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June 9, 2022 (WASHINGTON) –

Yesterday in the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, Congress passed language from Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Amy Klobuchar to protect the future of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock. This legislation provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to carry out water resources development projects and conduct studies to provide improvements to the nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure.

“I am thrilled our language to protect the future of the Upper Lock was passed out of Committee and included in the final passage of the Water Resources Development Act,” said Rep. Omar. “This passage builds on our work since 2019 to protect the historic segment of the Mississippi riverfront and ensure this sacred site will be available for future generations. This legislation will ensure the public retains ownership of the Upper Lock, provide new opportunities for federal protection of drinking water, and keep a continued barrier against invasive carp. I am grateful for the partnership of my Senate Colleagues, the City of Minneapolis, Friends of the Falls, Robert Lilligren with the Native American Community Development Institute, Carrie Day Aspinwall with the Native Partnership Council, and many other stakeholders in my district who made this victory possible.”

“I am glad this bill passed the House and is a continuation of the work that we have done since 2014 to protect Minnesota’s lakes and rivers,” said Klobuchar. “I included similar language in the Senate version of the Water Resources Development Act that passed Committee last month. I’ll keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get it passed through the Senate and signed into law.”

“Transforming this centerpiece of our city is a historic opportunity,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “Our beautiful Mississippi riverfront deserves to be highlighted and the history of our Indigenous community deserves to be honored. These goals are best ensured through a publicly owned site, which is required by this legislation. I’m grateful to Congresswoman Omar for her leadership on this pending legislation, and I am more than excited to work with the Corps of Engineers in prioritizing this effort.”

“These federal actions are critical to our ability to advance final details of the conveyance with the Army Corps of Engineers, the current owner,” said Kjersti Duval, Project Director of Friends of the Falls. “Congresswoman Omar’s amendments help to advance a shared vision for eco-restoration on and near the site, and will enable us to continue to plan for enhanced recreational and cultural discovery on the riverfront.”

Omar was successful in getting language included in the Water Resources Development Act that passed out of Committee and in the final House passage.

Klobuchar successfully worked to get the provision included in the Water Resources Development Act that passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously last month, and she is continuing to push to get the bill passed through the Senate.

You can read the full bill text here and find more details on the bill here.