May 31 - The Port of Stockton has been awarded USD7.2 million to be spent on annual maintenance of the port's minimum 35 ft (10.6 m) mean low tide depth in the Stockton Deep Water Channel as well as performing overdraft dredging to deepen parts to 37 ft (

There is an on-going battle to control silt build up that can reduce the draft allowance, says the port authority.

"The dredging," said Port of Stockton deputy port director Mark Tollini, "will allow the port to continue to provide accommodations for large ocean-going cargo vessels transiting up the channel from the San Francisco Bay."

There is a current federally funded environmental study underway through the U.S Army Corps of Engineers regarding deepening the draft to 40 ft (12.2 m). The ability to offer 40 ft (12.2 m) draft to carriers and shippers would tremendously increase the value of the port.