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House approves continued funding for the Port and Greens Bayou

Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water agreed to provide $3 million in funding to start construction on the Hunting Bayou flood protection project in fiscal year 2003.

”The damage from Tropical Storm Allison underscores the importance of flood control projects,” Green said. “Approximately 30,000 homes were flooded by the heavy rains and total damages are estimated at $5 billion. I am extremely pleased that Hunting Bayou flood control project will receive much needed funding to mitigate the impact of future flooding.”

Green said that the expansion of the Port of Houston is important to Houston’s economy on many levels. The $30 million funding will ensure that the project remains on an accelerated, optimal schedule, since it was authorized by Congress in 1996.

The Port, connected to the Gulf of Mexico by the 53-mile ship channel, is the busiest U.S. port in foreign tonnage, second in the U.S. in total tonnage, and the world’s eighth busiest port overall. It provides $5.5 billion in annual business revenues and creates, directly or indirectly, almost 200,000 jobs. With nearly 7,000 vessels navigating the channel annually, the widening of the channel from 400 to 520 feet and its deepening from 40 to 45 feet is a necessary step in safeguarding both the maritime industry and the residents of surrounding areas. Greens Bayou also received $600,000 to continue preparing the project for new construction in the coming years.