Pictured: Last year, Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson (center), a strong champion of water resources legislation passage, is shown meeting with the ranking member of Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, Tim Bishop (far left of photo).
TAMPA, Fla.—Following the 412-4 vote in the U.S. House on Tuesday and the 91-7 vote in the U.S. Senate Thursday, the Port Tampa Bay leadership is elated by full Congressional approval of the long-awaited and critically-needed water resources development legislation known as H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).
This legislation streamlines and reforms federal processes related to dredging in our nation’s harbors—the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). Considered a major boost for U.S. ports, the legislation also authorizes needed port investment, and also sets a path for the nearly $2 billion paid by users into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be used for its intended purpose of maintaining channels in our nation’s ports.
“This Water Resources Reform and Development Act passage is of critical importance to America’s seaports and to our economic health in the years ahead. We are very pleased that this much-needed change has come, so we can move more rapidly toward building port infrastructure and economic viability, and get on track with many projects that have been lagging for years. America is a seafaring nation, and cargo is the currency of the world. America’s competitive position depends on shipping channels that are adequately dredged to support the delivery of goods in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner. This new legislation strengthens and accelerates navigation projects, and this is tremendous for our future,” Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay president and CEO, said.
Anderson and leaders from Florida’s deepwater ports have staunchly supported WRRDA legislation and assumed a leadership role, working closely with elected officials to affect changes to effectively cut red tape, strengthen trade and create jobs.
Port Tampa Bay acknowledges the leadership of T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, Committee Ranking Member Nick Rahall, as well as Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop. The port authority also gratefully recognizes the tremendous bipartisan support of this legislation from the Florida Congressional Delegation. Leaders from business and port organizations from throughout Florida have rallied in strong support of this legislation, as have leaders from the highest levels of Florida’s state government. Moreover, the leadership and advocacy of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has been extremely vital for all ports in the country.
About Port Tampa Bay
Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. The port was recently voted “Simply the Best” for world-class customer service in a Logistics Management Magazine reader poll. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.