Almost every one of the Nation’s top 50 ports handling foreign commerce requires regular maintenance dredging. Together, these ports move nearly 99 percent of U.S. overseas trade by weight and 61 percent by value. Without routine dredging, sections of the navigation channels can quickly become shallow, reducing the draft and size of vessels accessing these ports. In addition, as the size of ships continues to grow, approach and alongside depths in several key ports must be increased to as much as 45 to 50 feet. If we do nothing more than merely maintain existing channels at project depts., the Nation’s competitive edge ultimately will erode. The Nation has to do more than maintain, it must deepen channel depths to accommodate the largest vessel sizes. But, meeting this challenge requires a significant investment by both the Federal government and private industry.
Seaway Task Force (Pdf)