CHARLESTON, S.C. --
The White House released the President’s Budget for fiscal year 2023, which included $46.3 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District’s Civil Works program. This budget represents a continued investment in the nation’s water resources infrastructure and in the mitigation and reduction of impacts due to flooding. Separate from projects identified in the President’s Budget for next fiscal year, the Charleston District will also receive an additional $5.5 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) signed last year by President Biden on Nov. 15, 2021.
President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2023
For next fiscal year, the President’s budget includes $300K in General Investigation funding for continuing the Waccamaw River and Watershed Study. The study received its initial $500K from the fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill that was signed into law by President Biden earlier this month. Horry County and its eight municipalities have experienced several catastrophic flood events since 2015, including Hurricanes Joaquin (2015), Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018). The study will investigate how the Waccamaw River and neighboring watersheds collectively function in large flood events. The desired goal is to collect and analyze the most current data and better understand what opportunities are available to reduce and mitigate impacts of riverine flooding, along with the feasibility of a range of flood management measures. The study will be cost shared with Horry County 50/50.
“General Investigation feasibility studies for the Corps of Engineers are generally three years in length and require funding in each of those three years. We were excited for the fiscal year 2022 omnibus to confirm our ability to start a new study for the Waccamaw River Watershed, and equally excited that the fiscal year 2023 President’s Budget continues the funding trajectory,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Johannes, Charleston District Commander. “Horry County is a great partner, and we look forward to continuing to combine our knowledge and technical expertise to study this critical problem.”
Additionally, the budget allocated operation and maintenance funds for six Charleston District projects. Funds consist of $34.4 million for Charleston Harbor, $4.6 million for the Cooper River Rediversion Project, $4.5 million for Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway dredging, $1.7 million for Folly River, $500K for Murrells Inlet dredging of hot spot shoaling and $25K for Georgetown Harbor. Allocated funds for Charleston Harbor operation and maintenance will enable the District to perform annual maintenance for operational areas of the Harbor. Funding for the Georgetown Harbor project will allow District personnel to coordinate with the SC Ports Authority and Georgetown County on the future of the project.
A study examining the possibility of deauthorizing the Port Royal, SC federal navigation project is also listed for $308K. The Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening project is nearing completion and was already fully funded, so no additional funds were needed in this budget.
Additional Funding from Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)
In addition to the $21 million received by the Charleston District through the IIJA earlier this year, the latest spending plan for the IIJA identifies additional funding for the following projects:
- $4 million was identified to initiate a new Environmental Infrastructure federal project for stormwater control measures and storm sewer improvements at Spring and Fishburne Streets for the City of Charleston.
“As the Charleston Peninsula Coastal Storm Risk Management Study reaches its final stage, the Charleston District is excited to be able to partner with the City of Charleston on other aspects of flooding issues through the Corps’ Environmental Infrastructure authority. Each of these separate projects are just pieces of a larger puzzle to address the complex flooding issues facing this coastal city,” said Johannes.
- $99,000 identified in the initial IIJA spending plan was increased to $1.5 million to complete the preconstruction, engineering and design phase and initiate the construction phase for the restoration of approximately 290 acres of cypress-tupelo bottomland hardwood forest for Polk Swamp, located in Dorchester County. Once implemented, the project will restore water flow and connectivity, remove invasive species, and reforest with keystone species.