New WRRDA Authority Gives Promise To Recreational Boating And Fishing Groups

NWC Newsletter
November 2014

Hampered by reductions in commercial lockages on the Upper Allegheny and Upper Monongahela rivers, the Upper Monongahela River Association (UMRA) has spearheaded an effort to use a provision in the newly enacted Water Resources Reform and Development Act to use contributed funds to increase hours of lock operations along those waterways.

WRRDA Section 1017 calls for the establishment of a pilot program to enable the acceptance and expenditure of funds contributed by non-Federal interests to increase the hours of operation of locks at water resources development projects.

UMRA, faced with the negative economic impact from lock closures in recent years, as evidenced by a loss in tourism and rising unemployment, has partnered with the Allegheny River Development Corporation and is working with the USACE Pittsburgh District, to use this new authority to keeps these rivers open for recreational boating and fishing.

In its comments on WRRDA implementation, NWC urged the Corps to implement this new authority in an expeditious manner to allow these local communities to reap the benefits that recreational boating and fishing bring to their communities.