Officials with the World Trade Center Mississippi River Alliance (WTC MSRA) and the Big River Coalition (BRC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a cooperative effort to preserve and promote economic growth on the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT).
The organizations will work together in support of increasing the draft in the Lower Mississippi River deep-draft channel to 50 feet to equal the maximum draft to be available when the new Panama Canal locks open in 2015. Along with this agreement, both parties will be given access to broadcast their organizational information and updates to each other and its members.
“The timing for such a partnership with the Big River Coalition is ideal. We need a combined voice on this issue which has major implications on the future of commerce, not just for Louisiana, but for the entire nation,” said Dominik Knoll, World Trade Center of New Orleans Chief Executive Officer. “We see the Big River Coalition as a strong ally that the Alliance intends to work very closely with going forward.”
“The Big River Coalition embraces this partnership with the newly formed World Trade Center Mississippi River Alliance and believes this amalgamation will serve to promote and protect commerce along the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT),” Sean Duffy, Sr., Executive Director of the Big River Coalition stated about the partnership:
“The Mississippi River Basin faces immense challenges over the next decade, floods, drought or low water issues (rock pinnacles), inadequate funding for dredging and maintenance of critical locks and dams (navigation structures) must be addressed through proactive measures and proper investment. Recent history demonstrates that our navigation channels and transportation infrastructure are under-funded by Congress and often taken for granted until emergency actions are required.
In order to protect our economic future as a nation, business and government leaders must unite to systematically modernize our neglected transportation infrastructure. This new partnership aligns the two groups on efforts to deepen the Lower Mississippi River channel to 50 feet an action that would help preserve the long-term economic vitality of the United States.”
The World Trade Center Mississippi River Alliance (WTC MSRA) is a non-partisan coalition of World Trade Centers along the Mississippi River dedicated to promoting the stakeholder interests of the world’s greatest waterway. The WTC MSRA is comprised of ten World Trade Centers and is led by the World Trade Center New Orleans’ Chief Executive Officer, Dominik Knoll.
Sean M. Duffy, Sr. is the Executive Director of the Big River Coalition. The Big River Coalition (BRC) was created in Fiscal Year 2011 in response to the announcement by the Commander of the Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi Valley Division confirming the discontinuation of reprogramming funds to maintain the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) navigation channel.