Port Manatee Deepening Study Reaches Milestone

Port Manatee Harbor Deepening Study, related to the deepening of its channel and harbor area, has gained full funding in Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget.

Manatee Harbor, near the Gulf of Mexico entrance to Tampa Bay, currently has a depth of 40 feet.

The port is targeted to receive $700,000 in feasibility study funding in the federal budget for the fiscal year that begins October 1st 2015, covering the complete expense of the study. In addition, the budget includes $300,000 for maintenance and $100,000 for operation of Manatee Harbor.

Port Manatee is deeply appreciative of this funding, which represents a milestone in our efforts to reach our target harbor depth of 45 feet, which will allow us to accommodate the majority of vessels transiting the expanded Panama Canal,” said Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee in a press release.

We are thrilled at the prospects of being able to serve larger ships for generations to come,” Buqueras said. “The fact that the Manatee Harbor study was one of just a few to be funded is indicative of the federal government’s recognition of the importance of our port and those we serve.”

Port Manatee serves bulk, breakbulk, container, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without the benefit of ad-valorem taxes.

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