A bill in the relief package approved by Congress on Dec. 21 will provide more reliable funding for harbor maintenance. Oregon 4th District Rep. Peter DeFazio told KLCC he’s been fighting for this provision for 20 years.
DeFazio said a dedicated container tax that’s meant for harbor maintenance has long been diverted by congress. He said there’s $10 billion in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund that has finally been unlocked by the recent legislation. He says this will allow small Oregon ports to do dredging and jetty maintenance projects they have long put off.
“And it’s going to be very helpful for the coastal economy in terms of sports fishing and commercial fishing, and the coast guard have been limited in some of their activities because of shoaled in harbor entrances,” DeFazio said.
DeFazio said the legislation will provide up to $3 billion a year for port maintenance nationwide. He said the funding could be put to immediate use on the Coos Bay North Jetty rehabilitation project.
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