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Upton urges support for dredging southwest Michigan harbors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today sent a letter to the leaders on the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies asking them to support President Biden’s FY22 Budget Request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ operations and maintenance budget which includes funds for beach nourishment at seven harbors across Michigan.

Specifically, the President’s budget request includes $108.88 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ operations and maintenance program, with funds for dredging at several key harbors in Southwest Michigan including the Holland Harbor, South Haven Harbor, and St. Joseph Harbor.

“Southwest Michigan’s commercial and recreational harbors are the lifeblood of the coastal communities they serve, enhancing regional and local economic development and supporting local job growth,” Upton said. “I urge your support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ operations and maintenance budget as reflected in the President’s FY22 Budget Request.“

Upton also asked the Subcommittee leaders to consider adding New Buffalo Harbor to the list of key projects under the operations and maintenance program. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers listed New Buffalo Harbor as a capability in FY22 but was not included in the President’s Budget Request.

The full letter can be read HERE or below:

Dear Chairwoman Kaptur and Ranking Member Simpson:

As you work on the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, I urge you to support the President’s FY22 Budget Request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ operations and maintenance budget which includes funds for beach nourishment at seven harbors across Michigan.

Southwest Michigan’s commercial and recreational harbors are the lifeblood of the coastal communities they serve, enhancing regional and local economic development and supporting local job growth. According to the Michigan Port Collaborative’s Economic Impact Study, St. Joseph Harbor’s total economic impact reaches over $350 million and South Haven Harbor impacts nearly $150 million1. Maintenance dredging is necessary for maritime safety and to protect the local economies that rely on these harbors.

In particular, the President’s FY22 Budget Request includes $108.88 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ operations and maintenance program, with funds for dredging at several key harbors in Southwest Michigan including:

  • Holland Harbor - $516,000
  • South Haven Harbor - $500,000
  • St. Joseph Harbor - $1,068,000

Lastly, I ask that you consider adding New Buffalo Harbor to the list of key projects under the operations and maintenance program. As you may know, New Buffalo Harbor is on a 1- to 2-year dredging cycle and was last dredged in 2019 with FY18 work plan funds. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers listed New Buffalo Harbor as a capability in FY22 but was not included in the President’s Budget Request.

Once again, I urge your support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ operations and maintenance budget as reflected in the President’s FY22 Budget Request for dredging the harbors in Southwest Michigan, which are essential to jobs and economic activity up-and-down the region.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

 

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