Last Wednesday, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment convened a hearing called “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and Investment in our Nation’s Waterways Matter.”
The intent of the meeting was to examine the role that ports, harbors and inland waterways play in communities and their economies and the importance of full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. Before the hearing, the National Marine Manufacturers Association sent a letter to the committee, thanking the members for participating.
In the letter, the NMMA wrote, “The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund was created to ensure that our nation’s harbors would always be properly dredged and fully operational, yet much of the fund’s annually collected revenue doesn’t make its way back to where it was originally intended and is desperately needed.”
The letter continued, saying that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that full channels at the nation’s 59 busiest ports are available less than 35 percent of the time. The NMMA also asked the committee to consider reforming the Corps’ dredging project prioritization process to “accurately account for the economic benefits of investing in projects that facilitate recreational use.”
Industry members can view the full letter here.