Senators And Representatives Fight For Small Port Dredging

Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR-4), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), and Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), today announced that the Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) will dedicate new funding for dredging and maintenance of four of Oregon’s small ports. The funding announcement follows a letter that the Senators and Representatives sent earlier this week urging the Army Corps to dedicate additional funding for projects at Oregon’s small ports in their 2017 work plan.

“This funding will make a tremendous difference for safety, economic vitality, and job creation along Oregon’s coast,” said Merkley. “This is terrific news for Bandon, Depoe Bay, Gold Beach, and Newport. This funding is especially critical for Gold Beach, which was at risk of losing Coast Guard Search and Rescue capabilities, putting lives at risk and effectively grinding a productive working port to a halt. Getting these urgently-needed dredging projects moving is a great investment for Oregon and our nation.”

“Oregon’s small ports power our coastal economies by generating good-paying jobs in commercial fishing, recreation and much more,” Wyden said. “I’m glad to see the federal government recognize the importance of coastal communities by investing in our ports, which will now be able to complete crucial dredging projects that keep these communities afloat.”

“Oregon’s ports and harbors are the lifeblood of the communities they serve.  Thousands of Oregon jobs are directly or indirectly tied to cargo, recreation, industrial, commercial or other activity at Oregon’s ports,” said DeFazio. “These critical investments in dredging and maintenance will help ensure Oregon’s small ports stay open for business and boost local economies. I applaud the Army Corps for including this essential funding in their Work Plan.”

“Oregon’s ports are critical to economic development and they serve as a link to connect Oregon businesses and agriculture with international markets,” said Bonamici. “I’m pleased to see that the US Army Corps of Engineers will be investing in small ports in Oregon. Investments in marine infrastructure are important to growing our economy in the Northwest, and this is positive news for our region.”

“This is a testament to what Congress can do when it ignores ideological differences and works across the aisle to strengthen local communities,” said Blumenauer. “I’m glad the Army Corps understands these needs. This will make a difference.”

The new funding for small ports includes:

  • Coquille River (Bandon): $467,000
  • Depoe Bay: $27,000
  • Rogue River (Gold Beach): $800,000
  • Yaquina Bay and Harbor (Newport): $893,000