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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that her request to support maintenance dredging of Sagamore Creek in Portsmouth has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Shaheen secured $150,000 for the project, which will facilitate the dredging of approximately 7,000 cubic yards of material from Sagamore Creek to improve navigation and safety.  The project will be carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These funds were included in the Fiscal Year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, which is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. 

"Sagamore Creek is an important waterway for commercial and recreational fishermen in the Seacoast, and I am pleased to be able to help maintain the creek for continuing use," said Shaheen.  "This project will support the jobs and businesses that rely on Sagamore Creek for their livelihood." 

"The maintenance of Sagamore Creek is critical in supporting the commercial vessels that utilize that channel," said Geno Marconi, Director of Ports and Harbor for the Pease Development Authority.  "Commercial fishermen have depended on Sagamore Creek for access to the ocean since the first settlers arrived to our shores and continues today. I would like to thank Senator Shaheen for sponsorship of this important project."

This is the first proposed maintenance dredging of the Sagamore Creek Channels since their completion in 1971. At least ten commercial fishing boats are based in Sagamore Creek and a number of other fishing boats use the Sagamore Creek Channels daily.  In addition, two marinas, with a total of approximately 250 slips, provide services to vessels that utilize the creek.  The dredged sand from the creek will be used to replenish the beach at Wallis Sands State Park in Rye.