Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) recognized the efforts of the U.S. Army, specifically Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for their efforts to protect the American public and safeguard the U.S. economy by keeping the lock and dam system on our inland waterways open and operating safely. WCI said the decision to keep the waterways open continues the long-standing recognition that the waterways – and personnel who operate them – are essential.
WCI emphasized that the impacts to the public could be profound should the locks and dams close, especially on the following groups: those who use the waterways for recreational boating and fishing, hydropower, municipal water supply, and who benefit from national security purposes, as well as those who benefit from the commodities shipped on the river, including farmers and electrical utility customers as well as commercial towboat operators transporting the nation's bulk cargos.
Just as last year when the middle Mississippi River nearly closed to shippers, the economic impacts to the nation could be catastrophic if our ports and waterways are no longer operating and unable to transport agricultural and other essential goods to market during this critical harvest period.
Public safety remains the priority, WCI said, adding that it recognizes the Army's and Corps' role in protecting Americans and ensuring that the U.S.’s essential waterways transportation system remains fully operational.