Last Thursday, December 11th 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the 2015 government funding bill that includes several Southwest Washington priorities.
The bill, championed by congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, includes more than a billion dollars for dredging and harbor maintenance.
Jaime was able to secure $1.1 billion in harbor maintenance from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) with $42 million of the HMTF designated specifically for small ports like Ilwaco, Chinook and others along the Columbian River.
The HMTF was created with the purpose of waterway and port maintenance and is funded by a tax importers pay when using U.S. ports. Historically the fund takes in millions of dollars more each year than is expended. The bill also provides over $25 million for maintenance on the mouth of the Columbia River, including critical jetty rehabilitation.