Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Grays Harbor Executive Chairs AAPA Caucus

By Karen Robes Meeks

Acting as the North Pacific Caucus Chair for the Association of American Port Authorities (AAPA), Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson spoke about the importance of taking care of US waterways and how revenues from the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) would fund that effort.

“AAPA has worked with its members throughout the port industry to develop a sustainable, long-term funding solution for maintaining our waterways that is fair and equitable to ports of all sizes,” said Nelson, who took part in the recent US House Subcommittee on Water Resources roundtable discussion, “America’s Water Resources Infrastructure: Concepts for the Next Water Resources Development Act, Part II.”

“The unified solution will address the equity concerns of donor and energy ports, as well as the needs of emerging ports, while ensuring HMT revenues are used for their intended purpose of navigation channel maintenance,” he said.

Maintaining federal navigation waterways is important for the Port of Grays Harbor, a top export port for soybean meal, automobiles, liquid bulks and logs, and ranks 37th in the US for export cargo volumes, Nelson added.

“Our customers recognize the strategic advantage of our port and have invested millions of dollars in their facilities to take advantage of our location and proximity to Pacific Rim markets,” he said. “AAPA’s unified, sustainable and long-term HMT funding solution will ensure the thousands of farming and manufacturing jobs in those regions, and thousands more here in the Pacific Northwest can continue to depend on our waterways to deliver goods throughout the world.”