Marine Link
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Missouri River News

Missouri River Basin is Booming

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division is maintaining above normal releases at the four lower dams on the Missouri River. The excess water will allow the Corps to extend the navigation season and provide higher winter releases. Navigation service to the mouth of the Missouri River will now be extended until December 10. Conditions in the basin affected by tributary inflow could extend the season for days after that. Increases in shipping along the Missouri River are being seen north toward Sioux City for the first time in 11 years. The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce suggested that increased shipping on the Missouri River and all the way to the gulf, complements the air, rail and road infrastructure Sioux City prides itself on.

Missouri River Operating Proposal

After nearly five years of intense study and debate, the USACE, Northwestern Division has begun to make public the operating parameters it will recommend for the future operation of the Missouri River. The recommendation comes in advance of a soon-to-be-released Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the next step in revising the controversial Missouri River Master Water Control Manual. The recommended operating plan, or "preferred alternative," will closely mirror the recommendations of the Missouri River Basin Association (MRBA), a Missouri River advisory group appointed by basin state governors and tribal leaders. The USACE proposal will not include an intentional increase in water releases during the spring or a split navigation season ?

Interview: Randy Asbury, Executive Director, Coalition to Protect the Missouri River

Randy Asbury, Executive Director, Coalition to Protect the Missouri River

Randy Asbury, Executive Director, Coalition to Protect the shares with readers of MarineLink.com his insights on key market drivers for the coming year. To what degree are "partnerships" important to river-related advocacy? RA: Partnerships are fundamental to the successful outcome of river-related policy efforts and especially to issues. In today's complex political culture, it's imperative that collaborative strategies transcend what once may have even been unlikely partnerships.

Federal Agreement on Missouri River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a News Release

DOT's Foxx Names Two Marine Highways

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

Secretary Foxx Designates Two New Marine Highways. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has designated two new Marine Highways. The Occoquan, Potomac, and Anacostia Rivers make up the “M-495 Marine Highway Crossing,” and is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and This marine highway connects ports in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Maryland for passenger services. The upper Missouri River is designated as the “M-29 Marine Highway Connector,” and is sponsored by the Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri.

Rock Pinnacle Work to Begin, Water Still Needed

Tom Allegretti, President & CEO, American Waterways Operators.

Senator Durbin, Illinois Lt. Senator Richard Durbin held a meeting in Alton, Illinois, with Members of Congress, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, navigation stakeholders, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard to address the low-water situation on the Mississippi River. At the meeting, it was announced that the Corps will begin work tomorrow to blast and remove rock pinnacles at Thebes, Illinois, (shown in photo below), located south of St. Louis on the Mississippi River.

High Traffic Forces USCG to Shut Section of Missouri River

The U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday it was closing a 147 mile-long section of the Missouri River to marine traffic due to high water levels after recent heavy rains. The Coast Guard Eighth District office at St. Louis, Miss., said in a statement that recreational and commercial traffic was being restricted between mile 146 and 293 on the river, from central Missouri west to near Kansas City. The closure comes two weeks after the Coast Guard reopened a 500-mile stretch of the upper Mississippi River north of St. Louis that had been closed for a month by flooding and high water.

Durbin: Demolition of Rock Pinnacles Could Begin Next Week

File: Inland pushboat and barges.

At the request of Midwest Senators, Army Corps fast tracked process to keep water and goods moving on the Mississippi River. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)  praised the news that a contract has been awarded for the demolition of rock pinnacles in the Mississippi River and the work could begin as early as next week. In a November 29 meeting with Durbin and five other Midwest Senators, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, agreed to expedite the demolition process in order to help navigation on the Mississippi River.

EPA Objects to Dredging Proposals for Missouri River

EPA has determined that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Draft Environmental Impact Statement presents insufficient scientific information to support dredging permits allowing sand and gravel removal from the Missouri River. The applicant’s proposal would allow the removal of 11,615,000 tons per year of main channel river bottom material. EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said, “Adequate science is lacking to support issuance of the requested dredging permits. Under the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act, EPA is required to review the environmental impact of federal proposals. The Corps of Engineers will consider EPA’s comments as it prepares a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The final EIS will contain the Corps’ preferred dredging amount.

Clock Continues to Tick, Time for Action is Now

In response to the December 6 letter from Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy to Senator Richard Durbin providing an analysis of the impact of additional Missouri River releases to sustain navigation traffic on the Mississippi River, The American Waterways Operators (AWO) and Waterways Council, Inc. We reiterate that barge operators and shippers throughout the nation that rely on safe and efficient water transportation need  the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…

Poor Conditions, Better Communications

Industry and the federal government continue to work together to improve less than optimal conditions on the U.S. inland waterways. Measurable, although slow progress is being achieved. The summer of 2012 brought drought and poor navigating conditions to the inland waterways. Low water levels continued into the fall and threaten to move into winter, but the event has demonstrated how barge industry and government relations have changed over the years and what challenges remain.

Rock Pinnacle Removal Work Could Begin Next Week

Michael J. Toohey, President & CEO, Waterways Council, Inc.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports today that two contractors named to remove rock pinnacles at Thebes, Illinois are en route and are expected to arrive on location on December 13 and 17, respectively. The Corps says it is “cautiously optimistic we can start blasting next week” after it meets with the contractors and reviews their blasting submittals. “While this is welcome news, it only solves part of the problem to avoid an effective Mississippi River shutdown to commerce.

IRPT: Missouri River Showing Progress

Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals (IRPT) has anounced  the newly formed working group “MO River Basin – Navigation Revitalization Committee”, designed to increase freight traffic and business on the Missouri River. IRPT has encouraged and received cooperation with associated marine, economic development and trade organizations to promote the healthy growth and operation of ports, terminals and intermodal centers along the Missouri River to boost foreign and domestic commerce, development and job creation throughout the river system. The first meeting was held this past week in Kansas City.

USCG Issues High Water Warnings

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a safety travel advisory for sections of the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers due to rising water levels near St. Louis. The Coast Guard said barges traveling on the upper-Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois, to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, (mile markers 205.0 to 55.2) and on the Missouri River near St. Louis (mile markers 0.0 to 150.0) were advised to watch for sudden changes in river conditions over the next several days. Rain over the weekend in the upper Midwest caused water levels in the St. Louis area to rise and they were expected to keep moving up over the next several days. The National Weather Service along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forecasted an increase in river levels from 5 to 10 feet over the next 24 to 48 hours.

River Transportation Vital to Economy

of the mid-west region and the nation. commerce in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. Navigation System. said Barry Palmer, President & CEO of Waterways Work! river. world markets. residents and industrial facilities throughout the basin. St. Louis is the second largest inland port in the United States. cars each year. and efficient for our nation's economy to flourish," continued Palmer.

EBDG-Designed Project Honored by ACEC

The replacement of three historic river ferries along the Missouri River in Montana has been recognized by the Montana chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The Missouri River Ferry Rehabilitation Project won an Honor Award at the Montana chapter’s annual engineering competition. The vessels were designed by Seattle’s Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) and Helena, Montana-based Morrison-Maierle, Inc. The Montana Department of Transportation-owned project involved the design and construction of three replacement ferry boats and their cable drive systems, as well as new terminal structures and site improvements. EBDG developed the vessel hull design, propulsion system, electrical/mechanical systems and safety features on the ferries. Morrison-Maierle, Inc.

The Mighty Teeny Mississippi

Just as the nation averted the fiscal cliff, it looks as if the inland waterways industries narrowly escaped its own fiscal waterfall. At press time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates that, despite record low water levels, the Mississippi River will be able to sustain navigation through the spring for towboats and barges. This is welcome news for shippers, operators and the U.S. economy that relies upon a robust export market facilitated by the waterways transportation system.

Movement of $7 Billion in Commodities in Jeopardy

Mike Toohey, WCI’s President & CEO

The American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council, Inc. continue to warn Congress and the Administration of the economic effects that the nation’s midsection would face in the wake of further navigation restrictions or possible Mississippi River closure to barge traffic in mid-December. States along the river would see an immediate impact on jobs and wages, and the potential toll would be harshest in Louisiana, Illinois and Missouri, with thousands of impacted jobs and tens…

This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History - May 2

1882-An Act of Congress (22 Stat. 1932- Northern Pacific Halibut Act re-enacted Act of 7 June 1924, after Convention with Canada and made it unlawful to catch halibut between 1st November and 15th February each year in territorial waters of United States and Canada and on high seas, extending westerly from them, including the Bering Sea. Coast Guard enforced this Act. 1942-Coast Guard plane V-167 rescued two from a torpedoed freighter. 1942-Coast Guard prewar search and rescue procedure discontinued for security reasons. 1943-CG-58012 exploded and sank off Manomet Point, Massachusetts. No lives lost. 1995-Part of the Upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers rose above the flood stage, flooding areas in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky.

Low Mississippi Water Levels Threaten US Economy

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) & Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) warn barge transportation could stop in December. AWO and WCI call  upon Congress and the Administration to address a developing situation on the Mississippi River which could effectively bring commerce on the Mighty Mississippi to a halt in early December. Water releases from dams on the upper Missouri River are planned to be significantly scaled back later this month and these reductions are expected to negatively impact the Mississippi River water level between St. Louis and Cairo, IL beginning December 1. Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower, IL, which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows.

Marine Spill Response Corporation Extends Services

The Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) is now providing upgraded oil spill response services in the mid-continent region of the U.S., including the Mississippi, Ohio, Arkansas and Missouri Rivers. Captain Ian Walker will represent the National Response Organization, which owns and operates a fleet of USCG certified Oil Spill Response Vessels, in this new endeavor.

Missouri River Opens for Shortened Season

Towboats and barges continue to make their way up and down the muddy waters of the Missouri River thanks to the reopening of a 200-foot wide navigable channel maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. boats inspected the 8-foot deep channel. The U.S. channel by week's end. Gavins Point Dam in late March. the big upstream reservoirs. construction of a 750 Megawatt power plant continues near Council Bluffs. from the plant. That reduction would equate to nearly $60 million in lost revenues annually. depending on runoff. reviews the storage level in upstream reservoirs.

USCG Rescues Woman from Missouri River

Photo Coast Guard

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Gasconade rescued a woman from the Missouri River near the I-680 Bridge, Monday. While at homeport, a crewman working late to mow the grass heard screaming and saw the woman floating down the river. Chief Petty Officer Matthew Avery, the Executive Petty Officer, and Petty Officer 1st Class Austin West had the cutter’s small boat in the water to save the woman less than ten minutes after spotting her. The boat crew located the woman approximately 500 yards down river from the bridge, nearly submerged, unconscious.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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