The week of 19 March 2018, set maritime related records in Washington, DC, the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) said in their latest announcement.
The U.S. Maritime industry visited the largest number of Congressional offices in the nine-year history of the annual Congressional Sail-in.
The Omnibus spending bill approved by Congress and signed by President Trump provides much needed appropriations for water resource projects, dredging, beach nourishment and coastal restoration.
The Dredging Contractors of America and member companies participated in the Sail-in and advocacy for important funding and legislative provisions contained in the Omnibus Bill.
On March 20, 2018, more than 115 officers and representatives from U.S.-flag shipping companies, American maritime labor unions, and related maritime organizations and associations visited Capitol Hill for the ninth annual Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In.
Maritime industry leaders met with Senators, Representatives and staff in 169 Congressional offices to discuss the importance of the U.S.-flag commercial shipping industry and America’s civilian merchant mariners to the Nation’s economic, military and homeland security.
“We provided Congressional offices with up-to-date information about the programs and policies that enable the U.S.-flag merchant marine and its American crews to continue to meet the commercial sealift requirements of the Department of Defense, including the Maritime Security Program, the Jones Act and the U.S.-flag cargo preference shipping programs,” DCA said in their statement.
“Importantly, we emphasized that as our Nation dedicates its efforts to Buy American and Hire American it must also ensure that American cargo is Shipped American as another means to increase domestic employment, bolster America’s economy, and strengthen America’s commercial sealift capability.”
Under the $1.3 trillion Omnibus includes:
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program receives funding of $6.8 billion, an increase of $789 million from the FY17 levels. This includes $3 billion for navigation projects and studies, with $1.4 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and full use of revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, and $1.9B for flood and storm damage reduction projects, an increase of $215M above FY17;
- The Investigations account would receive $123 million; Construction at $2.085 billion; Mississippi River and Tributaries at $425 million; Operation and Maintenance at $3.630 billion; and $200 million for Regulatory;
- The legislation includes specific instructions for evaluating studies and projects that would be eligible for the additional funding provided, as well as directions for new starts;
- A detailed work plan must be provided to the Congress within 60 days of enactment (from March 23, 2018).