WASHINGTON D.C. -May 21, 2004 -- Yesterday, the House and Senate Waterways Caucuses announced their formations through a press conference held in the U.S. Capitol. Led by emcee Congr. Mike McIntyre (NC), the co-chairs and members of the Caucuses spoke on the need for increased funding for the civil works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as the ways in which the waterways systems of America serve vital needs, including navigation, national security, flood control, hydropower, water supply and recreation. McIntyre was joined by Congrs. John Doolittle (CA), Kenny Hulshof (MO), Henry Brown (SC) and Jack Kingston (GA).
Congressman Hulshof expressed the theme of the day with great feeling. "We've been going after funding on a piecemeal basis," he said. "I believe this Caucus provides the opportunity for all of us, all over the nation, to come together to work for a common goal in a bipartisan and bicameral fashion."
Sen. John Talent (MO), representing members of the Senate Waterways Caucus, emphasized the multipurpose benefits of the rivers and the need for modernization, offering his view that environmental and economic aims are fully compatible.
Thomas F. Caver, Deputy Director of Civil Works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, welcomed the advent of the Waterways Caucuses, indicating that their establishment was a positive sign for the Corps, and pledged to work with each of the Members to insure adequate information and support.
Worth Hager, President of the National Waterways Conference, Inc., which also serves as the secretariat for the National Waterways Alliance, spoke on behalf of the stakeholders on the waterways systems including the ports and coastal waterways, Great Lakes and inland waterways. "I thank the caucus co-chairs and members for their recognition that our waterways are the lifeblood of America---providing transportation, flood control, water supply, recreation, hydropower, and environmental enhancement." She went on to say, "Crucial decisions need to be made which will allow us to continue to move freight and agricultural products, provide adequate flood control protection and meet water supply demands for our citizens. Our infrastructure is aging and in dire need of maintenance and modernization. We look forward to working with the Senators and Congressmen and their staffs in exploring topics that will lead to proactive policies, including adequate funding, that will enable the Corps of Engineers to better balance our goal of a sound and productive, economically and environmentally sustainable waterways system."
Representing the broad spectrum of water resources interests from across the nation, the House of Representatives' Waterways Caucus co-chairs are Congrs. Gene Taylor (MS), John Doolittle (CA), Mike McIntyre (NC) and Kenny Hulshof (MO). The Senate Waterways Caucus co-chairs are Sens. Pete Domenici (NM), Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), Blanche Lincoln (AR) and Ron Wyden (OR).
For further information, please contact (Ms.) Worth Hager, President, The National Waterways Conference, Inc., 1130 17th St. N.W., Washington, DC 20036. Ph: (202) 296-4415, Fax: (202) 835-3861, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NWA is an alliance of waterway related businesses in aluminum, building materials, cement, chemical, coal, grain and feed, fertilizer, iron and steel, paper and wood products, petroleum, salt, and other industries; port authorities; labor unions; water carriers; river valley and industry associations; banks; utilities; agricultural and electric power cooperatives; flood control and coastal protection proponents; dredging and waterway service firms; shipyards and repair facilities, and terminals, serving millions of customers, clients and consumers.
NWC is the nationwide "umbrella" water resources organization of waterways shippers, industry and regional associations, port authorities, barge lines, shipyards, economic development agencies and others joined together since 1960 to promote a greater understanding of the public benefits of the waterways system and its contributions to a sound economy, industrial and agricultural productivity, regional development, environmental quality, energy conservation, international trade, national security and the overall public interest.
Visit our website: www.waterways.org.