Congressman Peter DeFazio has joined members of the Oregon delegation in sending a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James encouraging the Administration to use a portion of federal funds for operations and maintenance projects at Oregon’s small ports.
Rep. DeFazio, along with Senators Wyden and Merkley and Representatives Schrader, Blumenauer and Bonamici, urged the Administration to use additional funds appropriated by Congress in the Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2020 to ensure that Oregon’s small ports receive the dredging funds they need.
Despite a continuing need for maintenance work, such as dredging, no funding was included in the President’s FY 2020 Budget for the Ports of Umpqua, Bandon, Garibaldi, Port Orford, or Depoe Bay.
“Our harbors along the Oregon coast can be particularly challenging due to unpredictable weather, the increasing intensity of storms, and especially dangerous wave conditions at our entrance channels,” Rep. DeFazio wrote in the letter. “Maintenance dredging and jetty repairs are needed to ensure our ports can serve their most critical purposes as economic engines for coastal communities and harbors of refuge for mariners of both commercial and recreational vessels.”
The members also added: “We urge you to include critical Federal investments in the FY2020 workplan to address deteriorating jetties and breakwaters associated with Federal ports and harbors that will help to reduce the long-term maintenance needs of these ports and harbors, and ensure the continued availability of coastal ports both for the businesses and economies that rely on these facilities, as well as the safety of mariners that utilize our Oregon coastline.”