News Releases

Murray Delivers $15 Million for Channel Deepening and $14.8 Million for Jetty Repair

Jun 26 2007

Senator Secures More Jetty Funding than the President Sought; Also Includes $1 Million for Baker Bay and Port of Chinook Dredging Projects

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) included critical funding to improve and maintain the Columbia River channel in the Senate's FY 2008 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.  As a member of the subcommittee that drafted the bill, Murray advocated for $15 million for channel deepening and $14,820,000 to maintain and repair the jetties that protect the mouth of the Columbia River.  The funding passed the Subcommittee today and goes to the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday (6/28).  

"The Columbia River is the economic engine that drives so much of our state. These investments will help keep our economy moving forward as long as we maintain them and that's what I'm working to do in this bill," Murray said. 

In his February budget request, President Bush sought $12,050,000 for jetty maintenance.  Senator Murray added an additional $2.77 million for the jetties, bringing the total in the Senate bill up to $14,820,000. The additional funding will be especially helpful in repairing damage to the North Jetty from strong winter storms.

Larry Paulson, Port of Vancouver's executive director, applauded the progress.

"We at the Port of Vancouver are truly appreciative of the continued and valued commitment by Senator Murray to fund the Columbia River Channel Improvement Project. We are also extremely pleased to see funding for the Columbia River Jetties.  While it is very important to make sure our river is dredged, we also need to make sure the jetties are secure.  Senator Murray understands that the Columbia River System is an integral and essential part of the Northwest Economy," Paulson said.

Other Important Southwest Washington Projects

Senator Murray also included funding in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for critical dredging projects at Baker Bay and the Port of Chinook.

Baker Bay - $500,000

This funding will go toward dredging for the Columbia River and Baker Bay (Ilwaco).  This project provides 108 year-round jobs and an additional 250 seasonal jobs. The President did not include any funding for this project in his budget.

Port of Chinook Dredging - $500,000

This funding will go toward dredging work in the Port of Chinook. Since the 1950's, the Army Corps of Engineers has dredged the Port of Chinook channel contingent on the Port's continued dredging of the Port basin – which the Port has faithfully done. This funding will help maintain a port necessary for the commercial and recreational fishing and processing that underpin this declining rural economy. The President did not include any funding for this project in his budget.