This week Congressman Walter B. Jones urged the Obama administration to allocate federal funding for dredging on the New River Inlet.
Rep. Jones’ call comes after Onslow County leaders provided him with new information from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune stating that the Corps needs New River Inlet dredged to its authorized depth in order to accommodate their operational needs.
In a letter to White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan and several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leaders, Congressman Jones pointed out that after the presidents’ budget requests included an average of $663,000 a year for New River Inlet in fiscal years 2000 to 2011, President Obama’s budget requests for the past five years included no money for the project.
Congressman Jones also highlighted the fact that due to the ban on congressional earmarks, neither he or North Carolina’s U.S. senators have any ability to add money to the project through the legislative process. As a result, the funding (or lack thereof) specified for a project in the president’s budget request is, more often than not, the amount that ultimately gets spent on the project in any given year.
With that in mind, Congressman Jones called on administration officials to assure that, in both current and future fiscal years, federal funding will be allocated to New River Inlet at a level sufficient to meet the operational needs of the Marine Corps.