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Port-Related Funding Reduced in President's Fiscal 2018 Budget

Federal support for port dredging, facility improvements, environmental enhancements and security could decrease under administration's funding recommendations

T he   American Association of Port Authorities  ( AAPA), of which the Port of Redwood City is a member,  is voicing concern on behalf of American ports over the potential of significant declines for most federally funded, port-related programs in President Trump's fiscal 2018 budget released last week.

"We're apprehensive about the fiscal 2018 budget," said  Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO. "Adequate federal investments into U.S. port-related infrastructure, both on the landside and waterside, are crucial for the efficient movement of goods so the nation can remain globally competitive. Activities at U.S. seaports account for more than a quarter of the nation's economy, support over 23 million American jobs and generate more than $320 billion a year in federal, state and local tax revenue. It's vital the federal government uphold its end of the partnership with ports so the country can have a 21st century goods movement system in place."

Proposed for the budget chopping block is the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants program, which last year awarded U.S. ports $61.8 million in multimodal infrastructure grants such as dock, rail and road improvements. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security's Port Security Grants Program (PSGP), which Congress last funded at $100 million and which provided 35 port security-related grants in fiscal 2017, is expected to experience a significant cut.

President Trump has also proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) budget by 31 percent. EPA's budget funds the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants. While no details were released on the fate of this program, which is authorized at $100 million, DERA grants have been especially helpful in decreasing port-related diesel emissions in near-port communities. These federal grants have helped ports to make investments in clean diesel equipment and reduction strategies at the ports themselves, and they've used them to help businesses buy newer, cleaner-burning trucks, locomotives and vessels.

While the president's proposed budget calls for increasing the overall U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) budget by $400 million over the previous administration's request of $4.6 billion, the request still represents a 16 percent decrease in the Corps budget when compared to the Continuing Resolution fiscal 2017 level. Details for the Corps' Coastal Navigation portion of the budget aren't yet known, but are expected to be available in May. The Coastal Navigation program funds improvements and maintenance in America's harbors and deep-draft shipping channels.

Below are AAPA's key recommendations for the fiscal 2018 budget:
  • Provide $2.9 billion for the Corps' Navigation program, including $1.6 billion for the Coastal Navigation portion that covers deep-draft investigations, construction, operations and maintenance, and donor and energy transfer port activities.
  • Expand USDOT's TIGER program, or create a new, multimodal discretionary grant program like it, and fund it at $1.25 billion annually.
  • Continue funding USDOT's FAST Act programs at currently authorized levels, which includes formula funds to states and FAST Lane grants for nationally and regionally significant transportation projects. Furthermore, expand the amount of funds available for multimodal projects which is currently limited to $500 million a year through 2020.
  • Increase funding to $400 million for the Department of Homeland Security's Port Security Grant Program and increase the number of CBP officers in the maritime environment by 500.
  • Fund DERA grants at the $100 million authorized level.
AAPA's recommendations provided to the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress on key seaports priorities and is available at  Details on AAPA's America: Keep It Moving campaign are available at

The link to the president's budget is 
Tall Ships At Port Through March 29
The historic tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain arrived at the Port of Redwood March 16 and will remain until March 29 to offer education programs to elementary school children during the days as well as public dockside vessel tours, adventure and battle sails. Enjoy a living history experience, sea shanties, maritime storytelling and the boom of cannons, (minus the cannon balls of course).
  • March 20 (Monday)
  • Boats closed to the public
  • March 21 (Tuesday)
    Vessel Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
  • March 22 (Wednesday)
    Vessel Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
  • March 23 (Thursday)
    Vessel Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
  • March 24 (Friday)
    Vessel Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
  • March 25 (Saturday)
    Battle Sail: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. $42-$79 (Note: Change in Battle Sail Time)
    Vessel Tours: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
  • March 26 (Sunday)
    Adventure Sail: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. $42-$49
    Battle Sail: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. $42-$79 (Note: Change in Battle Sail Time)
    Vessel Tours: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
  • March 27 (Monday)
    Boats closed to the public
  • March 28 (Tuesday)
    Vessel Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)
  • March 29 (Wednesday) DEPARTURE
For more information about the ships, visit: 
Kids aboard tallships
The historic tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are at the Port through March 29
Save the Date:PortFest October 7, 2017

Redwood City's  Sesquicentennial
Keep up to date with activities planned for Redwood City's 150th anniversary at

This year is also the Port's 80th anniversary.  Stay tuned for announcements.

AAPA Urges Increased Port Security Funding at House Hearing

The American Association of Port Authorities, of which the Port of Redwood City is a member, has urged that port security grant funding should be increased, not reduced , in testimony before the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee last week. The hearing, Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: The National Preparedness System, was intended to examine preparedness infrastructure, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

As the Trump administration released its first budget proposal that seeks to reduce preparedness grants by $667 million, Massachusetts Port Authority Director of Maritime Security and AAPA Security Committee Chairman Joe lawless testified, "AAPA is very concerned about the rumored budget cuts to the Port Security Grant Program in the administration's budget that is being released today. A 40 percent cut (or any cut) to the Port Security Grant Program would have a devastating and cascading impact on our security, supply chain and safety of our communities."
 AAPA also testified that if Congress and the White House negotiate the existing Port Security  Grant Program (PSGP), they should:
  • Fund and authorize PSGP at the $400 million level or maintain the current $100 million level.
  • Increase the $1 million project limit to $5 million per project.
  • Maintain a 36-month grant performance period for ports to successfully design, implement and test projects to ensure maximum improvements to port security and operational capability.
  • Reduce or eliminate the 25 percent cost match required for government entities, such as port authorities, police departments and fire agencies.
  • Maintain the PSGP within FEMA, and do not block grants or consolidate this program.
Congress has yet to act on its FY 2018 budget.

Port of Redwood City  |  675 Seaport Blvd  |  Redwood City, CA 94063

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