National Waterways Conference's Budget Summit - March 9 & 10th 2004

Press Release
National Waterways Conference, Inc.
Washington, D. C. - February 5, 2004

National Waterways Conference To Hold Budget Summit

"5.5 IN '05, 6.6 IN '06" will be the theme of the National Waterways Conference's 2004 Budget Summit to be held at the Holiday Inn - Capitol on Tuesday, March 9, and Wednesday, March 10.

The unusual title refers to the billions of dollars it will take for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to function at a program funding level that allows projects to go forward -- minimizing the current undue project delays and terminations. If the Army Corps of Engineers were to have full capability funding for all of their projects, NWC estimates the price tag would easily exceed $8 billion. President Bush's recent FY2005 Budget request for the Army Corps of Engineers totaled $4.215 billion.

The NWC hopes to make their members aware of the challenges facing the Corps, such as under-funded projects and a rapidly deteriorating infrastructure. It will show how an under-funded Corps impacts each state or congressional district, as well as the national implications ofincreased congestion, increased air pollution, increased shipping costs and decreased jobs if the infrastructure deteriorates to the point where waterway closures are required. This information will make NWC delegates better prepared to address waterway issues when they visit with their congressmen and administration officials.

The Summit will be held from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday and Wednesday leaving afternoons free for congressional and administration visits.

Robert W. Portiss, Port Director for the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and Chairman of the National Waterways Conference will preside. Don Waldon, Administrator, Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Authority, will introduce the speakers.

Tuesday's speakers include Senator Trent Lott, Mississippi; Robert F. Vining, Chief, Program Integration Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Worth Hager, President, National Waterways Conference. Congressman David Hobson, Ohio, Chair of the House Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, will speak on Wednesday. Also on the Wednesday program is Austin Smythe, Executive Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget, who will speak on how OMB formulates and carries out the President's policies.

From the nation's earliest days, low-cost water transportation has allowed America to grow and prosper, but Federal waterways proposals sometimes threaten the country's economic growth. The National Waterways Conference was founded to ensure adequate waterways investment and to encourage a sensible approach to user taxes and fees.

Since 1960, the National Waterways Conference has worked to ensure the wisest management of America's waterways. By promoting a greater understanding of the public value of the nation's waterways, theConference garners support for fair and even-handed Federal waterways policies.

NWC brings together farming, mining, manufacturing, refining, shipping and other economic sectors, which rely on ports, waterway transportation and flood protection. Leaders of nearly 400 businesses, industries, cooperatives, state and local public agencies, utilities, ports and terminals actively participate in the Conference.

NWC is a nationwide 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 agriculturalproductivity, regional development, environmental quality, energy conservation, international trade, national security and overall public interest. Visit our Web site:

For more information contact:

Ms. Worth Hager, President
National Waterways Conference, Inc.
1130 17th Street, Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20036-4676
Phone: (202) 296-4415
Fax: (202) 835-3816