Oregon's coastal ports are used for commercial and recreational purposes and are an integral part of the state's economy. Years of federal budget cuts have left the ports in need of maintenance and dredging.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is allocating $20-million in new funding for Oregon ports. Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio had lobbied for additional money for ports in his Southwest Oregon district, which he said are in dire need of dredging.
DeFazio: "Port Orford is shoaled in so much that you can barely get boats in at high tide and they have to be out of the water at low tide. Other harbors have seen their entrance channels shoal in and become dangerous. We're going to get a 4-and-a-half-million dollar appropriation for Southwest Oregon ports. That work will be done this dredging season in time for summer sport fishing and providing for our commercial fleets."
The allocation includes more than $1.2-million for Port Orford, $698,000 for the Port of Siuslaw and $861,000 for the Port of Umpqua, which includes Reedsport. Other ports receiving money include $696,000 for Chetco in Brookings, $413,000 for Coquille in Bandon and $638,000 for Rogue River in Gold Beach.