Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) applauded the House passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act conference agreement (WRRDA, H.R. 3080).
“Ensuring adequate dredging and maintenance of our ports and harbors is a critical component of our regional economic success and prospects for job creation,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “There are real and specific benefits to Ventura County in this bill, and I’m proud to have been able to work with key local stakeholders to ensure the final bill benefits our community, our economy, and, ultimately, Ventura County’s families.”
The conference agreement includes several important provisions sought by Brownley.
- It increases authorization for the use of funds through the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) from 67% in fiscal year 2015 to 100% in fiscal year 2025;
- It included Brownley’s House-passed amendment to require the Army Corps of Engineers to consider Navy activities when assessing the operation and maintenance needs of ports and harbors; and
- It included Brownley’s House-passed amendment to require the Army Corps of Engineers to study and report to Congress within 270 days and biannually afterwards on the regional and local economic development benefits of harbor maintenance activities.
“We are grateful for the efforts of Congresswoman Brownley to advance this important legislation,” said Port of Hueneme CEO Kristin Decas. “It is a day of progress for our nation’s ports and bodes well for the Port of Hueneme.”
“Having increased Harbor Maintenance Trust Funds dedicated to maintenance is a critical improvement,” said Channel Islands Harbor Department Director Lyn Krieger. “The uncertainties and budget shortfalls for dredging have put great stress on communities and businesses that depend on their harbors. We are so grateful for Congresswoman Brownley’s efforts on our behalf.”
“Ventura Harbor is pleased that the House passed a Water Resources Development Act,” said Ventura Port District General Manager Oscar Pena. “The Harbor has argued for years that funds collected into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund should be used for the original purpose of the collection, which is harbor operation and maintenance. We applaud the Congress for addressing this fundamental issue, as well as setting aside funds for low use harbors. Without the respective set aside, the Ventura Harbor is extremely vulnerable. We are very grateful to Congresswoman Brownley for all of her efforts and support on the passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act Conference Agreement.”