Westport Marina modernization project lines up federal funding

A planned modernization project at Westport Marina is in line for federal funding after the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that includes $750,000 for the effort.

House Resolution 8294 features money to support Phase 1 improvements for the project. That includes final design, permitting and bid ready status for the modernization and reconfiguration of the marina’s floating docks so it can better support the needs of the region’s fishing fleet.

H.R. 8294 has since been referred to the U.S. Senate Committee of Appropriations after the House passed the bill on July 20.

“Our coastal fisheries and seafood industry are an essential part of our local economy. That’s why I’m committed to ensuring that our ports and our fishermen have the resources they need to remain competitive in the Pacific Northwest,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, who led the effort to include the federal funding in the bill, in a statement.

“This is about jobs. I’m thrilled that the House has advanced new funding that I fought for to help modernize the Westport Marina and support local economic opportunity. I’ll keep working to get this funding signed into law.”

Westport Marina is the state of Washington’s largest commercial seafood landing port and accounts for more than $50.6 million in seafood, which ranks it 12th by volume and 15th by value of catch in the United States, according to Kilmer’s office.

“We are so grateful for Congressman Kilmer’s work in securing this funding for the Westport Marina Modernization Project,” said Tom Quigg, Port of Grays Harbor Commission President, in a statement.

The money stems from a process known as the House Committee on Appropriations Community Funding Project. The project affords congressional representatives the ability to request money for up to 15 projects in their respective communities for the 2023 fiscal year, although only a few of those requests from each representative may be funded.

“Community Project Funding at this early stage supports the important work of designing a facility to serve our commercial and recreational users for generations. As one of the top seafood landing ports in the United States, the Port is very proud of the role the Westport Marina plays in supporting thousands of jobs in coastal Southwest Washington,” said Quigg in a statement.

He added that the project will take many phases and years to complete. The project is also supported by the city of Westport, the Quinault Indian Nation, local fishermen and local seafood processors.