February 10, 2016


Jones secures additional funds for Oregon and Hatteras inlets

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., yesterday announced that he has secured an additional $3,225,000 from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge Oregon Inlet and an additional $1 million for Hatteras Inlet.

Last month Congressman Jones sent a letter to Army Corps leadership reminding them of the chronically poor navigation conditions at both inlets.  He also pointed out that the amounts provided in the President’s fiscal year 2016 budget request – $2 million for Oregon Inlet and $300,000 for Hatteras Inlet – are insufficient to keep the channels maintained at anything close to their authorized depths.  In fact, Jones said, without supplemental funds, both channels may be in danger of closing to vessel traffic during the year.  

While Congress no longer has the ability to legislatively increase funding for specific projects because of an earmark ban imposed in 2011, Congress did attempt to address some of the waterway maintenance issues across the nation in the recently-passed fiscal year 2016 appropriations bill for the Corps. 

In that bill, Congress created several unallocated pots of money for different project categories and gave the Corps discretion in determining which projects to fund from these pots.  In his letter to the Corps, Congressman Jones argued that Oregon and Hatteras Inlets are the type of projects Congress had in mind when it provided the Corps with these additional resources.

Yesterday, it was announced that the Army Corps has granted Congressman Jones’ request.  An additional $3,225,000 will be allocated to Oregon Inlet, bringing total FY 16 federal funding for that project to $5,225,000.  An additional $1 million will be allocated to Hatteras Inlet, bringing total FY16 federal funding for that project to $1.3 million.

“Oregon and Hatteras Inlets are vital to the economic success of Eastern North Carolina, which is why I am very pleased to announce that the Army Corps of Engineers has accepted my request for additional money to dredge them,” said Congressman Jones.  “These inlets must be safe and passable for fishermen, boaters and the Coast Guard.  I will continue to do everything I can to fight for that cause.”

Jones also said yesterday that letters he has written have helped secure an additional $5 million for dredging the Morehead City harbor and $500,000 to dredge Little River Inlet.




             
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