COOS BAY, Ore. -- Rep. Peter DeFazio, along with two other members of the subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, held an open discussion with representatives from ports up and down the Oregon coast, as well as Washington.
The majority of the conversation focused on current issues the port systems face, such as dredging, bar issues, harbor depths, and jetty maintenance.
They also discussed the Corps of Engineers and the necessity of having them properly funded to ensure these harbors will continue to get their annual dredges.
The Harbor Maintenance Tax was also discussed, and how not diverting the revenue from it is vital to these port and harbor cities.
“Much federal investment has been made around our ports and harbors," said John Burns, representing the Port of Coos Bay. "When HMT revenue is diverted for other purposes, we lose our economic edge, federal investments are wasted, and our rural communities go into decline.”
The meeting lasted for about two hours, with open dialogue and questions being asked by members of the subcommittee and the representatives present.
DeFazio and the other subcommittee members will take their notes from the meeting back to congress, to work to find new ways to continue furthering the Water Resources Development Act.