Press Release

January 19, 2022
Cardin, Van Hollen Applaud U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Including Over $42 Million for Maryland in Infrastructure Bill Work Plan

$37.5 million for Mid-Bay Islands project ensures clear shipping channels in the Chesapeake Bay and supports growth and competitiveness of Port of Baltimore

Corps’ plan also responds to senators’ calls for attention to small channels throughout Maryland

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Environment and Public Works Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee, and Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Appropriations Committee, today applauded the inclusion of $42.15 million in Maryland projects in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Work Plan. The plan includes a major victory for the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the economic vitality of the Port of Baltimore with the inclusion of $37.5 million in funding for the construction of the Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Ecosystem Restoration Project.

The project, which will rebuild the fast-disappearing James and Barren islands in Dorchester County, will provide a significant expansion of habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species through the beneficial use of material dredged to maintain the shipping channels for the Port of Baltimore. The project also will better protect local residents and shorelines from impacts of climate change, while improving navigational safety.

The Army Corps Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Work Plan also provides $4.65 million to fund four additional Maryland specific projects across the state:

  • $2.4 million for Northeast River in Cecil County for dredging and surveys
  • $2.15 million for Herring Bay and Rockhold Creek in Anne Arundel County for dredging and surveys
  • $50,000 for Slaughter Creek in Dorchester County for dredging engineering and design
  • $50,000 for Morgan State University’s Stadium Way in Baltimore for continuing a feasibility study

“The infrastructure bill enacted into law last year is now starting to deliver results for Maryland. By advancing critical projects like the Mid-Bay Islands restoration effort, federal investments will lay a foundation for economic and environmental benefits for years to come. These investments will promote new habitats for a variety of fish and wildlife, enhanced competitiveness for the Port of Baltimore, and safe navigation for the boats and ships on the Bay,” said Senator Cardin. “Having worked for years to make this vision a reality and procured an earmark to kick-start this project, I am deeply pleased that the Army Corps is taking decisive steps to guarantee the long-term success of this project.”

“Investing in Maryland’s waterways is crucial to both our state’s economic success and environmental well-being. That’s why we fought tooth and nail to secure federal resources for these projects – which will support the Port of Baltimore, improve the health of the Bay, and promote continued economic and job growth across our state. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I’ve been focused on delivering these critical investments, and I’ll keep working alongside the Army Corps to put our Maryland priorities front and center,” said Senator Van Hollen.

Senators Cardin and Van Hollen had spotlighted the Mid-Bay project as a top priority in December 2021 correspondence to newly confirmed Army Corps leadership.  A partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration, the Mid-Bay Island Project will build on the success of the transformational restoration effort at the Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Effort at Poplar Island. Construction at Poplar Island is nearing completion and will soon reach full capacity as a result of more than $25 million in annual federal funding for dredging to maintain operations at the Port of Baltimore.