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$4M for dredging Rye Harbor gains key approval

PORTSMOUTH -- Funds to dredge Rye Harbor were included in the Army Corps of Engineers’ fiscal year 2020 work plan, according to New Hampshire’s congressional delegation.

Inclusion of the $4 million was announced Tuesday by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Pappas.

Shaheen last month led a New Hampshire congressional delegation letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James, requesting that dredging for Rye Harbor be included in the Corps’ 2020 work plan. She also helped lead the legislative effort in the Senate to make sure the Corps has the funding available to prioritize Rye Harbor.

Shaheen previously led efforts to help secure approval and funding to dredge Hampton-Seabrook Harbor, which started in the fall and was recently completed.

“The emergency dredging at Hampton-Seabrook Harbor was completed in a timely manner and I’ll be urging a similar result for Rye,” Shaheen said. “I’ll keep working with our federal and local partners to ensure the dredging moves forward as planned so we can alleviate the economic and safety challenges posed by shoaling."

Hassan said Rye Harbor is an important economic driver for the Seacoast economy.

“I am grateful to the Army Corps of Engineers for prioritizing this project and I will keep working with our New Hampshire congressional delegation to ensure that the project is completed without delay,” she said.

Pappas said New Hampshire’s harbors are vital to the state’s communities and economy adding ”...dredging in Rye is an important step to address safety concerns and ensure the harbor’s functionality.”