine Lakes Pilot Program. This section requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish a pilot program to address aquatic invasive species in alpine lakes.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, shall establish a pilot program (referred to in this section as the ‘‘pilot program’’) to develop and carry out effective measures necessary to prevent, control, or eradicate aquatic invasive species in alpine lakes that are not located within a unit of the National Park System.

Sec. 508. Murder Hornet Eradication Pilot Program. This section requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish a five-year pilot program to provide financial assistance to States for activities necessary to eradicate the Asian giant hornet and restore bee populations damaged by the Asian giant hornet.

Sec. 509. Asian Carp Prevention and Control Pilot Program. This section requires the Corps to establish a new pilot program to carry out projects to manage and prevent the spread of Asian carp in the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers using innovative technologies, methods, and measures, and in coordination with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). This section also establishes a new program for the USFWS to provide financial assistance to States to implement measures to eradicate Asian carp.

Sec. 510. Invasive Species in Noncontiguous States and Territories Pilot Program. This section requires the Director of the USFWS to establish a pilot program to address invasive species in culturally significant forested watersheds in noncontiguous States and territories of the United States in which the Secretary is carrying out flood risk reduction projects.

 

Introduced: 7/13/20

Status: passed House 7/29/20, sent to Senate

Prior Legislation

115th Congress:

 

SEC. 1170. WATERCRAFT INSPECTION STATIONS. 
Section 104 of the River and Harbor Act of 1958 (33 U.S.C. 610) is amended—

(1) by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

‘‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—There is authorized to be appropriated 
to carry out this section $110,000,000 for each fiscal year, 
of which—

‘‘(A) $30,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(i); 
‘‘(B) $30,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(ii); and

‘‘(C) $30,000,000 shall be made available to carry out subsection (d)(1)(A)(iii). 

‘‘(2) CONTROL OPERATIONS.—Any funds made available under paragraph (1) to be used for control operations shall be allocated by the Chief of Engineers on a priority basis, based on the urgency and need of each area and the availability  of local funds.’’; and

(2) in subsection (d)—

(A) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.— ‘‘(A) WATERCRAFT INSPECTION STATIONS.—In carrying 
out this section, the Secretary shall establish (as applicable), operate, and maintain new or existing watercraft inspection stations—

‘‘(i) to protect the Columbia River Basin; 
‘‘(ii) to protect the Upper Missouri River Basin; and ‘‘(iii) to protect the Upper Colorado River Basin and the South Platte and Arizona River Basins. 

‘‘(B) LOCATIONS.—The Secretary shall establish watercraft inspection stations under subparagraph (A) at locations with the highest likelihood of preventing the 
spread of aquatic invasive species at reservoirs operated 
and maintained by the Secretary, as determined by the 
Secretary in consultation with States within the areas 
described in subparagraph (A).

‘‘(C) RAPID RESPONSE.—The Secretary shall assist States within the areas described in subparagraph

(A) with rapid response to any aquatic invasive species, including quagga or zebra mussel, infestation.’’; 

(B) by amending paragraph (3)(A) to read as follows:

‘‘(A) the Governors of the States within the areas described in each of clauses (i) through (iii) of paragraph (1)(A), as applicable;’’.

114th Congress:

Funding
  • Funding details

Reports