Yesterday, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), co-chair of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force, announced an additional $2.2 million in fiscal year 2014 to complete a full dredging of the Port of Rochester and an additional $350,000 to complete a full dredging of Irondequoit Bay.
This funding is in addition to the $1.2 million originally allocated in the Disaster Relief Act in 2013 to dredge 100,000 of cubic yards of silt that accumulated in the Port of Rochester and $410,000 to dredge 10,000 cubic yards of silt that accumulated in Irondequoit Bay from Superstorm Sandy.
In December, Rep. Slaughter sent a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to provide 2014 funding to complete a full and cost-effective round of dredging. This new funding will ensure that the Port of Rochester and Irondequoit Bay are properly dredged to a federal standard of 21 feet and 9 feet respectively.
“We will finally be able to maximize the potential of our lakeshore by conducting a full dredging of the Port of Rochester and Irondequoit Bay for recreational and commercial boaters alike,” Rep. Slaughter said. “I thank the Army Corps for committing to a full dredging. By importing $10 million worth of goods every year, the Port supports important local jobs and our community cannot risk a long-term interruption of service. Irondequoit Bay is not only a crucial harbor of refuge for boaters, it is a summer destination that brings visitors and their checkbooks to our region.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Slaughter and a bipartisan coalition of Great Lakes Representatives pushed for $30 million in additional funding for the Great Lakes Navigation System (GLNS). The Representatives pointed to the need for better connected navigation channels as well as better maintained navigational locks, harbor channels, and harbor structures.
Rep. Slaughter also introduced H.R. 2273, the Great Lakes Navigation System Sustainability Act last year, which would establish the Great Lakes Navigation System (GLNS) as a single, comprehensive system for better budgeting. The legislation, which was included in the House version of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) that passed the House last December, would authorize commercial and recreational navigation projects in the Great Lakes and recognize them as a unified entity to ensure adequate funding.
Press Release, March 5, 2014