The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas recently sent a letter to members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations seeking support for a proposal to include funding for dredging small and low-use ports in the fiscal 2013 budget.
In a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the MRAA said it was seeking the committee’s support for commercial and recreational fishing, recreational boating, and commercial shipping industries by providing necessary funds to maintain our nation’s navigation infrastructure for the dredging of often-overlooked small coastal and Great Lakes waterways and ports.
“Dredging of small ports, harbors and channels is necessary for the economic vitality of many communities that are home to head boats, charter fishing businesses, marinas and recreational facilities, boating retail businesses, recreational boaters and charter boat rental operations,” said the letter, signed by MRAA president Matt Gruhn and MRAA chairman David Foulkrod.
“We strongly support the proposal offered by Sens. Marie Cantwell, Ron Wyden, Debbie Stabenow, Jeff Merkley and Carl Levin in the FY2013 Omnibus, which would provide, at least, $30 million in additional Operations & Maintenance funding for small, remote or subsistence harbors nationwide,” the letter stated. “Dredging in small ports and channels nationwide remains critically underfunded, and the lack of adequate funding threatens the jobs of our citizens, the economic recovery of this vital industry and its economic competitiveness.”