Governors Write Obama for Mississippi River Funding

Posted by Eric Haun
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Governors seek President Obama’s support for upper Mississippi River commercial navigation locks and ecosystem

The Governors of the five Upper Mississippi River States of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin are seeking President Obama’s support for critical investments in the Upper Mississippi River System as a nationally significant navigation system and a nationally significant ecosystem. In an August 20, 2014 joint letter to President Obama, the Governors expressed their ongoing commitment to the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) authorized by Congress in 2007. NESP is an unprecedented, dual-purpose program that integrates lock capacity expansion and modernization (including seven new 1,200-foot lock chambers and several small-scale navigation efficiency measures) and ecosystem restoration efforts designed to improve the river’s ecological health.

The Governors requested the President’s support for funding to address the navigation system's longstanding infrastructure needs to ensure its capacity to relieve congestion on other parts of the nation’s multimodal transportation network. Such investments are necessary to increase the system’s reliability and efficiency, minimize safety risks, and stimulate market opportunities. In the joint letter, the Governors asserted that “the time is now to both address the navigation system’s longstanding needs and ensure its capacity to relieve congestion on other parts of our nation’s multimodal infrastructure.” These infrastructure investments would also allow the region to capitalize on the Panama Canal’s expansion. The Governors also requested comparable funding for ecological restoration efforts on the Upper Mississippi River System.

In the near term, the Governors are seeking funding to immediately construct small-scale navigation efficiency improvements; restoration projects that will provide tremendous ecological and economic benefits to the region; and planning for at least one new 1,200-foot lock chamber to begin modernizing the system. Congress authorized NESP to construct new 1,200-foot locks at Lock and Dams 20, 21, 22, 24 and 25 on the Upper Mississippi River and at La Grange and Peoria on the Illinois Waterway. The current 600-foot locks found at most Upper Mississippi dams require the modern 15-barge tow configuration to be split in two, dramatically increasing lockage times at the most congested locks lower on the system. The small-scale navigation efficiency projects authorized by Congress include such measures as switchboats at Locks 20-25; mooring cells at Locks 14, 22 and La Grange; and a guidewall extension at Lock 22 that will better assist operators in transiting the locks prior to completion of the new 1,200-foot locks. Congress also authorized NESP to include comparable ecological restoration funding to address the effects of the lock and dam system and related impacts. Habitat projects on the Upper Mississippi have proven to provide tremendous ecological and economic benefits by restoring the river’s natural ecological processes and improving its ability to support an array of human uses.

The Governors understand that the Midwest’s prosperity and quality of life depend upon the Mississippi River’s continuing viability as the commercial artery that moves a substantial portion of the nation’s agricultural exports to the Gulf of Mexico. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad stated that “The Upper Mississippi River is a thoroughfare for trade in this region. Today, it helps the nation compete in the global economy, with 78 percent of U.S. exports of corn and soybeans flowing to the world market via the Mississippi River.” The Upper Mississippi River System is also a rich and diverse ecosystem, a vital municipal and industrial water supply, and a tremendous recreational resource. Thus, the Governors and the federal government have a shared duty to ensure that the Upper Mississippi River System continues to function as a vital commercial transportation corridor ¾ connecting our states to the world economy ¾ and as a globally significant resource to support the river’s multiple uses.

umrba.org

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navigation

Port of Amsterdam to Reward Green Barges

The cleaner the vessels, the larger the discount on Inland Harbour Dues. Port of Amsterdam will be joining the Green Award program for inland barges on January 1,

Panama Canal Expansion Moves Ahead

The works for the grout curtain to protect the foundation of Borinquen 1E Dam concluded today. The grout curtain is 2.4 kilometers long and 15 meters deep under

World Magnetic Model Updated

NOAA and British Geological Survey make critical changes to World Magnetic Model to ensure accurate navigation   NOAA officials announced today the World Magnetic Model (WMM),

Finance

Transpacific Box Shippers Plan Freight Rate Rise

A container shipping organisation urged companies on Wednesday to raise Asia-U.S. freight rates by at least $600 per 40-foot container (FEU) from Jan. 15, corresponding to an increase of 26.

Container Volumes on the Rise in South Carolina

Container volume up 13 percent at South Carolina Ports Authority; Charleston benefiting from federal appropriations    The SC Ports Authority announced another

Liebherr Expects Turnover Dip

For the 2014 business year, the Liebherr Group is currently anticipating an overall turnover of 8,866 million euros (2013: 8,964 million euros). In the area of construction machines and mining,

Environmental

Becker Marine Delivers Rudder for Largest Containership

Becker Marine Systems delivers rudder for the largest container ship in the world   At 19,000 TEU, the largest container ship in the world is now picking up speed

Port of Amsterdam to Reward Green Barges

The cleaner the vessels, the larger the discount on Inland Harbour Dues. Port of Amsterdam will be joining the Green Award program for inland barges on January 1,

BSEE Attends Arctic Council Meeting

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) David M. Moore recently traveled to Seattle, Wash., for a meeting of the Arctic Council Emergency Prevention,

Dredging

Container Volumes on the Rise in South Carolina

Container volume up 13 percent at South Carolina Ports Authority; Charleston benefiting from federal appropriations    The SC Ports Authority announced another

Phase 1 Dredging Wraps Up in Redwood City

Phase 1 of maintenance dredging of the Redwood City Harbor and Channel was completed this week, bringing the Port of Redwood City channel to a depth of 28 feet.

Royal IHC Launches Easydredge 2700

Royal IHC (IHC) has launched the first Easydredge 2700, the first vessel in its range of standard trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHD) to be delivered in summer 2015.

People in the News

Duffy Named President of Carnival Cruise Line

Christine Duffy has been named president of Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation & plc. announced today.   Duffy, currently president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA),

Obama Urged to Help Resolve Port Negotiations

In a letter today to President Barack Obama, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) urged the president to take the necessary steps to assign federal

USCG Commandant to Address PVA Convention

Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Paul F. Zukunft will attend the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. and deliver a keynote

Government Update

Container Volumes on the Rise in South Carolina

Container volume up 13 percent at South Carolina Ports Authority; Charleston benefiting from federal appropriations    The SC Ports Authority announced another

Obama Urged to Help Resolve Port Negotiations

In a letter today to President Barack Obama, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) urged the president to take the necessary steps to assign federal

ICS Alters Position on Ballast Water Convention

The global trade association for merchant shipowners, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has modified its stance towards the ratification by governments

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4447 sec (2 req/sec)