On February 7, Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder released his proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which begins Oct. 1, 2013.
Included in the governor’s budget recommendations is $21 million for dredging harbors which is critical to Michigan’s boating, tourism, and shipping industries, and Michigan’s port communities around the state. The Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) commends the Governor for his recognition of the record low water crisis as he called on the legislature to pass this budget quickly.
The $21 million for dredging will come from two sources, $11.5 million from General Fund spending and $9.4 million in redirected funds from existing projects from the Waterways Fund. Additionally, legislation is being drafted that may produce other funding sources for dredging.
As Michigan is facing historically low water levels, we are pleased to see government working together at all levels. These efforts include researching funding sources for dredging, improving the dredging permitting process to include a more timely permit application turnaround, decreasing costs associated with dredging, and an expanded window for dredging cycles, to name a few.
Michigan ranks as one of the top states in the nation in registered watercraft. Recreational boating alone brings a $3.9 billion economic impact to our state. Our government leadership at all levels recognizes that dredging is directly linked to the success of Michigan’s economy, its water related businesses and the lifestyle of its citizens. The economic benefits tied to the investment in dredging needs cannot be overstated.
The MBIA thanks the Governor, the state Legislature, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Waterways Commission, and our Congressional representatives in Washington. Their efforts reflect a strong unified voice for Michigan’s waterways as an important part of Michigan’s history and its future.
Press Release, February 20, 2013