Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Ted Deutch and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson yesterday held a press conference at Port Everglades to talk about the widely-supported expansion of Port Everglades, and how the recently passed bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) effects the project.
“Expansion of the Port Everglades will eventually mean thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars of economic impact for South Florida,” said Frankel, who served as a member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Conference Committee that advanced the legislation.
“Sometimes bipartisanship does prevail in Washington, and when it does, it typically means more jobs, a stronger economy, and a better protected environment for South Floridians. Such is the case with WRRDA. In so many respects Florida is an economic gateway to, from, and within the U.S. and this funding will better prepare the Port and the state to participate in the global economy,” said Wasserman Schultz.
“Most people have no idea what WRRDA is, but the truth is the Water Resources Reform and Development Act plays a vital role in South Florida’s economy,” said Congressman Ted Deutch. “WRRDA’s inclusion of measures advancing the expansion of Port Everglades, the restoration of the Everglades, and enhancements to South Florida’s freshwater resources represent the culmination of years of advocacy from local officials, business leaders, and the Florida congressional delegation.”
“Passage of the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) means jobs for Floridians and millions of dollars of revenue for the state. WRRDA will strengthen our water infrastructure, increase global competitiveness, and streamline our infrastructure development process,” said Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson.
WRRDA directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to proceed on important water infrastructure projects across the nation. Port Everglades, although not named in the bill, will be allowed to proceed with its expansion with non-federal money once it receives its Chief’s Report. It will be allowed to seek reimbursement or credit for monies spent once it receives authorization in subsequent WRRDA legislation.
Port Everglades is the 12th leading container port in the U.S. and is considered a South Florida economic powerhouse. It is in an international race to deepen the port to accommodate larger post-Panamax ships. Its expansion, allowing for an expected cargo increase, is projected to create 7,000 new direct jobs in the region, along with an additional 135,000 indirect jobs, and $500 million in economic impact.
Press Release, June 18, 2014