Rep. Peter DeFazio has announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allocate nearly $15 million this year towards operations and maintenance projects at small ports along Oregon’s south coast.
“Our ports along the Oregon coast are the lifeblood of coastal communities, and our coastal infrastructure supports communities all throughout the state,” said Rep. DeFazio.
In April, DeFazio spearheaded a letter sent to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James urging the Administration to fund critical navigation needs of Oregon’s small coastal ports, above the President’s budget request to Congress.
The President’s budget request included only $9.4 million for ports on Oregon’s south coast. An additional $5.6 million was included in the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2018 Work Plan. In total, the Work Plan designated nearly $15 million for the Ports of Coos Bay, Bandon, Brookings Harbor, Gold Beach, Port Orford, Siuslaw, and Umpqua.
The Corps operations and maintenance projects, which include dredging, are critical to local economies and the fishing industry. These ports also support the activities of federal agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard. Ports require routine dredging to ensure they are safe and operational, but many have been severely underfunded.