LA - Letters: Good News for Dredging Is Good News for Louisiana
These are exciting times for the U.S. dredging industry, as companies respond to growing demand.
The Harbor Maintenance Tax is almost fully utilized for channel maintenance; larger vessels using the new Panama Canal are driving the need for capital projects, like the ongoing Mississippi River deepening; and moving sediments from places of great supply to places in short supply increasingly provides coastal protection and restoration. In Louisiana, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority‘s model 50-year plan is a big part of the demand equation.
These trends have led to an investment boom. As an integral part of the domestic fleet, U.S.-owned companies build and repair in U.S., and Louisiana, shipyards. We provide family wage jobs. We carry U.S. costs on our balance sheets with no national economic subsidies or tax preferences, thus contributing to Louisiana’s No. 1 ranking among the states for Jones Act-generated jobs.
The Advocate reported a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “assessment” found that large cutter suction dredges (CSDs) may be in short supply. Without examining schedules with the public, without examining competitiveness of large hopper dredges on these same projects, without considering reduced performance times by the most efficient dredges, and overlooking more than five large CSDs, the story made for an unfortunate headline in a time of such positive growth.