Great Lakes group calls for more dredging funds
The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, a group that promotes domestic and international shipping on the Great Lakes, called for the government to use the $5 billion surplus in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for “its intended purpose — dredging deep-draft ports and waterways.”
Releasing its annual report, the task force said because of a significant increase in funding to $140 million for dredging on the Great Lakes in fiscal year 2008, “the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was finally able to start reducing the backlog of sediment that is clogging the Great Lakes Navigation System”
The group said initially, “the outlook for the current fiscal year was not as positive, with the Bush administration's final budget proposing to reduce the lakes' dredging appropriation by nearly $50 million. 'Thanks to the Great Lakes delegation, the omnibus bill did bring the lakes' dredging appropriation back up to $125 million.” And it said more money may become available under the stimulus plan.