Water infrastructure bill will connect Great Lakes as "single, economic system"

By KBJR News 1

May 24, 2014 Updated May 24, 2014 at 6:49 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - There are many aspects of the water infrastructure bill that the Duluth Seaway Port Authority says will provide a much needed boost to the Great Lakes shipping industry.

Lawmakers say the Water Resources Reform and Development Act will help keep invasive carp out of Minnesota waterways, and fund important construction projects along the Mississippi River.

The bill will also strengthen dredging efforts in the Great Lakes harbors, in turn allowing ships to increase their cargo loads.

But the biggest payoff, says Port Authority Executive Director Vanta Coda, is the fact that the bill will connect the Great Lakes as a single economic unit, much like the Mississippi.

Coda says the Twin Ports harbor has always received significant dredging funding due to its significance in the industry.

"But now it guarantees that the smaller ports that don't necessarily get the proper funding will be recognized as part of our system," said Coda on Friday. "We are only as strong as our weakest link."

The bill has passed through the U.S. House and Senate. It's currently awaiting the President's signature.

Billy Wagness
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