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Ports Urge $8 Billion for Navigation by FY2009

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) issued a statement urging Congress to appropriate $8 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program and passage of an Energy and Water Appropriations Bill in time for the beginning of fy2009.

“Last year’s continuing resolution and delayed passage of a final bill resulted in both reduced funding and late receipt of funds by Corps districts. Deep-draft dredging projects need at least $500 million for construction, $1.1 billion for maintenance, and more than $10 million for studies, the group stated.

“The timely construction and maintenance of the nation’s deep-draft navigation system by the Corps of Engineers is essential to providing the infrastructure needed to accommodate waterborne commerce in the United States.

“Ports and federal navigation channels are a vital part of our transportation infrastructure, handling 99 percent of overseas trade by volume. Improving and maintaining federal navigation channels is critical to sustaining our leadership in global trade. These channels benefit our nation’s heartland by helping exports such as grain and coal compete in world markets. Ports are also vital to our national security. The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and other units of the Armed Forces depend on well-maintained harbors as bases of operation.”

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