"As a senior member of the Transportation Committee and WRRDA Conferee, I am absolutely thrilled that the Water Resources Development Act (WRRDA) Conference Report is finished, and I was extremely pleased to have signed the conference report, thus moving it to the House and Senate floors for a final vote by Congress. I am very happy with the local Jacksonville community's strong group effort, which helped a great deal in having both Mile Point and the dredging project included in the final conference report. I have been working for over a year to ensure that both projects were authorized in WRRDA, and am extremely satisfied to see them come to fruition.
Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Chairman of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, said, "Inclusion of Mile Point and JAXPORT dredging in the Water Resources and Development Act Conference Report is great news and win-win for the First Coast. With the long-overdue removal of navigation hazards at Mile Point and the dredging of the St. Johns River, large cargo container ships to the region, meaning more trade, more jobs, and a stronger economy for decades to come. I look forward to voting for the Conference Report when it comes to the House floor next Tuesday."
The WRRDA Conference report is good news for the whole state of Florida. Along with Authorization for both Mile Point and JAXPORT channel dredging, the Conference report includes authorizing language for the Central and South Florida Everglades project, Port Canaveral Harbor, Lake Worth Inlet, and Biscayne Bay. The bill also de-authorizes portions of the Hillsborough River, allows for federal assumption of Operations and Maintenance for projects paid for by non-federal sponsors, allows local sponsors to fund and seek future reimbursement for any project that receives its Chief's Report, without Congressional authorization, and included a provision that will allow ports to utilize more of the Harbor Maintenance Tax, leading to full utilization in 2025.
Now we must continue to fight for the funding that is needed to complete the dredging. And with completion of the conference report, I am very confident that this can be accomplished if we continue to work together in the same way we did to secure the Chief's Report. I'm certain that with an ongoing effort by all the partners involved, as well as Congressman Crenshaw and the other Members of the North Florida delegation, we can secure the necessary federal funds to move the dredging project to completion."