U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree have sent a letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move forward and fund critical dredging projects for York Harbor and the Saco River.
“Small ports and harbors like York and Saco River are the economic lifeblood for many coastal communities in Maine,” said Senators Collins and King and Representative Pingree in the letter.
“In allocating funds that Congress makes available to the Corps each year for the operation and maintenance of our nation’s water infrastructure, the law requires the Corps to consider factors other than tonnage transiting through a harbor, to include potential for regional or local economic development.
“In this respect, commercial activity on the Saco River – home to more than 40 commercial fishing vessels – contributes more than $53 million in economic impact to the community each year, and York Harbor produces a direct economic benefit of $12 million annually.
“To address these critical needs and maintain our essential water infrastructure, we urge you to prioritize funding in this fiscal year the maintenance dredging of both the York Harbor and Saco River FNPs, consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.”
The joint letter was sent to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy. Assistant Secretary Darcy supervises the U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, which is responsible for dredging to maintain channel depths in U.S. harbors and inland waterways.
The letter is available HERE.