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Rep. Cuellar announces federal investment request for Binational River Park Project

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 11:21 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Efforts continue to get funding for the latest project along the Rio Grande, the Binational River Park Project. On Friday, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced he will be requesting $2 million in federal funding through the FY 2023 appropriations process.

“The Binational River Park is a critical project to ensure that humans, plants, and animals can continue living in South Texas safely,” said Rep. Cuellar.

If granted, the funding would be used by the Rio Grande International Study Center (RGISC) and the City of Laredo to restore a segment of the Rio Grande River, which is Laredo’s only source of drinking water.

RGISC Executive Director Tricia Cortez said for the Binational River Park Project to succeed—ecological restoration needs to happen.

“This earmark would allow us to undertake a significant restoration project to improve the health of the river, by tackling the proliferation of invasive species and reforesting with native plants and trees,” said Cortez. “This is critical to improving wildlife habitat and water security,” she added.

The project is expected to be completed in 12-18 months.

Cuellar’s office provided a breakdown of the funding:

o          Removal of invasive plant species ($200,000)

o          Reforestation with native trees, seeds, and plants ($700,000)

o          Hydro-mulching ($150,000)

o          Soil amendments and drip irrigation system ($175,000)

o          Salaries for project management ($150,000)

o          Interpretive signage and educational outreach to youth and the general public ($425,000)

o          Indirect costs/de minimis ($200,000)

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