U.S. Great Lakes carriers
assail big dredging budget cuts
The Washington administration's proposal to slash the Great Lakes dredging budget by 32% in 2010 has prompted the region's shipping industry to declare a State of Emergency.
"What a dredging crisis is now a State of Emergency for each of the eight Great Lakes states," declared John Baker, President of the Toledo-based Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, in a statement on March 16.
"Iron ore this year will continue to be steady along with grain and petroleum, and we should see a good pick-up in salt as inventories are low," Mr. Hodgson said.
"Never in my 51 years in this industry have I seen such a total abandonment of the federal government's responsibility to maintain the Great Lakes navigation system," he said.
If the budget proposal is passed by Congress, the Task Force estimated that only 11 of the 83 ports on the Great Lakes will be dredged.