The following is a statement from Tom Smith, Executive Director, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 within the omnibus spending package, passed by Congress on December 21, 2020. 

WASHINGTON, DC - Today was a win for our nation's levees, dams, inland waterways, and ports, which are critical for keeping the economy moving and ensuring public safety. We are thrilled the Senate prioritized these systems by passing the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2020, which includes many key elements, such as protecting communities from flooding and continuing to unlock the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), which will allow $2 billion annually of the fund's $10 billion balance to be spent on the needed dredging at our nation's ports and inland harbors-its intended purpose. Optimizing the HMTF is an important step in raising the nation's "C+" ports grade. This legislation has long-received bipartisan support, so we hope the President acts swiftly to sign this legislation into law so we can work to modernize these vital water systems." 


Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit or and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.