Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D., (R-South Louisiana) issued the following statement yesterday after voting to provide necessary levels of funding for harbor maintenance and dredging for America’s ports, harbors, and waterways:
“South Louisiana is home to some of America’s largest ports and most used waterways. I have met with many vessel operators and companies exporting goods and seen firsthand how a lack of proper maintenance and dredging has negatively impacted American competitiveness. Louisiana’s ports and harbors are severely underfunded with a growing dredging and maintenance backlog. A one foot loss in draft leads to an average loss of $1 million per day per ship. Restricted shipping schedules result in adverse conditions with costs ultimately passed on to the consumer. As a result, our state and nation are losing key ground on the competitive advantage built over many years.
“That’s why today’s vote was so important to South Louisiana and its waterways. It funds our ports and harbors to unprecedented levels topping $1 billion. The revenues collected from user fees associated with shipping should be utilized toward keeping America’s waterways properly dredged. As the nation’s 7th largest exporter of goods, Louisiana is fully aware of the vital role navigable waterways play in America’s global competitiveness. I firmly believe trade and access to and from America’s ports will go hand in hand toward establishing policies resulting in job creation and economic growth.”
Press Release, January 16, 2014