(September 16, 2020- Washington, D.C.)– PRFAA assisted in coordinating the visit of several federal officials to Caño Martín Peña (CMP) in an effort to discuss the ongoing restoration project of the water body that extends for 3.75 miles in the San Juan Estuary. The CMP is one of the major priorities for the Government of Puerto Rico as the island continues to recover from damages caused by Hurricanes Irma and María. As the island continues with its recovery, it is vital to ensure the welfare and safety of the island’s citizens from the risks of future damages from flood storm events this hurricane season.
Currently, there are two bills in Congress that would provide funding for the CMP, H.R. 7575, the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA 2020), and S.3591, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020. H.R. 7575 passed the U.S. House of Representatives and would provide a $232 million increase in funding for the Caño Martín Peña Environmental Restoration Project (CMP-ERP) and feasibility reports on flood risk management projects for Rio Culebrinas, Rio Grande de Manatí, and Rio Guayanilla in Puerto Rico. The passage of these bills will provide much-needed resources and preparedness in the event of a storm. On the other hand, S.359 would stem the spread of invasive species; expedite the study of projects for flood risk management and give the San Juan Bay priority consideration under the National Estuary Program. Additionally, this bill would provide reauthorization for the Caño Martín Peña (CMP) restoration project.
“We continue to work to ensure the island has access to necessary resources as we shore up our preparedness for a major storm event,” said Jennifer M. Storipan, Esq. “Caño Martín Peña has been a priority for this Administration and an ongoing project for years. We don’t want an Irma or María situation to happen again. We urge the full Senate to follow the House’s lead and swiftly pass legislation that includes the CMP so we can continue to protect the welfare of thousands.”