Rep. Peter DeFazio has announced that ports in Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District will receive an additional $4.5 million for operation and maintenance projects this year. The projects, which include dredging, are critical to local economies and the fishing industry.
This announcement comes after the U.S. Congress included $40 million for small ports in the Fiscal Year 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was enacted in January.
In February, Rep. DeFazio wrote a letter to the Army Corps to stress the need for additional funds at Oregon ports. It was co-signed by Senators Wyden and Merkley and Representatives Blumenauer, Bonamici and Schrader. Yesterday, the Army Corps announced how these and other 2014 funds for navigation maintenance would be allocated.
In total, Oregon ports received nearly $20 million in new funding.
Oregon’s ports and harbors are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. One in six Oregon jobs is directly or indirectly tied to cargo, recreation, industrial, commercial or other activity at Oregon’s ports. These ports also support the activities of federal agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard. Ports require routine dredging to ensure they are safe and operational, but have been severely underfunded for several years.
“I’m pleased to announce today that southwest Oregon ports will receive an additional $4.5 million which will be used for dredging this season, in time for summer sport fishing and for commercial fleets. This is truly good news. The funds will be a boost to local economies, providing our fishermen safer access and a good summer recreation season,” he said.
The breakdown for southwest Oregon ports in Rep. DeFazio’s district is as follows:
– Chetco (Brookings): $696,000;
– Coquille (Bandon): $413,000;
– Port Orford: $1,262,000;
– Rogue River (Gold Beach): $638,000;
– Suislaw: $698,000;
– Umpqua (Reedsport/Salmon Harbor): $861,000.
Press Release, March 6, 2014