Yesterday, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged federal appropriators to allocate $2.32 million in federal funding to dredge the Port of Rochester’s Harbor.
This funding has been requested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its Fiscal Year 2016 Civil Works Budget and Schumer vowed to fight to make it an actuality. Schumer is urging the federal appropriators in charge of approving these funds to maintain this level of funding in upcoming budget negotiations.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers, a full dredging is recommended every two years, and although the harbor was dredged in 2014 to address sediment specifically caused by Superstorm Sandy, the Port of Rochester has not been on a routine dredging schedule since 2009.
Even though a routine dredge will enable the harbor to continue serving as a vital passageway for the City of Rochester, which greatly relies on a clear harbor to generate nearly $10 million annually in recreational benefits and support more than 140 local jobs.
Schumer said keeping the port dredged is also critical for public safety, as the Rochester Harbor is a designated Critical Harbor of Refuge for Great Lakes vessels and the base of operations for the U.S. Coast Guard Station Rochester.
“Keeping this harbor dredged will not only clear the way for commerce, it will also clear the way for increased job creation and economic development. Doing this will ensure that the Rochester area continues to reap the benefits of this harbor for years to come,” said Schumer.
According to Schumer, a full dredging is needed in 2016 to keep this vital passageway clear for economic development and safety purposes.