05.10.22

Kilmer Announces New $7 Million Investment by U.S. Department of Commerce to Make Critical Improvements to Maritime Infrastructure in Port Townsend

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) joined U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in announcing that the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $7 million grant to the Port of Port Townsend, Washington, to fund the replacement of the Point Hudson Breakwaters.

This project will restore storm-damaged maritime infrastructure needed to develop the economic resilience of the region to the potential impacts of future disaster. This EDA investment will be matched with $7 million in local investment, and is expected to create 24 jobs, retain 150 jobs, and generate $6 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“Across our region, ports are critical economic engines and job creators. For nearly a century, the Point Hudson Marina in Port Townsend has played a pivotal role in supporting Jefferson County’s maritime identity and economy,” said Rep. Kilmer. “However, over the course of its lifetime and especially during recent storms, the infrastructure that has protected Point Hudson has started to degrade – threatening the marina’s viability. That’s why I’ve been pushing for federal investments to help fix the maritime infrastructure protecting Port Hudson, while ensuring that the associated costs with fixing this infrastructure doesn’t fall on the backs of Jefferson County taxpayers. I’m thrilled that Secretary Raimondo and the Biden Administration have announced this important federal investment in Port Townsend – which will help ensure our region can continue to create jobs and economic opportunity.”

“Strengthening the economic resilience of communities impacted by natural disasters is part of the Biden administration’s commitment to building a better America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This investment will replace an important piece of maritime infrastructure that protects a federally authorized navigation channel vital to both regional commerce and national defense.”

“The Point Hudson Marina is integral to the community of Port Townsend. This $7 million grant to replace the Port Hudson Breakwaters will help protect the marina from sea-level rise and more frequent, extreme weather events,” said Senator Maria Cantwell. “This critical investment in our maritime infrastructure will ensure that generations of Port Townsend residents will continue to enjoy the benefits of the marina and annual events like the world-renowned Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities recover from the impacts of disaster by building stronger and more resilient economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment allows for the complete removal of the existing Point Hudson Breakwaters, and their replacement with new infrastructure sufficient to protect the Point Hudson Marina from the high winds that are becoming increasingly characteristic of coastal storms.”

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane; Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut; wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.