Jaime Herrera Beutler Applauds Strong Funding for Key Columbia River, Coastal Port Funding in Army Corps Maintenance Priorities
Work plan includes Herrera Beutler-championed projects like jetty rehab at mouth of Columbia River, navigation channel dredging and small ports maintenance
Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2015 Columbia River Maintenance Priorities report released today that includes strong funding for Southwest Washington’s waterway infrastructure.Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2015 Columbia River Maintenance Priorities report released today that includes strong funding for Southwest Washington’s waterway infrastructure. As a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee that determines spending levels for federal agencies, Jaime successfully led efforts to provide adequate funding for waterway projects in the spending bill passed by Congress at the end of 2014.
The plan prioritizes $3.6 million in funds for jetty rehab at mouth of the Columbia River. It also includes $48,239,000 for dredging the Columbia River navigation channel and $2,400,000 designated specifically for small port maintenance in Ilwaco and Chinook.
“The Columbia River is the pathway for $20 billion in commerce each year, and I’m very pleased to have helped secure the necessary resources to maintain it,” said Jaime. “The Army Corps’ plan includes many crucial projects that so many job-creating businesses, from Vancouver to Idaho and beyond, depend on to move their goods. Continuing the rehab for the jetties and dredging the small ports along the Columbia River ensures we keep this economic lifeline working for our economy.”
The jetties at the mouth of the Columbia River protect vessels as they enter and exit the river, prevent large amounts of sand from entering and clogging the navigation channel, and protect the Lower Columbia Estuary from the ocean tide.
The jetties are near 100 years in age – the south jetty was completed in 1913 and the north jetty was complete in 1917. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the jetties have faced erosion over time and without rehab, one or both were likely to breach within the next five years. The cost of repair following a breach is estimated to be two to five times higher than fixing the erosion before a breach.
Last year, Jaime secured funds to begin the rehabilitation process at the mouth and the new funds will allow the work to continue in 2015.