Shallow draft ports
Our nations’ small ports and harbors serve as the lifeblood of their communities and greatly contribute to the nation’s economic vitality. They are home to fishing fleets, marinas and recreational facilities, and are critical to maintaining and creating jobs. The international trade, recreational boating and commercial fishing that takes place at these small ports is more important to the economic health of coastal port communities, and to our nation, now than ever before.
For FY2013, the pattern of severely cutting the Army Corps of Engineers budget for small shallow draft ports continued, leaving all PNWA supported projects of this kind completely zeroed out in the President’s budget. Without adequate funding, the navigation channels leading to these ports will silt in and the jetties protecting these communities will crumble. Many have small populations, and the ports provide employment for a significant proportion of these communities. Without the access to the ports, these communities will be left with nothing.
For the coming year, PNWA will be advocating for the inclusion of additional Operations & Maintenance (O&M) funding for these small ports, similar to the $30 million we saw in FY2012. We will be working to achieve more robust funding in these pots as well, as there are so many unmet needs especially in the Northwest.