WRDA Wonkfest! A Policy Deep Dive with Ryan Seiger on the Capitol Beach

January 14, 2021

2020 WRDA: A Deep Insider's View of US Water Resource Policy

On The Capitol Beach, Derek Brockbank talks WRDA with Ryan Seiger, the Staff Director for the Water Resources and Environment sub-committee of the House Transportation & Infrastructure committee. Ryan has been working on WRDAs on Capitol Hill for over 20 years and is one of the most influential people on coastal policy that no one outside the DC Beltway knows. They discuss policies from the recently passed 2020 WRDA, including Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, coastal resilience and natural infrastructure, beneficial use of dredged material, and environmental justice at the US Army Corps of Engineers. This pod dives deep into the weeds of the nation’s most recent water policy, while showing that legislative language tweaks can have real world impact on how our coast is managed.

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Derek Brockbank

Derek Brockbank is Executive Director of Coastal States Organization (CSO), which represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes issues. With two decades of experience in Washington DC on coastal adaptation policy and organizational development, Derek is connecting state coastal management programs with federal agencies and resources in order to address the greatest coastal challenges facing society. He previously served as executive director for the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) where he led the strategic planning and outreach, government affairs, and development goals of the nation’s leading organization advocating for beach and coastal restoration. Prior to starting with ASBPA, Derek worked as campaign director for a coalition effort to restore the Mississippi River Delta and Coastal Louisiana, and was part of a gulf-wide campaign to pass the RESTORE Act, securing billions of dollars for Gulf Coast restoration. This followed up on his work with National Wildlife Federation on climate adaption. Derek grew up in New York City and got his coastal education from an early age playing on the beaches of Long Island, and kayaking and fishing in Peconic Bay.