It’s estimated that 13.5 million cubic yards of sediment clog the Great Lakes System due to inadequate funding. This man-made crisis of overbearing sediment results in lower carrying capacities for vessels, especially during low water level shipping seasons.
The surplus of funds given to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) from taxed cargo would leave $9.5 billion that could be used towards dredging.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 set a new course, one, that if followed, will end the dredging crisis on the Lakes. By using a surplus of funds, about $9.5 billion, given to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) from taxed cargo for dredging, the issue could be completely eliminated. The legislation requires the federal government to incrementally increase expenditures from the HMTF until they reach 100 percent in 2025. These funds will be distributed to the Great Lakes as a system, not individual ports, completely eliminating the need for ports to compete against one another for funding.