Congressman Joe Courtney has just released the following statement on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Draft Dredged Material Management Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Long Island Sound.
“A sustained effort to maintain federal waterways and access to Connecticut’s many ports and harbors is critical to our regional economy and the free flow of commerce through Long Island Sound,” said Congressman Courtney.
“Studies have shown that maritime-related commerce provides nearly $7 billion in economic output and 40,000 jobs in Connecticut alone. For years, we have advocated to the Army Corps of Engineers to keep critical waterways, such as the Thames River, which provides our nuclear submarine fleet access to SUBASE New London and Electric Boat, safe for navigation.”
According to him, continuing access to open water placement of dredged material that is too fine-grained and salt water-heavy for on-land placement is an important option for the Army Corps to complete these crucial projects, as ending the practice would be prohibitively expensive and logistically difficult.
“While I support the examination of alternatives—a beach in Madison, CT was restored using dredged sand, and strengthening local practices to prevent damaging runoff into our waterways—open water placement remains critical to our regional economy, which relies on full access within Long Island Sound.”
The proposed rule is a step in the right direction to ensure that the Army Corps has the tools it needs to perform necessary dredging activities in years to come.