Wyden, Merkley Secure Millions for Coastal Dredging Projects

Washington, D.C. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announce today that the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 includes nearly $250 million for Oregon projects including $23 million to funds integral waterway maintenance and dredging projects up and down the Oregon coast. These funds are part of the annual funding for Fiscal Year 2009, and will complement the funding provided through the economic recovery legislation last month to improve our nation’s infrastructure and allow the Oregon coast to remain vital to our economy.

Our state relies on its waterways, Wyden said. Without sound dredging policy and the finances to back it up, the commerce of western Oregon would be severely damaged. Boats can’t deliver goods if they can’t get to the ports. This money will make sure Oregon’s coastal communities can still thrive.

The strength of Oregon’s economy flows through its waterways,” Merkley said. Regular maintenance of our rivers and bays leads to busy ships and bustling ports. These are the economic linchpins for our coastal communities.

The Omnibus appropriations bill includes nearly $9 million for dredging operations at nine of our most important waterways. Regular maintenance and dredging of these waterways keep our state’s economy running smoothly by allowing for the quick and easy transport of goods throughout the entire pacific northwest.

The dredging and maintenance projects funded in the Omnibus bill include:

Coquille River Maintenance Dredging- $285,000

Mouth of the Columbia River Dredging- $14,223,000

Coos Bay Maintenance Dredging- $4,624,000

Chetco River Maintenance Dredging- $533,000

Rogue River Maintenance Dredging- $387,000

Yaquina River (Depot Slough/Toledo) Maintenance Dredging- $141,000

Yaquina Bay Maintenance Dredging- $1,376,000

Umpqua River Dredging- $1,130,000

Tillamook Bay and Bar- $1,048,000

Port Orford Maintenance Dredging- $387,000

Siuslaw River Maintenance Dredging-$591,000

Columbia River South Jetty Beneficial Sediment Use Project – $500,000

Some of the other Oregon projects included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill are:

National Wave Energy Center- $2,331,175 to establish a National Wave Energy Center, co-located at OSU and in Lincoln County, near Newport, with the purpose of providing an in-water infrastructure of up to five test berths approximately two miles offshore.

South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team Meth Enforcement $460,000 for the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team Meth Enforcement: Funds will be used for officers and operational costs to support the fight against methamphetamine, cocaine, and large drug trafficking organizations in Southwestern Oregon.

West Coast Weak Stock Salmon Solutions- $840,000, a portion of which will go to Oregon State University for Disease Reduction in Klamath River Salmon: Funds will be used to research management actions to reduce the disease ceratomyxosis in natural juvenile salmon of the Klamath River. The Ceratomyxa shasta parasite has, in large part, been responsible for the declining numbers of juvenile Klamath River fall Chinook and Coho salmon and subsequent impacts on later adult returns.

For more information on appropriation projects in the Omnibus bill please visit www.wyden.senate.gov.