In meetings with a dozen Senate and House offices this month, members of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association (AIWA) pushed for increased funding to dredge the entire Intracoastal Waterway to its authorized depth of 12 feet. Some areas of the ICW today are as shallow as five feet deep, presenting a hazard to sailors and larger pleasure craft, as well as commercial traffic.
“AIWA has been instrumental in convincing Members of Congress along the Eastern Seaboard to support the ICW and its key role in recreational boating and commercial traffic,” said David Dickerson, Chairman of AIWA and Vice President of State Government Relations at NMMA. “We’ve helped get the funding needed to cut the dredging backlog in half in just seven years. But there still is a $60 million backlog that is slowing the use of the ICW for boaters, barges, cruise lines and others.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received $53 million in 2023 to maintain and improve the ICW and the NJICC, a budget AIWA hopes Congress will match or exceed for 2024. AIWA membership includes boaters, marinas, tow and barge companies and trade associations
In the weeks and months to come the NMMA team will work in coordination with recreational boating and fishing stakeholders, including AIWA, to advocate on behalf of the industry to secure funding and next steps for the Intracoastal Waterway.