Legislation passed last week in the U.S. House of Representatives would put the Great Lakes on an equal footing with other regions of the country in budgeting for dredging and other harbor maintenance, supporters say.
The measure to modernize the nation's water transportation infrastructure was approved by an overwhelming vote of 417 to 3.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to develop, maintain, and support our nation's waterways.
The legislation, which now goes to a Senate conference committee, also would allow Congress to update harbor infrastructure policies to meet the changing demands of the maritime economy.
A key provision designates the vast Great Lakes navigation system of harbors and connecting waterways as a single, unified entity for budgeting.