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USACE Jacksonville, SeaPort Manatee sign amendment to Manatee Harbor Navigation Project Project Cooperation Agreement

Gary “Pogo” Campbell (from left) and William “Skip” Turner pause pre-dredge surveying in Manatee Harbor to greet Jacksonville District Commander, Col. James Booth, and his party as they tour port facilities Feb. 16, 2023.

Posted on March 15, 2023

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Feb. 17, 2023) –Leaders of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and SeaPort Manatee executed an amendment Feb. 16, 2023, to the longstanding Project Cooperation Agreement governing their partnership in the Manatee Harbor Navigation Project.

In a formal signing ceremony, Col. James Booth, USACE Jacksonville District Commander, and George Kruse, Chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority, updated the PCA to credit the SeaPort’s expenditures for the 2012 construction of the port’s south channel extension.

Known as Amendment #3, the update authorizes the reimbursement to SeaPort Manatee for the federal share of that construction, subject to the availability of federal funds. The south channel extension has played a significant role in the Port’s subsequent growth and plans for expansion.

USACE involvement began with a 1974 congressional resolution to study navigation and water resource conditions at the port. A feasibility report and Environmental Impact Statement were completed in 1978 recommending maintenance of the extant channel, enlargement of the channel entrance and the addition of a turning basin. Congress authorized the Manatee Harbor Florida Navigation Project in 1986.

USACE completed dredging the channel from the main shipping channel of Tampa Bay to the port in 1997; entrance channel widening and construction of a turning basin were completed in 2005; and Port Manatee completed construction of the south channel extension in 2012. The present amendment formally recognizes that contribution as an integral element of the federal project and allows for federal compensation for its added value.

Following the signing ceremony, SeaPort Manatee leaders and staff escorted the USACE team on a landside tour of the port’s key infrastructure.

SeaPort Manatee handles a diverse mix of cargoes, delivers key commodities to Southwest and Central Florida, and has played a critical response role in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.


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