Posted on July 5, 2023
(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released a new video today highlighting the safety and economic benefits of dredging infrastructure projects for New Hampshire waterways. For years, Shaheen has led action in the U.S. Senate to secure the authorization and federal funding for dredging projects in New Hampshire, which is the process of removing sediment and debris from bodies of water that builds up over time and impacts freedom of movement. Without regular or emergency dredging, this can create dangerous conditions for navigation in the harbor, with serious safety concerns and economic implications for industries that rely on access to the ocean.
In her video, Shaheen explains why dredging matters in New Hampshire and the process she went through to secure authorization and funding to complete the projects. In addition, Shaheen features local fisherman, Les Eastman of Eastman’s Fishing Fleet, to share why dredging is so important to New Hampshire’s treasured fishing industry. Geno Marconi, Director of Ports and Harbors at the Pease Development Authority also discusses the importance of dredging and how the projects were completed with Shaheen’s efforts.
Shaheen On the History and Importance of Dredging NH Waterways
“Dredging is a critical tool for maintaining our coastal infrastructure – not only does it make our harbors safe for those traveling in and out, it supports vital industries like the fishing industry and the broader Seacoast economy. That’s why I’ve always made securing authorization and funding for dredging New Hampshire water ways a top priority,” said Shaheen. “These projects help keep our bodies of water safe for Granite Staters and make New Hampshire’s economy more resilient and competitive. I’m excited to share this new video to underscore why dredging is important and why I’ll continue to go to bat for the federal funds we need in New Hampshire to ensure our waterways in need of dredging are prioritized.”
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees, Shaheen helps secure annual funding for the Army Corps of Engineers (the Army Corps) to complete necessary infrastructure projects in New Hampshire and across the country. In the fiscal year (FY) 2023 NDAA, Shaheen helped secure the inclusion of the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, biennial legislation that authorizes water infrastructure projects across the country. The bill includes a provision requiring the Army Corps to develop criteria for the annual evaluation and ranking of maintenance dredging needs for small, remote and subsistence harbors, like those in New Hampshire. The Army Corps completed key New Hampshire projects that Shaheen previously championed, including dredging Rye and Hampton-Seabrook harbors. In 2021, Shaheen secured $18.2 million for the Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River navigation improvement project. As a key negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure law, Shaheen secured additional federal funding for the dredging of Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River in early 2022.