TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Ports Council applauds President Obama for signing the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The Council has been in Washington D.C. with officials with the Florida Executive Office of the Governor, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity advocating for this important legislation.
“Florida’s Congressional leadership was critical to the passage of this important investment in Florida’s and this nation’s infrastructure. With the last water resources act occurring in 2007, the passage of this WRRDA is a true accomplishment,” remarked Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “This bill contains critical improvements to the Corps project approval process, seaport policy improvements, and long-overdue release of HMT funds, which will assist Florida ports’ efforts in creating jobs, growing the economy and continuing to position Florida as a global hub for business.”
The final version of WRRDA promotes our nation’s competitiveness, prosperity, and economic growth by upholding the seminal federal responsibility to maintain a strong transportation infrastructure and ensure the efficient flow of domestic and international commerce. It impacts infrastructure, navigation, flood, environmental restoration, and water projects from the Florida Panhandle all the way to the Everglades. More specifically, the legislation reforms the U.S. Army Corps process to remove inefficiencies and add timelines for Corps studies, and ensures the full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund by 2025, so that 100 percent of the funds collected go towards their intended purpose of operation and maintenance activities, as well as other important provisions.
The Florida Ports Council is the professional association of Florida’s 15 public seaports, providing advocacy, leadership and research on seaport-related issues before state and federal government. Florida’s ports support more than 680 thousand jobs in the state and contribute $96 billion to the state’s economy each year.