Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016 - (Page 37)

» PORTS + POLITICS Symbiotic Cooperation Leads to Success for Everyone A By Congresswoman Julia Brownley s the Congresswoman representing Ventura County's Port of Hueneme (pronounced "Y NEE MEE) I've seen firsthand, how community involvement is essential to a port succeeding - whether it be economically, in the community, on the legislative front, or in competing for federal grants. Federal grants are particularly critical in leveraging the scarce resources that ports need to make improvements that benefit both the port and the community, adapt to change and solidify the future economic growth of the region. The district that I represent is fortunate to have a network of ports and harbors that make maritime transportation a key driver of both local job growth and part and parcel of the fabric of Ventura County's character. It is because of the importance of the port to the local economy, that so many stakeholders, from port leadership, to elected officials, to the community at large, have come together to fight for scarce federal resources that will make the port stronger and more competitive. Recently, the port received a $12.3 million TIGER grant. Given that there were 625 applications requesting $10 billion in transportation and infrastructure funds and only $500 million in FY15 Department of Transportation TIGER grant funds available, it was a significant win for the port and the region. These infrastructure improvements are key to ensuring that the port can continue to expand and drive job growth into the future by helping to move goods more efficiently and safely. We also secured a $500,000 EPA grant to expand the Shore Power Project that allows vessels to connect to land based power sources, reducing the pollution from idling engines. This grant was a Nationally, a recent economic impact study shows that our ports and harbors are responsible for more than 23 million American jobs and over $320 billion dollars in revenue for our federal, state, and local communities. win-win for port customers and for the environment, which is a key concern for many Ventura County residents who want to maintain Ventura County's longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship. The Economic Development Administration also provided a $1.5 million grant to improve the wharf and berths at the harbor. Finally, most recently, the Port of Hueneme signed a Project Partnership Agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to move forward with the port deepening, which will provide the dual benefit of also nourishing local beaches that are key to our quality of life and recreational opportunities. In recent years, the symbiotic cooperation among local stakeholders has led to significant growth at the port. The port's imports and exports have increased by 180,000 tons from 2012-2015, adding more than 300 new jobs to the local economy. But this growth cannot be sustained unless stakeholders work together to ensure that maintaining the port's infrastructure is a priority. In mid-March, I was pleased to speak before the California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference about the need to ensure full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF). HMTF funding for our ports and harbors protects access to recreational activities, which is important to the quality of life in our coastal communities, and supports our local, regional, and national economies as our ports and harbors are direct contributors to economic growth and job creation. Nationally, a recent economic impact study shows that our ports and harbors are responsible for more than 23 million American jobs and over $320 billion dollars in revenue for our federal, state, and local communities. In 2014, U.S. deepwater ports also generated $4.6 trillion in total economic activity-over one-quarter of our nation's economic activity. Our nation is privileged to have a network of ports and harbors that make maritime transportation a key driver of both local job growth and a creator of a celebrated way of life in so many communities across the nation. And, ports benefit most when the community comes together to fight for scarce resources to further projects critical to the port's future, and to the future economic growth of the region. Yet, Congress continues to struggle with the debate over how best to use scarce resources, and this debate more often than not meets philosophical and ideological divides. But this divide does not exist in port communities. Both Republicans and Democrats who represent port communities know that we must make investments in our nation's water infrastructure, and goods-movement corridors, a top priority if we want to keep moving our economy forward. ● summer 2016 * WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM 37 http://WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016

AAPA Headquarters
From the President's Desk
Ports Strengthen Partnerships Via Community Outreach
The Slippery Slope: Ethical Considerations in Port Business Decisions
Community Outreach Toolbox
Symbiotic Cooperation Leads to Success for Everyone
Community Relationships: Build Them Now
Port Community Outreach: A University's Role
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016

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