Opening Statement by Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry Ranking Member Marcia L. Fudge

WASHINGTON, D.C.–- (RealEstateRama) — The House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry held a hearing titled, “Small Watershed Infrastructure: Continuing the Mission, Building upon Success.” Below is the opening statement from Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Conservation and the Forestry, as prepared for delivery.

“Thank you Chairman Lucas, and thank you for holding this hearing today. I know the Watershed Programs are near and dear to your heart, and I’m pleased to hear more about them today.

“The Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program and The Small Watershed Rehabilitation Program are important tools in our conservation toolkit. These programs play an important role in preserving the viability of our farming communities and landscapes.

“One of the biggest benefits of the watershed programs is the flexibility and engagement provided at the local level through project sponsors. These projects are largely dictated by local interests to help address resource concerns and the health and productivity of individual watersheds.

“With over 1,300 active or completed watershed projects, this program has left its mark around the country.

“As I learn more about this program, I’m amazed at the scope of projects that can be undertaken within this authority – from water quality; to soil erosion control; to fish and wildlife enhancement.

“This program seems even more important as we acknowledge the effects of climate change. Programs that help address flood mitigation and drought for our farmers only become more important with each passing day. These programs make our watersheds more resilient in the face of escalating extreme weather events.

“As you all know, Lake Erie faces challenges from toxic algae blooms that wreak havoc on ecosystems and taint drinking water for many Ohioans. As we discuss watershed programs today, I hope to learn more about the advances to improve water quality that may be beneficial to Ohio.

“As we begin moving toward the next farm bill, I am also looking forward to hearing more about watershed programs and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program which can utilize P.L. 566 authority.

“I’d like to thank the witnesses for being here today and for sharing their time.

“Thank you again, Mr. Chairman. I yield back. ”

To learn more about the watershed and infrastructure programs discussed in today’s hearing, please visit https://agriculture.house.gov/. To learn more about Congresswoman Fudge’s agriculture policy priorities, please visit https://fudge.house.gov/agriculture1/.

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