WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced that several of her key priorities passed the House today as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020. The bipartisan legislation will make critical investments to address water infrastructure needs across the country and in the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River regions.
Building on her work from the 2014 Water Resources Development Act that closed the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, the legislation includes Klobuchar’s provision to transfer ownership of the property surrounding the Lock and Dam from the Army Corps of Engineers to the City of Minneapolis. This will allow for enhanced public access to the Mississippi River and recreational opportunities at the Lock and Dam site in downtown Minneapolis.
“When we invest in our waterways and infrastructure, we invest in a clean, safe environment that will benefit our children for generations to come,'' Senator Klobuchar said. “In addition to improving water infrastructure across the country, this bill will help create more public recreation space along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis and help protect our beloved Great Lakes. I look forward to working to pass this bill in the Senate.”
Klobuchar’s priorities in the bipartisan water infrastructure bill agreement include:
- Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam: The bill includes Klobuchar’s provision authorizing the conveyance of the property adjacent to and surrounding the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam from the Army Corps of Engineers to the City of Minneapolis, which will restore public access and allow for the revitalization of the Lock and Dam site.
- Invasive Species: The bill includes provisions to authorize and expand programs designed to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basin.
- Great Lakes Coastal Resilience: The bill directs the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a comprehensive assessment on and respond to changing climate conditions in the Great Lakes region that have threatened shoreline communities through high water levels, flooding, and erosion.
- Inland Waterway Trust Fund: The bill expands the use of the Inland Waterway Trust Fund in order to accelerate the completion of many long-term projects to modernize locks and dams and allow for the continued movement of commodities on our nation’s waterways.
As one of the vice-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Klobuchar is a leading advocate for the protection of the Great Lakes. She has worked to bolster pollution clean-up efforts in the Great Lakes, prevent diversions of Great Lakes water out of the region, and establish new water conservation and environmental protection standards in the Great Lakes area. She has also fought to keep aquatic invasive species out of Minnesota’s rivers and lakes.