Army Corps work plan includes $42 million for Delaware River dredging

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (Both D-Del.), outspoken advocates for the Port of Wilmington and the jobs it creates for Delawareans, announced on Tuesday that the Army Corps of Engineers’ work plan will include approximately $20 million in additional funding for the remainder of FY 2013 to deepen the Delaware River shipping channel, which will help attract more ships and business to the port. Army Corps funding for the project now totals $42 million for FY 2013 — a roughly $10 million increase over the amount proposed in the President’s FY 2013 budget. The senators have long championed this important investment and urged the Army Corps to fund the project at the highest possible level during FY 2013.

“One of the main things government can do to create a nurturing environment for businesses to grow and create jobs is to invest in infrastructure,” said Senator Carper. “This decision by the Army Corps will put nearly 20 million more dollars into deepening the Delaware River – invigorating commerce in Delaware and improving our shipping channels and the Port of Wilmington. These measures will boost our economic recovery and help us better manage our natural resources. Additionally, this funding will benefit Delaware’s coastal communities by sending dredge resources to Broadkill Beach for beach replenishment and storm risk reduction. Moving forward with this project will boost Delaware’s economy, environment and tourist communities. It’s truly a win-win-win.”

“The Delaware River deepening project is a smart investment that will mean new jobs
and new business for the Port of Wilmington and the Delaware Valley,” Senator Coons said. “The project is more than halfway to completion, and it’s more critical than ever that its steady progress be allowed to continue. I am grateful for the commitment the Army Corps has shown to the deepening project and to investing in the long-term growth of Delaware’s vital maritime trade industry.”

Deepening the Delaware River channel from 40 to 45 feet in order to accommodate larger vessels will reduce shipping costs and make maritime transportation more efficient, bring more trade to our region, attract private investment, and ensure that our region will remain competitive in the global marketplace. Deepening the river is expected to create an estimated 75,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the DelawareValley. This includes permanent, high-paying jobs as well as short-term construction jobs that will aid an industry hit hard by the economic downturn.

Senators Carper, Coons, and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) sent letters to Assistant Secretary of the Army-Civil WorksJo-Ellen Darcy and former Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeffrey Zients in April requesting additional funding in the Army Corps’ FY 2013 work plan for the dredging project.