RECLAMATION OF MARSHES

December 19, 1879
Washington, D.C.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a draft of a bill submitted by The Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, entitled A bill to provide for the reclamation of the marshes in the harbors of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, and for other purposes, together with the accompanying letter of the president of the board requesting its transmission to Congress.

The bill embraces a plan for the reclamation of the marshes of the Potomac River and its Eastern Branch within the limits of the city of Washington, and is carefully framed with a view to economy in the prosecution of the work. The attention of Congress is again invited to the urgent need of legislation for this important work, which has been so long delayed.

The improvement contemplated is essential to the health of those who reside whether permanently or temporarily, at the capital, and to the safe and convenient navigation of the waters in its vicinity by vessels employed in the service of the Government and for the purposes of commerce. It is a measure of more than local benefit. The capital of the nation should be relieved from every disadvantage which it is practicable to remove, and should possess every attraction with which it can be invested by the intelligent and fostering care of those who are entrusted with its immediate supervision. The people of the country will sustain and approve the efforts of their representatives in the discharge of this responsibility.