Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
By W. Scott Bailey
President Joe Biden has allocated more than $2.3 million in his proposed budget to help fund San Antonio’s Westside Creeks Ecosystem Restoration Project.
Backers of the infrastructure project said it will mitigate flooding, improve water quality, facilitate more recreational spaces and spark economic development.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, whose congressional district includes parts of San Antonio, said the funding will “encourage more tourist dollars to flow into local businesses” on the West Side.
The funding will support preconstruction engineering and design work, according to the San Antonio River Authority, which is sponsoring the project along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A Bexar County federal delegation — which includes Doggett and U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo; Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio; and Tony Gonzales, R-San Antonio — pushed for the federal funding, which must be approved by Congress.
The Westside Creeks Ecosystem Restoration Project is a critical investment, said Cuellar, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, who has worked for years to secure the funding.
“This project would revitalize economically and environmentally distressed areas in San Antonio,” Gonzales said.
The urban waterway project would transform 11 miles of Alazán, Apache, Martinez and San Pedro creeks by restoring aquatic ecosystems and creating more natural channels.
Bexar County officials have been strong advocates for the project in part because of the economic impact it could have on West San Antonio.
The project stems from a restoration effort launched by the River Authority in 2008.
“The inclusion of the Westside Creeks Ecosystem Restoration Project in President Biden’s proposed budget gives real hope that this important revitalization effort will be funded and completed,” Castro said.