The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin planning emergency dredging of Hampton Harbor over the next year.
The Army Corps' 2018 Work Plan includes $275,000 for planning work ahead of dredging.
The funds will let the Corps assess dredging conditions and draw up a contract for the project.
New Hampshire's Congressional delegation has been pushing since last year for the harbor to be dredged.
They say the facility is a big economic driver for the Seacoast, but wave action is forming sandy shoals in the paths of vessels and limiting safe passage.
Hampton Harbor is the state's largest fishing port, supporting dozens of commercial and charter fishermen.