New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is again calling on federal officials to allocate funding for an emergency dredging of Hampton Harbor.
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen led a letter yesterday with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster, to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James, requesting that emergency dredging for Hampton Harbor be included in the OMB and Army Corps of Engineers’ fiscal year 2018 work plan.
The two agencies develop an annual work plan to address high-need projects following the implementation of government funding legislation.
The delegation wrote: “Since it was last dredged in 2013, the harbor has experienced significant shoaling that will require emergency dredging. The New Hampshire Division of Ports and Harbors has indicated that without this maintenance, the harbor could become unusable in the very near future. We ask that you include this project in the Fiscal Year 2018 Corps Work Plan to ensure Hampton Harbor remains functional.”
Due to shoaling within the harbor’s channels, commercial fishermen and other small businesses dependent on access to the harbor have struggled to work around the tides in order to reach the open ocean.
Dredging is typically done every six to seven years, however, the increased amount of shoaling that has taken place in Hampton Harbor has been unexpected, and requires emergency, off-cycle dredging, according to the New Hampshire’s congressional delegation.
The Corps released a Condition Survey in 2015 that confirmed shoaling has caused harbor depths to be shallower than the authorized depth. The New Hampshire Congressional Delegation previously called on the Army Corps of Engineers in April 2017 to dredge Hampton Harbor.
Hampton Harbor is New Hampshire’s largest commercial fishing port.
Owners of several charter fishing businesses have asked for the Corps to dredge Hampton Harbor, which was last dredged in 2013.