The Great Lakes - More Than Just an Economic Engine
U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced yesterday that they have secured a major increase in federal funding to dredge and maintain federal Great Lakes harbors in the final Water Resources Development Act.
The 2020 Water Resources Development Act continues the lawmakers’ commitment to ensuring funding in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is used to dredge and maintain Michigan’s ports, harbors, and waterways.
It requires the Army Corps to allocate 13% of all money appropriated from the Trust Fund to the Great Lakes – up from 10% under current law. In addition, the legislation calls for the Great Lakes to receive at least 13% of the $10 billion that was collected but remains idle in the Trust Fund.
This increase in the percentage designated for the Great Lakes should mean hundreds of millions in new funding to address the backlog of dredging and harbor maintenance needs.
In the 2014 Water Resources Development Act, Stabenow and Peters were instrumental in requiring that by fiscal year 2025, all funding in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund must be spent on its intended purpose of supporting federally authorized harbors and waterways.