Sherrill Targets Flooding, Harmful Algal Blooms for North Jersey in House Water Bill

December 9, 2020
Press Release
Peckman River Basin Flood Risk Management Project Hits Major Milestone

Inland Waters of New Jersey Targeted for Federal Funding to Detect and Prevent Harmful Algal Blooms

Washington, DC -- Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) delivered key wins for North Jersey in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The legislation included an authorization for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move forward with the Peckman River Basin Flood Risk Management project and directs the Army Corps to carry out a demonstration project in the inland waters of New Jersey for detecting and preventing harmful algal blooms (HABs).

“The Water Resources Development Act ensures that the federal government prioritizes key issues for New Jersey like flooding and harmful algal blooms,” said Rep. Sherrill. “Little Falls and Woodland Park have dealt with repeat flooding along the Peckman River for decades, and this legislation brings our communities a step closer to mitigating this persistent issue. We were also able to ensure that the federal government will step up efforts to detect and prevent harmful algal blooms at New Jersey’s lakes harmful to both the health of our environment and to our local businesses.”

The Water Resources Development Act: 

  • Authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out the Peckman River Basin Flood Risk Management project to study flood risk management measures along the river;
  • Directs the Army Corps to carry out a demonstration program for detecting, treating, preventing, and eliminating harmful algal blooms. These studies will be carried out at federal expense, and will specifically include the inland waters of New Jersey. Rep. Sherrill fought for the inclusion of New Jersey in the demonstration program in response to the HABs at Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest lake;
  • Includes a pilot program Rep. Sherrill requested to evaluate opportunities to address the flood risk reduction and hurricane and storm damage reduction needs for economically disadvantaged communities. Rep. Sherrill worked to include this program after hearing from residents about serious flooding in Morristown around Bethel Church after Hurricane Irene.

Representative Sherrill chaired an Environment Subcommittee meeting earlier this year on the science of federal flood maps related to climate change, during which she highlighted data-based issues that multiple municipalities in NJ-11 have faced with the flood map revision process.