That's a lot of jobs, and money.
Freight traffic via ships in the Great Lakes also powers other jobs, such as the local power plant that requires loads of coal from the hulking ships.
But for years now the federal government has not properly funded dredging efforts on the Great Lakes. This is partially evidenced by the fact that most freighters can only use about 90 percent of their capacity, less in some ports. That's an efficiency and cost problem that has a negative ripple effect on our communities.
There's a push at the federal level for more dredging dollars and greater emphasis placed on the importance of our Great Lakes. We all need to support our lawmakers who are at the front of this effort.
These lawmakers include our very own Congressman Bill Huizenga.
He and others sent a letter last week to the Water Resources Reform and Development Act Conference Committee, encouraging the committee to make the Great Lakes a priority in final legislation that could provide the funding necessary to adequately dredge harbors.
Let’s hope Huizenga and his fellow lawmakers have the pull necessary to make it happen for our community and others that depend on open water channels. After all, a win for dredging and the Great Lakes is also a win for our local economy.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.