U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis announced recently his continued support for funding the Anclote River Dredging Project in a letter to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
In the letter, Bilirakis urged state officials to approve the City of Tarpon Springs’ application to help ensure Pinellas County remains a commercial hub and tourist destination for years to come.
“The economic value of the Anclote River is of significant importance to the City of Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County, and the Tampa Bay region at large,” Bilirakis said.
“Unfortunately, silt build up on the riverbed has caused many large boat operators to experience trouble navigating the river. In some areas, the water level is less than three feet deep at low tide,” Bilirakis continued.
“These risks have prevented a significant number of annually-porting vessels from docking at Tarpon Springs to offload their goods, which severely impacts many industries in the Tampa Bay area,” Bilirakis added.
According to Bilirakis, without dredging, the region could see a significant economic downturn for the 150 businesses which rely on the Anclote River, a decrease in tourism, and a shortage of available space for commercial fisherman, who must seek new locations to offload their catch.