New Orleans, La. – Silt is building up on the bottom and sides of the river channel leading to the Gulf of Mexico. The Army Corps of Engineers says budget cuts mean less dredging can be done. Port of New Orleans President Gary LaGrange (la-grahnj) says public agencies and maritime businesses are pressing Congress for more money.
"If the appropriations do not come forth, if they're not found, it will indeed be critical. It could be life threatening to the maritime community and economic development in the state of Louisiana, New Orleans and the bread basket of the country."
About 60 percent of U-S grain exports use the Mississippi River. Twenty-nine states and Canada depend on it for cargo shipping. The Army Corps says it will begin dredging what it can next month.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.