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Northwest Small Ports Highlighted for Members of Congress

 Washington, D.C. – Patsy Martin, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association president and Port of Skagit executive director, is participating in a bi-partisan roundtable for Members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I), Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. The discussion will take place on Thursday, March 21, and will focus on ports and the jobs, economic development and trade activities related to them nation-wide.

The discussion is meant to inform the Committee's work in developing a Water Resources Development Act this year, and Mrs. Martin will be present to represent the perspective of small ports in the Northwest and throughout the nation.

Small ports, their tenants and supporting businesses provide sustainable community wage jobs and economic opportunity growth activity in communities that are struggling to achieve an economic recovery. Despite the important role they play, their affiliated federal navigation channels and jetties remain vastly underfunded.

One solution to these funding challenges is a fix for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. The HMTF is meant to fund 100 percent of the cost of operations and maintenance of our nation’s deep draft and coastal waterways. Annual HMT revenues total more than $1.5B, while only half of that is actually spent on its intended purpose. The rest is used to offset the federal deficit. Mrs. Martin will be urging the Committee to address the HMTF in the next WRDA bill, so that our country’s deep draft and small coastal projects are able to continue to bring economic prosperity to the nation.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is a leading Member of the T&I Committee and has been very vocal in support of small ports needs in Oregon and throughout the Northwest. "Small ports are vital to maintaining a vibrant economy in the Pacific Northwest," said Rep. Peter DeFazio. "I am pleased that a representative from our region will give voice to these smaller coastal ports and personally relay their significance to our national economy, coastal communities, and marine safety."

"Our Members of Congress in the Northwest truly understand the importance of ports and the local, regional and national benefits they provide," said Kristin Meira, PNWA Executive Director. "This is a very exciting opportunity to highlight the perspectives of both small and large ports for decision makers outside of our region. Our Congressional leaders are considering policies that will have great impacts on

U.S. ports as well as the Army Corps of Engineers' ability to maintain our navigation infrastructure. We are so pleased the Northwest has a seat at the table."

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About PNWA:The Pacific Northwest Waterways Association is a non-profit trade association that advocates for federal policies and funding in support of regional economic and environmental sustainability. PNWA represents multiple industries in the public and private sectors in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California. Members include public ports, navigation, transportation, international trade, tourism, agriculture, forest products, energy and local government interests.

If you are a reporter seeking information about the Port of Skagit, please call Andrew Entrikin, community outreach administrator, at 360-757-0011 or email andrew@portofskagit.com