Continuing their fight for JAXPORT and the economic growth and jobs that deepening the St. Johns River would bring to Northeast Florida, Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Congressman Ander Crenshaw spearheaded a bipartisan Congressional delegation letter to the House and Senate Transportation Committee Chairs and Ranking Members that pushes for the inclusion of the project in the Water Resources Development Act Conference Report.
The purpose of the letter is to advocate for contingency language in the conference report to authorize Army Corps of Engineer projects that receive a final Chiefs report up to one year after enactment of the bill.
If accepted, this change would allow JAXPORT to prepare the Port for larger modern ships set to arrive in 2015, since a deeper draft is critical to the continued viability of JAXPORT as an economic engine for Northeast Florida. Today, the Port provides 65,000 area jobs and $19 Billion a year in economic activity, and with a deeper draft, the Port has estimated that one shipping company alone would add 90,000 jobs to the region, serving as a tremendous boost to Northeast Florida’s economy.
Crenshaw, Chairman of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, said “Deepening the St. Johns River means more jobs, more trade, and more economic growth for the region; that’s why my support for this project remains strong and steady. If we do not act quickly, JAXPORT will fall behind competitors on the East Coast, and the economic engine that has driven this community for the past decade will be put in danger.”
WRRDA Conferee Congresswoman Corrine Brown added: “The Jacksonville Port and North Florida community that I represent simply cannot afford any more delays in preparing the Port for the larger, modern ships set to arrive in 2015. A deeper draft is critical to the continued viability of JAXPORT as an economic engine for Northeast Florida. Today, the Port provides 65,000 area jobs and $19 Billion a year in economic activity. With a deeper draft, the Port has estimated that one shipping company alone would add 90,000 jobs to the region. Yet without my amendment, these 90,000 jobs will be lost. Indeed, the headline from a local Jacksonville paper after the bill was introduced was titled: “JAXPORT’s Asian Terminal Gone if No Dredging This Year.” As a conferee, I am continuing to fight to ensure that the provisions that are helpful to the state of Florida are retained in the final conference bill, and am doing everything within my power as a member of the Transportation Committee to get this language included in the final bill.”
Press Release, January 10, 2014