News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) announced that she secured millions of dollars in new funding for the Columbia River channel deepening project. For the main channel deepening project, Murray secured the $15 million requested by the Bush Administration in the Senate's FY 2007 Energy and Water bill, which passed the full Senate Appropriations Committee today.

But in a tight budget year, Senator Murray went beyond the President's request and used her position to secure new dollars for channel maintenance and jetty repair. Murray added $1.384 million in new funding to maintain the new channel depth of 43 feet in areas that have already been dredged as well as $470,000 to dredge the Old Mouth of the Columbia at Longview. In addition, Murray secured $20,189,000 for jetty repair, $1,916,000 more than the President requested.

"This new investment is a shot in the arm for the project and will help strengthen and maintain the economic engine of Southwest Washington," Murray said.

Larry Paulson, Executive Director of the Port of Vancouver, praised Murray's work.

"We at the Port of Vancouver are truly appreciative of the continued commitment to fund the Columbia River Channel Improvement Project. It is this support for channel deepening that helped the Port secure eight long-term shipping contracts this last year," Paulson said. "The additional funding acknowledges the economic significance of this project to our region and beyond.”

Next, the full Senate will take up the Energy and Water appropriations bill. A date has not been set.