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Monday, October 22, 2018

Big River Coalition News

Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening Project Moves Forward

Containerships docked at the Port of New Orleans which is located along the Lower Mississippi River and supports deepening the channel’s depth to 50 feet. (Photo: Port of New Orleans)

The Mississippi River Ship Channel could be the first port complex on the Gulf Coast to reach a depth of 50 feet now that the Director’s Report has been signed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Elected officials and industry leaders have long worked to increase the channel’s depth to 50 feet, which is the same depth of the expanded Panama Canal.In signing the Report, Corps of Engineers Director of Civil Works James C. Dalton stated the project is “economically justified and…

What a Difference a Year Makes

Channel and water management will become increasingly important for freshwater supplies and trade in the years to come. The work and our vigilance must continue. The present conditions on the Lower Mississippi River find the deep-draft channel from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico in good shape with no channel deficiencies or related transit restrictions. On the other hand, the Middle Mississippi from St. Louis to Cairo and especially around the areas with rock pinnacles at Thebes and Grand Tower both in Illinois have been areas of concern for much of the last two months.

Frelinghuysen Directs Corps To Maintain Lower Miss. River

The Big River Coalition praised the efforts of the Chairman of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee and the entire Louisiana Congressional delegation for their efforts to have the U.S. Corps of Engineers maintain the Lower Mississippi River to its project dimension. As the House of Representatives considers a Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal government through Sept. 30, U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of N.J., Chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, urged the Corps to direct funding to properly dredge and maintain the Lower Mississippi River. “I want to assure my colleagues that I have provided sufficient flexibility within the $2.361…

Louisiana Dredging Outlook

Photo: Magnolia Dredge

When maritime stakeholders think about dredging, they typically first conjure up visions of harbor deepening projects to accommodate those giant, post-Panamax boxships. Conversely, inland players hope for maintenance dredging in the heartland to keep the nation’s 31,000 cargo barges afloat as they head for the coast. But, there is much more to it than that. In Louisiana, dredging, of course, keeps Louisiana's waterways open for navigation, provides material for coastal restoration and helps industrial plants with drainage. The biggest projects are sponsored by the U.S.

WRDA 2016: Reclaiming Our Transportation Infrastructure

In the United States, transportation infrastructure is the bedrock of our supply chains. Ports and waterways in the United States moved over 2.3 billion tons of goods in 2014. A robust maritime infrastructure to support such ports and waterways helps goods to move freely and aid in more flow of trade and ultimately greater economic stimulus. Port authorities and waterways commissions are always seeking better ways to increase cargo volume and subsequently aid their surrounding states and regions - which all benefit the overall commerce of our nation.

Mississippi River Deepening Study

The Big River Coalition and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development commissioned economist Dr. Tim Ryan to calculate the economic impacts that deepening the Mississippi River would have on the state and national economy. The results of the study will be released during a press conference at the Port of New Orleans Administration Building, 1350 Port of New Orleans Place, Thursday, Aug. 22 at 3:15 p.m. Expected to be in attendance for the release of “The Economic Impact of Deepening the Mississippi River to 50 Feet” are U.S. Senator David Vitter, Ranking Member U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works; Captain Mike Lorino, Big River Coalition Chairman; Sean M.

Study: Deeper Miss. River Would Add $11.5 Billion to U.S. Economy

U.S. Senator David Vitter

U.S. Senator David Vitter, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, joined industry and Louisiana transportation officials here today for the release of a new economic impact report detailing the benefits of deepening the Mississippi River to 50 feet from its current 45-foot draft. The Big River Coalition and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development commissioned the study by noted economist Tim Ryan, PhD., entitled “The…

Mississippi River Deepening Project Gains Support

© Vladimir Melnikov / Adobe Stock

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) hosted its Annual Meeting in New Orleans, where NASDA President and Commissioner of Louisiana’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Michael Strain championed a motion supporting the deepening of the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet. Earlier in the week, Dr. Strain led the effort to gain the support of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (SASDA) on the same motion. “NASDA…

Port, UNO Host 1st Annual Maritime Workforce Summit

A Containership passes the Port of New Orleans (courtesy Port of New Orleans)

Summit Set for October 8, 2014 at UNO’s Lindy Boggs International Conference Center from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. With a focus on educating and engaging community stakeholders on maritime jobs opportunities, the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans and the University of New Orleans will host the 1st Annual Port of New Orleans Maritime Workforce Summit October 8. Moderated by Mark Romig, President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corp., summit participants include state and local education officials…

Cooperative Effort Promotes Mississippi River Economics

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.

New Mississippi River Promotion Alliance Formed

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.

Op/Ed: Making the Mississippi River Mightier

© Vladimir Melnikov / Adobe Stock

A plan unfolds and support grows for a 50-foot Ship Channel to support economical and efficient grain exports. The Big River Coalition remains at the heart of that collaborative effort to make the Mississippi River Mightier. In 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Institute of Water Resources (IWR) released a report under the direction of Congress to document the status of U.S. Ports to accept post-panamax vessels. The report, entitled, “U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization: Preparing for Post-Panamax Vessels” was officially released on June 20, 2012.

Update & Nav Warning: Upper Mississippi Rock Removal

Rock Removal information: Image courtesy of the contractors

The Big River Coalition provides the following update on progress made by the contractors on the ongoing “Rock Removal” (pinnacle rock) project being conducted on the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) in the vicinity of Thebes, IL., as well as navigational warnings issued. The contractor has completed work at locations C-105 and C-106. Surveys are being preformed at locations: C-107, C-108, C-109 to verify that the contracted amount of material has been removed before declaring these sites are complete.

Latest Transit Update: Upper Mississippi Pinnacle Rock

Upper Mississippi rock removal: Image courtesy of Big River Coalition

The Big River Coalition inform that the following transits restrictions have been established to allow traffic to pass during rock removal work operations at locations C-100 and C-101 (Thebes, IL). The restrictions may be changed based upon conditions, including weather and experience with vessels passing while the rock removal operations are being conducted. The original request for these locations called for full channel closures and these new transit restrictions resulted from passing a test tow through this reach of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR).

New Orleans Port to Host Maritime Workforce Summit

Port NOLA

Designed to expand awareness of the economic impact of commerce on the Lower Mississippi River and highlight career opportunities and pathways, the Summit will feature an array of speakers from industry and academia, along with a panel discussion on how industry can collaborate with educators to fulfill current and future workforce opportunities. “This Summit is designed to educate community stakeholders of the economic impact of trade, transportation and logistics throughout…

New Members Join NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Advisory Panel

(Photo: NOAA)

NOAA acting administrator retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., has appointed three new members to the Hydrographic Services Review Panel, a federal advisory committee that gives NOAA independent advice for improving a range of services and products that support safe navigation and coastal resilience. Sean M. Duffy Sr., executive director, Big River Coalition, New Orleans, La. Retired USCG Capt. Julie Thomas, senior advisor, Southern California, Coastal Ocean Observing System, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.

[Op/Ed] WRDA: Dredging up Progress

© alexmma1 / Adobe Stock

Digging out the small ports and harbors that serve as the on-ramps to the maritime super highway is important work. We support the WRDA language that makes our water commerce system work productively. The Presidentially-appointed Mississippi River Commission in its public meetings alongside the members of Big River Coalition and the MVFCA has heard from interests, discussed and supported this approach for more than five years. Our navigation infrastructure must be fully maintained or the efficiencies offered by the inland navigation system…

Op/Ed: The Mississippi River is Boiling!

(Photo: GLDD)

U.S.-Flag dredgers answer the call in the Mississippi River Basin.Major flooding this winter in the Mississippi River Basin has created significant increased shoaling in the Southwest Pass Channel of the Mississippi River. Shoaling is generally described as the river containing elevated levels of sand and sediment resulting in high water levels and river swelling. The Southwest Pass, spanning the lower end of the Mississippi River (Baton Rouge, La.) to the Gulf of Mexico, services…

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