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Committee approves bill boosting funding for dredging and preventing Asian carp | Business

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Committee approves bill boosting funding for dredging and preventing Asian carp
Committee approves bill boosting funding for dredging and preventing Asian carp

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—A bill that would boost federal funding for harbor maintenance is on its way to the U.S. Senate.

Last week, a senate committee approved the energy and water appropriations bill, which includes $140 million more for harbor upkeep and $8 million more for Michigan navigation projects.  The bill also contains more than $100 million for additional projects that will be decided by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin say the funding increase would reduce the backlog of dredging projects in Michigan, clearing out harbors and ports that are critical to Michigan’s shipping, boating and tourism industries.

Concerns over invasive species are also addressed in the bill.  The measure allocates $27.6 million for the electric barrier in Chicago that prevents Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.  It also allows the Secretary of the Army to take emergency action to prevent invasive species from moving into the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin.

If approved, the funding increase would take effect during the 2014 fiscal year.