Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart Brings Jobs and Economic Growth to South Florida with Authorization of Deep Dredge Project

Jul 10, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), member of the House Committee on Appropriations, released the following statement after the House passed the FY 2014 Energy and Water Bill, which included a provision amending the authorized limit for the PortMiami Deep Dredge project.

“Although this is the first step in a long process, the Committee's provision is a huge victory for the Port of Miami and the residents of South Florida.  PortMiami is a vital economic engine, contributing $27 billion annually to our local economy and supporting more than 207,000 jobs in South Florida. The Deep Dredge project will deepen the Port’s existing channel, preparing it for the Panama Canal Expansion, and will bring good, high-paying jobs back home.

“I'm grateful to Chairmen Rogers and Frelinghuysen for working with me to include this provision that greatly benefits our community.  I also want to commend Port Director Bill Johnson and Deputy Director Juan Kuryla for their steadfast commitment and leadership to this project. I look forward to working with them and the rest of the South Florida delegation as the appropriations process moves forward.”

The Water Resource Development Act of 2007 authorized the Miami Harbor Deep Dredge project at PortMiami, but the amount authorized was based on 2004 project cost estimates and did not reflect inflation adjustments.  Congressman Diaz-Balart worked with his South Florida colleagues to include language in the FY 2014 Energy and Water Bill that would amend the authorizing language to reflect inflation adjustments.  This provision was included in the President’s budget request.

Once complete, the dredging will make PortMiami the only U.S. port south of Norfolk that will be able to accommodate the new mega cargo vessels, doubling the Port’s cargo throughput. The Panama Canal Expansion, set to be finished in 2015, will bring 33,000 new jobs to Florida, and will expand PortMiami’s economic impact to more than $34 billion annually.