Waterways Council, Inc. Applauds House Approval of Key Waterways Improvements

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) commended the overwhelming approval on April 20, 2007 by the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize critically important projects on the inland waterways including the modernization of seven locks along the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, and projects on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Bayou Sorrel and the re-route of Matagorda Bay. These authorizations were included in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation. The 394 to 25 vote in favor of the WRDA bill supports the Nation’s goal of remaining economically viable and competitive.

“Waterways Council, Inc. is very pleased with the action taken today by the House to overwhelmingly pass WRDA,” said R. Barry Palmer, WCI President. “A modern and efficient lock and dam system on our nation’s inland waterways supports the transport of critical commodities such as grain for export, coal for electric power generation and chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry and aggregate uses. Our country cannot compete without a modern navigation system,” Palmer said.

America’s waterways system is an economic generator, attracting significant private and public investment in plants and equipment. This investment creates economic activity and family-wage jobs. The river system is a critical energy supply line, facilitator of exports, and an environmentally superior mode of transport.

More than 625 million tons of freight commodities move on America's inland navigation system each year. This commercial traffic includes building block commodities such as grain for domestic and international markets, steam coal for electric power generation, steel to domestic and international locations, petroleum products to distributors, feedstocks to chemical plants, and aggregate materials for construction use.

Waterways Council, Inc. is the national public policy organization advocating a modern and well-maintained national system of ports and inland waterways. The group is supported by waterways carriers, shippers, port authorities, shipping associations and waterways advocacy groups from all regions of the country.

Debra A. Colbert, Waterways Council, Inc.