Groups Join to Push ICW Dredging

The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) has joined a broad coalition of groups including coastal shipping operators, dredging contractors, local governments and recreational boating groups to advocate on behalf of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), an important U.S. DOT-designated Marine Highway that runs from Norfolk, Virginia, to Miami, Florida. The coalition aims to establish an individual allocation for dredging maintenance, address navigational needs, and to help grow recognition of the waterway’s economic impact.

“The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is both a celebrated recreationway and important commercial waterway with strategic national importance, but it’s too shallow,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs and AIWA Chairman David Kennedy. “Authorized depth is 12-feet, but shoaling from storms and hurricanes has left some portions with as little as five feet of water. While we’ve had success getting some funding restored, current estimates of the waterway’s unmet maintenance needs are about $75 million.”

Part of any new funding would be targeted for additional dredging needs on the waterway’s small, remote or subsistence navigation harbors, where recreational boating is often a local driver of the economy.