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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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Charleston Deepening, S.C. Dredging Advance

U.S. House Approves $17 Million for Deepening Study, Maintenance

Charleston, SC - South Carolina's seaports in Charleston and Georgetown, as well as its coastal waterways, stand to gain more than $17 million in additional funding for channel deepening and maintenance dredging following action in the U.S. House of Representatives today.

"Shipping channels are our ports' arteries," said David J. Posek, chairman of the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA). "Thanks to Congressman Henry Brown, as well as our allies and the Congressional delegation, the Ports of Charleston and Georgetown will be even more competitive."

The U.S. House today approved the joint Senate and House conference report on the Energy & Water Appropriations Bill. For South Carolina, the bill includes funding for the resumption of the Charleston Harbor Deepening reconnaissance study, as well as:

The Port of Charleston is currently 47 feet deep at mean low water in the entrance channel and 45 feet deep inside the harbor. Charleston's channels have the opportunity to go even deeper thanks to the funding for the resumption of a reconnaissance study on future deepening.

“With 45 feet at low water, Charleston already has the region's deepest channels and accommodates post-Panamax ships today,” said Jim Newsome, president & CEO of the SCSPA. “The next deepening will take Charleston beyond 45 and 47 feet, opening the port to all classes of the world's most modern vessels. We are ready for the Panama Canal expansion and beyond.”

The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $62 billion annually and receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year.