Congresswoman Elaine Luria made several stops on the Eastern Shore Friday, where she spoke with NASA officials at Wallops Island, discussed the ongoing impact of the shifting barrier islands off the coast of Chincoteague Island, visited a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mobile medical unit and participated in the Exmore town meeting to discuss the American Rescue Plan.

Representative Luria received an overview of UAS operations Wallops currently supports and the outlook with planned infrastructure projects, including an additional UAS hangar and new deep-water port on North Wallops Island. She also discussed regional economic development outlook for autonomous systems operating across land, air, and sea. During the meeting, Representative Luria learned about NASA Wallops support to Regional UAS work, including two ongoing UAS corridor studies; and, alongside VISA and the Commonwealth Institute of Technology, grants being pursued to grow UAS work on the Eastern Shore.

Later, Representative Luria visited the site of a proposed 3x3x3 Army Corps of Engineers study examining the natural widening of the Chincoteague Inlet and how exposure to the open ocean could create vulnerability in southern Chincoteague Island. 

Rep. Luria then toured the VA Mobile Medical Unit conducting exams on the Eastern Shore. She thanked frontline health care workers for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the town meeting, Representative Luria discussed how Exmore plans to use funding from the American Rescue Plan, which passed Congress in March. Included in the discussion was the towns plans to upgrade its sewage treatment plant. Funds from the American Rescue Plan will help expand sewage pipes to over 900 homes in the area.

Alexa WESR