Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to direct additional funding to Great Lakes navigation projects. In a bipartisan letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and Lt. General Thomas Bostick, Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers, Senator Baldwin, along with 10 Senate colleagues, called for additional resources to address the backlog of dredging and maintenance projects across Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. The dredging backlog forces ships to forego tens of thousands of tons of cargo each trip, increasing costs for shippers and consumers alike.
"While we appreciate the additional support you provided to Great Lakes navigation maintenance in FY2014, a backlog of unmet navigation system maintenance remains across the Great Lakes," the Senators wrote. "Therefore, we urge the Corps to direct additional resources for Great Lakes navigation projects in FY2015. This additional support is sorely needed to address the lack of maintenance of our locks, breakwaters, and dredging needs, which continues to force vessels to light-load, grounds vessels, impedes safe navigation, and closes harbors."
Baldwin has been a strong supporter of investments to strengthen Wisconsin’s water infrastructure. Senator Baldwin helped pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which addressed the Great Lakes dredging crisis and invested in Wisconsin's water infrastructure. In August of 2014, Baldwin toured Wisconsin’s freshwater coasts, focusing on how the Great Lakes and other major waterways contribute to our state’s economy and quality of life. Baldwin met with stakeholders to discuss how Wisconsin ports and navigational waterways support our Made in Wisconsin economy.
An online version of this letter can be found here.