Thanks to Congress-woman Lois Capps’s efforts, the federal capital needed to clean and safeguard Santa Barbara harbor was all but secured last week. The money will be used to dredge the harbor next year, and to carry out a sand-sucking process that ensures boats’ safe passage in and out of the harbor – not to mention grooming the sandbars of a nearby world-class wave. Faced with an ever-dwindling local commercial fishing fleet and subsequent scarcity of annual dredging funds, the $1.2 million in federal cash for the harbor floor tuneup is a boon for city officials and harbor users alike. The money comes as part of the fiscal year 2007 Energy and Water Appropriations bill passed in Congress last Wednesday. Payday is not yet a done deal, however, as it must still pass muster with an upcoming Senate vote on the bill.

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