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Senators to Obama: Use harbor maintenance funds for harbors
Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman joined senators across the country in asking the Obama Administration to maintain harbors 
by WKSU's MARANDA SHREWSBERRY


Reporter
Maranda Shrewsberry
 

Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman joined forces this week to call on the Obama Administration to repair Lake Erie’s harbors. The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is part of the Highway Bill that was passed in July.

The money is supposed to be used for operating and dredging harbors, and Brown and Portman joined 23 senators in writing a bipartisan letter requesting the fund be used for that intent instead of what they call unrelated projects.

Kristy Meyer is the director of Agricultural and Clean Water Programs for the Ohio Environmental Council. She says simply that there is a lack of funds for what needs done in the harbors.

Meyer talks about the Toledo Harbor, the shallowest in the Great Lakes.

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“I think it’s a good thing if we can focus these funds for what they’re intended for," she says. "Certainly we know that the Toledo harbor is the shallowest harbor of all harbors in the Great Lakes. And each year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ask for more and more – in their permit they ask to be able to dredge more and more sediments and each year they’re told ‘no.’”

 

In the letter to the Office of Management and Budget, the senators point out that the fund contains about $8-billion, but budget requests from the fund have only been about $800-million.

 
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