BREAKING: Following Shaheen-Led Effort, Army Corps Approves Funding for Rye Harbor Dredging
**$4 million included in the Army Corps work plan follows Shaheen-led request and funding effort in Congress**
In August, Senator Shaheen toured Rye Harbor with local fishermen and officials from the Army Corps of Engineers to see the shoaling in the harbor up close and discuss the impact in New Hampshire’s seacoast communities.
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee – with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Chris Pappas (NH-01), issued the following statements in response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ (The Corps) release of their fiscal year 2020 work plan, which includes $4 million to complete dredging work at Rye Harbor. Just last month, Shaheen led a New Hampshire congressional delegation letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 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. She previously led efforts to help secure approval and funding to dredge Hampton-Seabrook Harbor, which started in the fall and was recently completed.
“I’m very relieved the Corps heeded our calls to prioritize this project and I’m excited to share this news with our fishermen and lobstermen that help is on the way,” said Senator Shaheen. “The emergency dredging at Hampton-Seabrook Harbor was completed in a timely manner and I’ll be urging a similar result for Rye. I appreciate the Corps’ attentiveness to our concerns in New Hampshire, as our harbors are so important to local businesses and the regional economy. 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.”
“Rye Harbor is an important economic driver for the Seacoast economy, and this dredging project is desperately needed to keep the harbor functional,” said Senator Hassan. “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.”
“I am pleased the Army Corps of Engineers’ fiscal year 2020 work plan includes $4 million to complete dredging work at Rye Harbor,” said Congressman Pappas. “New Hampshire’s harbors are vital to our communities and economy, and this funding to move forward with dredging in Rye is an important step to address safety concerns and ensure the harbor's functionality.”
Senator Shaheen is a fierce advocate for New Hampshire fishermen and coastal communities. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she helped procure more than $7 billion for the Corps to complete necessary infrastructure projects in New Hampshire and across the country in fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding legislation that the President signed into law in December. This is $651 million above last year’s funding level and includes the funding necessary to dredge Rye Harbor. Shaheen also added language to the bill that urges the Corps to expedite scheduled maintenance at small and low-use ports that have experienced unexpected levels of deterioration since their last dredging. Shaheen has continuously pushed for dredging at Rye Harbor, writing a letter to the Corps in October 2018 – and again last month – urging them to prioritize the project and touring the harbor in August to see the shoaling up close and discuss the issue with Corps officials and local fishermen.
The Corps’ 2020 Work Plan can be read in full here.