Navigation channels are essential for safe and efficient freight movement, providing access to the sea and to the dock. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is responsible for navigation channel construction and maintenance. Channel deepening is authorized in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation.
Navigation channel maintenance is 100% funded through the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT). Tax revenues are considered sufficient to fully maintain channel depths and widths, but annual appropriations fall short of the annual HMT revenue. WRRDA 2014 established funding targets to get to full HMT use by 2025.