Posted on March 6, 2023
Today, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-04) announced his office helped secure just over $1,000,000 in critical funding from the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the St. Joseph inner harbor will be properly dredged. The Army Corps of Engineers will also be providing an additional $560,000 for repair work to be done on the north pier of the harbor. The Army Corps of Engineers publicly released their updated FY2023 operations and maintenance work plan earlier this week.
“St. Joseph Harbor is a source of significant economic activity for Southwest Michigan,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga. “This funding will help ensure that St. Joseph Harbor is properly dredged which will allow critical projects, including scheduled work on I-94, to be completed as well as support the Lakeshore’s vibrant small business economy during tourist season. I want to thank the Army Corps of Engineers for continuing their productive relationship to ensure priorities along the Great Lakes are met.”
“As St. Joseph Harbormaster, I am very pleased to hear about this additional funding for our harbor. Maintaining the harbor for commercial shipping is vital to the economy, not just in Berrien County, but all over the region for various construction and paving projects,” said Mike Moran, St. Joseph Harbormaster “We want to thank Congressman Huizenga’s office for his support as well as the Corps of Engineers for their continued efforts to maintain this vital shipping channel.”
“On behalf of the many stakeholders who are dependent upon the free-flowing operation of the St. Joseph Harbor, we would like to express our appreciation and sincere gratitude for the herculean efforts taken thus far to secure the necessary funds and to advance the dredging schedule,” said Keith Rose, President and CEO of Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc. “In all the years that we have dealt with the challenges that the harbor and mother nature bring, this recent effort is by far the most proactive and collaborative effort that we have experienced. We would like to extend special thanks to Congressman Huizenga and his staff for their understanding and appreciation of the nature of the current challenge. In particular, their sense of urgency as it relates to the specific impacts to all stakeholders especially the taxpayers of Michigan.”
“The County of Berrien is delighted to learn that additional harbor maintenance funding has been allocated to the US Corp of Engineers this year to assist with the maintenance dredging of the St. Joe Harbor,” said Daniel Fette, Berrien County Community Development Director. “This additional funding will ensure that anticipated shipments of nearly 600,000 tons of material will be received within the St. Joe Harbor this year. The delivery of this material is critical to the completion of many construction projects across Southwest Michigan, including the I-94 corridor project in Berrien County.”
Congressman Huizenga has been a bipartisan leader in holding the federal government accountable to lakeshore communities for its promises regarding harbor dredging. Huizenga has also been a leader in the bipartisan effort to fully restore the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. In 2020, Huizenga helped increase the percentage of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund dollars that go to the Great Lakes. The funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is paid by shippers utilizing ports on the Great Lakes and along our nation’s coasts.