WCI E-brief

Waterways Council Release
16 June 2014

June 16, 2014 • Volume 11, Issue #11


On June 10, the President signed the 2014 Water Resources Reform Development Act (WRRDA) into law at a ceremony at the White House.  The signing was attended by Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member David Vitter, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member Nick Rahall, together with Senator Mary Landrieu, and Reps. Bob Gibbs and Tim Bishop. 

At the signing ceremony, the President said, “Meanwhile, many of America’s businesses ship their goods across the country by river and by canal, so we’ve got to make sure that those waterways are in tip-top shape.”

View the signing ceremony here:



On June 10, the House Appropriations Committee’s Energy & Water Subcommittee approved, by unanimous voice vote, its version of the FY ’15 appropriations bill that funds the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program.   Fiscal year 2015 funding for the Corps’ Civil Works mission is $5.493 billion, an increase of $25 million above the FY ’14 enacted level and nearly $1 billion ($959.5 million) above the President's budget request.

According to Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID), highlights include:
The bill contains no new starts or earmarks. 

In WCI’s press release, President/CEO Michael Toohey said, “Today is momentous for the inland waterways, but also for Americans who rely upon the critical cargoes that are transported on our rivers.  We witnessed the signing of the Water Resources Reform Development Act (WRRDA) 2014 into law by the President, and received strong House FY ’15 appropriations funding levels for the Corp of Engineers’ important work.  Congress acted on WRRDA, the President signed the bill into law, and House appropriators are now funding our waterways’ infrastructure appropriately in order to increase exports, sustain and grow jobs, and keep America’s goods moving to market.”     

The Senate is scheduled to mark up its funding bill in subcommittee on June 17, with the full Senate Appropriations Committee markup expected to occur shortly thereafter.  WCI will report on the developments to members this week. 


Tax Extenders legislation is on hold in the Senate and will not be brought to the Senate floor until after the November elections in a possible lame duck session.  WCI will explore other appropriate revenue options to pass its 6- to 9-cent-per-gallon user fee increase proposal, including potentially as part of the revenue title of the transportation bill expected to move before the July 4 recess.     


America’s Watershed Initiative (AWI) Steering Committee and other stakeholders including WCI will meet this week (June 17) in Arlington, VA to discuss final details for America’s Watershed Initiative report card that will be released as a draft at the next America’s Watershed Summit, October 1-2, in Louisville, KY. The report card will assess the health of key areas in the Mississippi River Basin and track status and progress toward achieving AWI goals.

Over the past 16 months, it has had the active participation of dozens of partners, organizations, agencies and businesses coming from each of the major basins of the Mississippi River watershed.   Workshops have been held in the Upper Mississippi River, Ohio River and Lower Mississippi River, and others are scheduled for the Arkansas River, Red River and the Missouri River.  

For details visit http://www.americaswatershed.org/


Online registration has opened for the 11th Annual Waterways Symposium and WCI Annual Meeting, November 12-14 in Chicago at the Drake Hotel.  The event is co-sponsored by Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI), Informa Economics and Waterways Journal.   The registration link is: http://www.etouches.com/89576

Wednesday, November 12:  National Waterways Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting; WCI Membership Committee Meeting; WCI Annual Meeting and Board of Directors Meetings; and Opening Reception. 
Thursday, November 13: 11th Annual Waterways Symposium, whose theme is, “Implementing WRRDA:  What’s Next for Our Nation’s Waterways?” and a special WRRDA celebratory dinner at the Signature Room on 95th.
Friday, November 14: Conclusion (half-day) of the Symposium.   
Cost: $650 Early Bird Registration (by October 14); $725 after that date.  Registration for guests attending social events only is $250/guest.   Sponsorship opportunities are also available online (or by contacting Deb Colbert, dcolbert@vesselalliance.com): Levels are Platinum: $5,000. Gold: $3,000, Silver: $1,500.
All events will take place at the Drake Hotel.  The deadline to reserve the hotel under the group rate of $239/night plus tax (single/double) and $259 (triple/quad) is October 14. (For hotel reservations, please contact the Drake directly at 1-800-553-7253, reference “Waterways Symposium.”)  Online hotel reservations can be made at: 
For questions contact Medina Moran, 703/373-2261 or mmoran@vesselalliance.com.


June 27:  WCI Legislative Roundtable Discussion, 11 a.m. Eastern