Congressman Walter B. Jones has reiterated his call for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allocate funding to dredge New River Inlet in Onslow County, North Carolina.
In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy and Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick at the Army Corps of Engineers, Congressman Jones explained that shoaling conditions in the channel are impacting Marine Corps training and operations at Camp Lejeune.
Recent USACE surveys show parts of the channel at 4 to 6 feet deep, far lower than the 10 foot depth needed by the Corps and authorized by federal law.
Jones reminded that it is vital that the New River inlet remains passable to support missions at Camp Lejeune. That need was reinforced at a meeting Congressman Jones had with representatives of Camp Lejeune and Onslow County last week.
While Congress no longer has the ability to legislatively increase funding for specific projects because of an earmark ban imposed in 2011, Congress did attempt to address some of the waterway maintenance issues across the nation in the recently-passed Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations bill for the Corps of Engineers.
In that bill, Congress created several unallocated pots of money for different project categories, including “Small, Remote or Subsistence Navigation”. In his letter to the Corps’ top two leaders, Congressman Jones made the case that New River Inlet is exactly the type of project that Congress had in mind when it provided the Corps with these additional pots of money.