California Representative Jared Huffman announced earlier this week that over $11 million in long-awaited federal funding has been allocated for river maintenance in the Fiscal Year 2020 Army Corps of Engineers work plan for the North Bay.
Roughly $9.7 million will go to dredging the Petaluma River and $1.3 million will be allocated towards preparation work for the San Rafael Canal.
Huffman, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has helped lead the congressional effort to secure this funding.
“Local economies depend on ‘forgotten harbors’, like the Petaluma River and San Rafael Canal,” said Rep. Huffman. “I am thrilled that we will finally be able to address the recreational, commercial, and public safety problems that come from delayed dredging. The safety and viability of commercial and recreational traffic is the highest priority, and I thank the Army Corps for taking action on this urgent infrastructure need.”
Addressing the dredging backlog has been a priority for Rep. Huffman since his first term in Congress.
At a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing earlier this year, Rep. Huffman pressed Assistant Secretary James and Lieutenant General Semonite of the Army Corps about this significant regional dredging backlog.
The federal appropriations bills for 2020 directed the Army Corps to prioritize both dredging projects.
As a part of these ongoing efforts, Rep. Huffman took Lieutenant Colonel John Cunningham, the Corps’ Commander, and District Engineer, on a tour of the Petaluma River and San Rafael Canal last fall.
The Petaluma River has not been dredged since 2003.