U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reintroduced legislation that would ensure increased funding for maintenance and operations of federal ports—including Toledo’s.
The Harbor Maintenance Act would ensure that funds deposited in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund go toward maintenance, operations, and construction at federal ports. Toledo Harbor supports more than 2,640 jobs and generates an estimated $121 million annually. U.S. Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) are the lead sponsors.
“The Toledo harbor is critical to the commercial and recreational life in northeastern Ohio. With the port and river supporting thousands of jobs, we cannot afford further delays to harbor maintenance which could slow commerce, stifle economic growth, and cost jobs.” Brown said. “The Harbor Maintenance Act would ensure that funds are spent to maintain and dredge Ohio’s 15 harbors each year, so that shipping and other port-related activities can continue without interruption.”
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Brown has fought to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The GLRI is an interagency effort to target the most significant problems in the region and jumpstart restoration efforts to protect, maintain, and restore the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of the Great Lakes. GLRI funding has helped support the removal of invasive species and plants in Ohio, funded the Toledo Harbor Sediment Management Plan, and provided resources for a comprehensive monitoring program to assess the nearshore Lake Erie water quality.
Press Release, February 8, 2013; Image: epa