From the office of Sen. Barbara Mikulski:
Appropriation bills are jobs bills, important for Maryland and our country, says Mikulski
Bill includes federal funds for lake dredging of Port of Baltimore’s shipping channels, responsible for more than 50,000 jobs across the state
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski announced that she has secured $51.7 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects throughout Maryland in the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, which was passed by the full Senate as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.
“This bill is a jobs bill,” Senator Mikulski said. “This federal investment in the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on clean and open waterways will keep businesses open and keep Marylanders working. I will continue to fight to keep the Port of Baltimore and Maryland’s waterways a priority in the federal checkbook.”
Senator Mikulski has been a longtime advocate of promoting job growth though Maryland’s ports and waterways. The bill includes $13.9 million for annual maintenance dredging of the Port of Baltimore shipping channels, a major economic engine for America and Maryland, supporting more than 50,000 jobs across the state – including 16,700 direct jobs. Among U.S. ports, Baltimore receives the top rank for handling roll on/roll off cargo, trucks, imported forest products, and imported gypsum and sugar. It is also the second largest automobile exporter and importer in the country.
The spending bill includes funding for the following U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects throughout Maryland:
· $13.6 million for annual maintenance dredging of the Port of Baltimore shipping channels.
· $18.3 million for the C&D Canal for annual maintenance dredging of its shipping channels, which serves as a shortcut for vessels traveling between Baltimore and points north.
· $11.8 million for the continuation of the Poplar Island environmental restoration project, which is taking clean dredged materials from the shipping lanes leading to the Port of Baltimore and using it to stabilize the shoreline, create habitat areas, and restore the wetlands of one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most valuable island ecosystems.
· $2.45 million for the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration program to continue efforts to increase the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay by restoring oyster habitat, creating new reefs, and planting disease-free oysters on the reefs.
· $700,000 million for Assateague Island in Worcester County for restoration efforts that will protect the northern end of the island and its fragile habitat.
· $1.5 million for the Wicomico River to dredge the upper river where the Port of Salisbury is located, the second largest port in Maryland handling petroleum products and grain. This waterway also supports barge traffic crucial to maintaining adequate fuel supplies for the Delmarva Peninsula.
· $58,000 for the Mid Chesapeake-Bay Island, to design the restoration of James and Barren Islands in Dorchester County using clean dredge material from the Port of Baltimore’s shipping channels.
· $1.9 million for the operation and maintenance of Jennings Randolph Lake in Garrett County, which provides flood control and recreation to Western Maryland and water quality and water supply for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.
· $176,000 for the Susquehanna River to dredge the channels in Havre De Grace that serve rock quarries.