Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) yesterday called for a meeting with top federal officials and Dare County leaders regarding funding for maintenance dredging of Oregon Inlet.
In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy, Congressman Jones explained that although the White House Council on Environmental Quality promised in 2003 to consistently provide funding for dredging to keep the channel maintained, dredging dollars in presidential budget requests have decreased almost every year – with the request for Fiscal Year 2015 coming in woefully short at $800,000.
Because of the ban on congressional earmarks, funding for Oregon Inlet cannot be increased through legislation.
This lack of funding has caused the channel, authorized at 14 feet deep, to shoal in to less than 4 feet in some areas, effectively closing it to most marine traffic and negatively impacting fishing fleets and the local economy, which depend on the inlet.
Congressman Jones’ letter requests that Assistant Secretary Darcy meet with him and Dare County officials to discuss funding options for Oregon Inlet moving forward.
Press Release, April 30, 2014