Capitol Currents Newsletter

2020 Part II

December 21, 2022

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2020 Part II

By Tracy Zea, President/CEO, Waterways Council, Inc.


WCI Board Member Jordan Howard of Associated General Contractors and I were having a conversation a few months ago about how 2022 is shaping up to look exactly as 2020 ended,  with another down-to-the-wire appropriations bill and the National Defense Authorization Act being paired with the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) during a lame duck session of Congress.


The good news is WRDA is starting to become muscle memory for Congress, with this being the fifth bill signed into law in the last 10 years. Before 2014, there was only one WRDA signed into law since 2000. But, even under regular order, there are challenges with Congress enacting WRDA. Noting the backlog of eligible construction projects, fewer projects are being authorized by Congress and fewer significant policy changes being included in WRDA make it easier for members of Congress to vote in opposition. This narrows the vote totals; for example, WRRDA 2014 in the House had 417 yeas, whereas WRDA 2022 passed with 384 yeas.


There is still strong support in Congress for passing WRDA on a biennial basis, and at WCI we do not see this changing. WRDA 2022 represents a significant step in the right direction for the inland waterways transportation system. Included in WRDA 2022 is a policy change for the funding of construction projects and major rehabilitation projects on the inland waterways system. In WRDA 2020, Congress adjusted the cost-share formula from 50% general revenues/ 50% Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) to 65% general revenues/35% IWTF over 11 years beginning in Fiscal Year 2021. In WRDA 2022, Congress dropped this “sunset” of the 65%/35% formula ending in Fiscal Year 2031, thereby making it permanent. This will allow the Corps of Engineers to plan projects properly after 2031, knowing they will have the additional dollars to support the program.


Also included in the bill was the Houston Ship Channel Expansion Channel Improvement Project, Texas, which consists of the Houston ship channel barge lanes. This section will allow the Corps of Engineers to construct and maintain the barge lanes at a safe depth.


Another win for the inland waterways industry within WRDA 2022 is establishing a five-year regional dredge pilot program. The pilot program aims to increase the reliability, availability, and efficiency of federally owned and operated inland waterways projects, decrease operational risks across the inland waterways system and provide cost savings by combining work across multiple projects.


At a time when relatively few victories are being accomplished in Congress, the inland waterways industry continues to obtain policy wins in WRDAs making significant advancements to our system. Congress must continue to enact a WRDA bill on a biennial basis so that the Corps of Engineers program and inland waterways system can continue to evolve.





Inland Waterways Users Board Meets

By Dustin Davidson, WCI Director of Government Relations


Like previous Inland Waterways Users Board (IWUB) meetings, the December 1, 2022 meeting agenda focused on cost overruns, planned and unplanned outages, and a look ahead at funding needed to complete priority navigation projects. While these concepts may seem routinely mundane, they are not. The inland waterways industry understands the seriousness of funding the system, and as each year passes and IWUB members rotate, the Board will always concentrate on the IWTF balance and construction project cost overruns.


The best analogy for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) is that it is the industry's checking account. Revenues or payments go in, while spending habits or annual appropriations determine the balance at each year's end. Over the past 10 years, previous Administrations, and Congress, have provided full funding from the IWTF, but recently that trend has changed. The inland waterways industry has contributed significantly more since the 2014 increase of the diesel fuel tax on operators. However, as the rise in revenues is clear to those paying attention, one issue continues to evade us all: outdated cost estimates and their impact on our system.


When WCI began efforts to direct Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding, our priority was to make sure funding would follow the Capital Investment Strategy (CIS). We were successful in our mission, leading to the first new start on the Upper Mississippi River with a new 1,200-foot chamber at Lock and Dam 25 (L/D 25) included in IIJA, starting the first of seven locks under the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP). At $732 million, L/D 25 was considered funded to completion. Like other ongoing projects, L/D 25 will become the next victim of cost overruns and potential construction delays. The Corps has put most blame on cost overruns as a direct result of COVID and inflation.


After two days of conversation at the December IWUB meeting, one of which included a tour of the Brazos River Floodgates, it became clear the cost estimates used for WCI’s IIJA lobbying efforts is the source of the problem. For L/D 25, the most recent cost estimate by the Corps was updated two years ago. Understanding more funding is needed to complete ongoing projects, the Board made it clear that the previous practice of providing cost estimates every five years is no longer acceptable in today's economy. Moving forward, the Corps will release these cost estimates as they are completed annually. With more up-to-date and accurate information, the Corps construction capability numbers should lead to full funding from annual IWTF receipts.


If there is a key takeaway to be aware of it is that the atmosphere in these meetings is becoming sharper, with the IWUB more engaged on the IWTF, and the Corps anticipating the Board's displeasure over IWTF balances. As we take our first steps into 2023 with a new CIS, and a new Congress, and a slew of increasingly expensive ongoing projects, the Corps must take direction from the Board and urge the Administration to buy down the risk of ongoing projects with the more than $150 million in the IWTF balance to deliver projects on time.




Legislator Profile: Rep. Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-LA-02)


In this issue of Capitol Currents, we profile another elected official who has championed the inland waterways: Congressman Troy Carter of Louisiana’s Second District.


The Honorable Troy A. Carter, Sr. is serving in his first term as the Congressman from Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, encompassing most of New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and River Parishes including St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, as well as portions of East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge Parish.


Congressman Carter currently serves on two House Committees, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Small Business Committee.


The youngest of six children, Congressman Carter was raised in Algiers. He is a product of Orleans Parish Public Schools and went on to graduate from Xavier University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Business Administration. Additionally, Congressman Carter earned his MBA graduating Summa Cum Laude from Holy Cross University.


Soon after graduating from Xavier University, Congressman Carter served for six years as the Executive Assistant to Mayor Sidney Barthelemy. In 1991, Congressman Carter became the first African American to be elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives from the 102nd District in Algiers, where he served as the youngest ever floor leader representing the City of New Orleans.


In 1994, Congressman Carter was elected to the New Orleans City Council, representing District ‘C’, which includes Algiers, and the historic French Quarter, again becoming the first African American elected to the position. After a hiatus from public office, Congressman Carter was elected to the State Senate for Louisiana’s 7th District, where he served as the Senate Minority Leader for the Democratic Caucus. During his time as a Legislator, Congressman Carter authored and co-sponsored hundreds of bills.


As a Louisiana state legislator, Congressman Carter championed large-scale infrastructure projects, economic development, and efforts to decrease homelessness drastically. He has also worked as a staunch advocate for criminal justice reform, women’s health care, and civil rights and equality on behalf of the LGBTQI+ community. As a Congressman, he actively continues his work to address the issues above and several others, including COVID-19 relief for individuals and small businesses, environmental justice reform, and reducing student debt.


Congressman Carter is a proud husband to wife, Brigadier General Andreé Navarro-Carter of the United States Army, and father to sons Troy Jr. and Joshua. They live in Algiers, New Orleans, where Congressman Carter was born and raised. 


Biographical Facts



Troy A. Carter, Sr.



October 26, 1963 in Algiers, Louisiana


Married to Brigadier General Andreé Navarro-Carter (U.S. Army).

Two sons, Troy Jr. and Joshua 



Adjunct Political Science Instructor, Xavier University

Executive Assistant to New Orleans Mayor Sidney Barthelemy

Elected in 1991 to Louisiana House of Representatives from 102nd District in Algiers, youngest floor leader representing the City of New Orleans

Elected in 1994 to New Orleans City Council

Elected in 2015 to Louisiana State Senate for Louisiana’s 7th District, as the Senate Minority Leader for the Democratic Caucus.

Elected in 2021 to U.S. House of Representatives for Louisiana’s Second District.



B.A. degree from Xavier University; M.B.A. degree from Holy Cross University



Public Office

Serving his first term from Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses most of New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and River Parishes including St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, as well as portions of East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge Parish.


He serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Small Business Committee



Q: New Orleans is considered one of the nation’s most culturally diverse cities, with a long history of Black mayors, police chiefs, and other public figures. As the representative for this district, can you explain how the city’s culture impacts your role as a legislator and the policies you pursue?


A: As Congressman, I’ve promised to spend every day of my tenure as the voice of the people of Louisiana’s Second Congressional District, which includes the great city – and my hometown – of New Orleans. And that means bringing the people’s issues, priorities, stories, and experiences to the forefront of our federal government’s policy debate and discourse.


That means not only celebrating and fighting for the culture and music, the spice of life that we love so dearly in my community, but fighting for our rights, our planet, and a better future for our children. We have to fight climate change to protect our incredible Mississippi River and our Gulf seafood industry. We have to fight to help our small, local venues recover from COVID-19 closures. Politics is personal and interconnected; it always means looking out for the communities and people that have been overlooked for far too long.


Q: You spent a significant amount of time in the Louisiana State Legislature. Your colleagues on both sides of the aisle have praised your willingness to find the middle ground. How did you achieve so much success as a Democrat in a Republican super majority?


A: You're correct that serving in the minority and as Minority Leader in the Louisiana State Senate was not always a hospitable political environment for Democrats like me. However, in Louisiana, members live together in an old army barracks converted into apartments. After the day's business was done, we would retire to our apartments and gather and spend time together. Through doing this, we built relationships, and often in this setting, we could resolve our differences and get things done.


I truly believe that bipartisanship is possible, and it is buoyed by building strong, genuine relationships with colleagues – even if they have different perspectives and opinions. We can agree to disagree. From the Louisiana House of Representatives, to the New Orleans City Council, to the Louisiana Senate to Congress, my career has been built by building consensus amongst disparate groups. I've done this by looking for the common ties, goals, and ideals that they share. I've done it by sitting down and working things out so that when we move, we move together and show strength.


While I believe in striving for bipartisanship whenever possible, I also believe in fighting for my constituents and their needs and perspectives. Sometimes that can overlap with the goals of my Republican colleagues – sometimes, it can't. But we will still have a positive relationship to return to.


Q: South Louisiana’s economy depends on a “working coast,” meaning industry and the environment must work together to benefit the state and the nation mutually. As a U.S. Congressman, how are you balancing the need to promote U.S. energy production and environmental restoration?


A: The climate imperative is urgent, and recent international events have made it clear that now more than ever that we need reliable, green energy sources that do not leave us dependent on foreign oligarchs. In the interest of national security as well as halting the cascading climate chaos, we can and must transition to a cleaner, greener economy without losing jobs or critical industry revenues for our state.


Offshore wind energy is a key component to achieving our nation’s clean energy goals to lower costs and cut pollution while creating good jobs for Americans. Our state can help be a model for how to implement offshore wind the right way.


Louisiana has a bright future as a leader in offshore wind because our state already has the existing infrastructure and workforce for offshore drilling makes it a strong candidate to lead the offshore wind industry. The Michoud NASA plant in New Orleans East is already making turbines for other state’s offshore projects – soon, it will make wind turbines to help capture wind energy in Gulf and help power our state’s electric grid.


Q: As a state legislator, you fought hard for the civil rights of disadvantaged communities. As a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and the Small Business Committee, how are you continuing your advocacy for severely impacted communities?


A: My fight to raise the minimum wage from a poverty wage to a thriving wage began in Louisiana, and I’ve continued that fight on Capitol Hill. The federal minimum wage, and the jobs in sectors exempted from it, have been used to stifle economic opportunity for communities of color for far too long. We must raise the federal minimum wage to help close the racial wealth gap.


The wealth gap between communities of color in Louisiana and our white neighbors is one of the biggest barriers we face to achieving a more just, healthy, safe, and thriving society. One way we can bridge that gap is through empowering and supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.


As a member of the House Small Business Committee, I’m working on expanding and increasing access to training opportunities for some of our most in-demand jobs – including for veterans upon their return to civilian life. Another way I’m working to expand minority business opportunities is through my bill to Expand 8(a) – an SBA-run program for minority/disadvantaged businesses interested in federal contracting – by one year.


One of the biggest barriers for people to start and succeed in their own small businesses – especially for disadvantaged communities – is the lack of access to capital, something I’ve centered in my legislative work. My legislation, the CLIMB Act, would increase opportunities for lending and financial services for businesses in the state-legal cannabis industry.


Further, I’m so proud that the Infrastructure Law included a provision to make the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) a permanent part of the Department of Commerce and to double the agency’s budget.


I also believe that someone who is re-entering society after incarceration shouldn’t be punished for the rest of their lives. That’s why I have a bill for a pilot program to allow people re-entering society to have access to resources to start their own businesses, and that’s why I’m pushing for the expungement of simple marijuana misdemeanors. 


One of the most impactful and proven anti-poverty policies that I’m fighting for is the permanent implementation of the Extended Child Tax Credit. This program from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) sent monthly payments to every American family with kids under 18, and over the course of just one year with this regular, dependable investment in our children, we saw child poverty rates decline by almost half, dropping from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021 according to the Census Bureau. Child poverty should never be a policy choice. We’re staring the answer in the face. Let’s make the extended Child Tax Credit permanent and end child poverty!


Q: The changing climate and natural disasters are impacting and disrupting our nation’s waterways and the industries that depend on them. How has this impacted your district, and what do you see as the path forward?


A: The falling levels of the Mississippi River show clearly that the climate crisis will threaten every aspect of global life unless we act. Along with being an environmental crisis, it will also be an economic crisis, disrupting already tenuous critical supply chains and transportation systems. The Mississippi winds through ten states, and its importance for trade has a global impact. Addressing this challenge is something that everyone, of every race and every political background, should be able to rally behind.


Q: New Orleanians have always been at war over which side of the Mississippi River produces the best people. Explain why the West Bank is the “Best Bank” in one sentence.


A: I love every part of New Orleans and my district, but the West Bank has a really special place in my heart. It is my birthplace. In one sentence, it has a strong sense of community, a neighborhood feel, pride, and a unique strength that creates tight bonds between neighbors and families.




ASA(CW) Visits Inland Waterways in Low Water


On December 14, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Michael Connor and Major General William (Butch) H. Graham, the Corps’ Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, visited dredging operations on the Upper Mississippi River and discussed low water impacts with waterways stakeholders. Among the stakeholders who participated were Jeff Webb, member of the Inland Waterways Users Board, First Vice Chair of WCI, and President, Cargill Marine & Terminal; Marty Hettel, Vice President, Government Affairs, American Commercial Barge Line; Paul Rohde WCI Vice President – Midwest; and Bernie Heroff, Port Captain, American River Transportation Co.



WCI Member Spotlight: Westlake Corporation


Westlake Corporation is the world’s largest chlorovinyls producer in addition to holding leading positions in PVC, PVC compounds, specialty polyethylene, chlorine and caustic soda.  With 16,000 employees and annual sales in excess of $12 billion, Westlake continues to grow in a range of products that enhance life every day — from housing and construction to packaging and healthcare, to automotive and consumer.


Headquartered in Houston, Westlake was founded in 1986 by T.T. Chao and his sons with the acquisition of a single, shutdown polyethylene plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Building on three decades of prior experience in Asia, the company embarked on a mission of sustained growth through further acquisition, expansion of existing facilities and new construction. Today, the company is led by James Chao, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Albert Chao, President and Chief Executive Officer.


In 2022, Westlake organized its operations into two segments: Performance & Essential Materials and Housing & Infrastructure Products — to better reflect its product portfolio offerings and recognize the growth of its business both organically and through acquisitions.


The Performance & Essential Materials segment produces the fundamental chemical materials that are used to make essential products for the agricultural, food, medical, construction, automotive, electrical, and cleaning sectors, among others. These intermediate materials provide unsurpassed protection and durability for end-use products found in the everyday lives of consumers. Businesses in the Performance & Essential Materials segment include Westlake Olefins, Westlake Polyethylene, Westlake North American Chlor-alkali & Derivatives, Westlake Epoxy, Westlake North American Vinyls and Westlake European & Asian Chlorovinyls.


Westlake businesses in the Housing & Infrastructure Products segment manufacture finished goods used in residential and commercial construction applications, such as residential siding; trim and moldings; pipe and fittings; architectural stone; polymer composite, cement, clay, and steel roofing; and outdoor living products, including decking and matting.  Westlake Housing & Infrastructure Products includes Westlake Royal Building Products, Westlake Pipe & Fittings, Westlake Global Compounds and Westlake Dimex.


In support of its 12 key North American manufacturing sites and broad customer base, Westlake operates a fleet of about 150 barges and a mix of owned, chartered and Certificate of Analysis (COA) equipment on the U.S. inland waterway system.  The company manages approximately 2,500+ inland river voyages yearly, moving Ethylene Dichloride (EDC), caustic soda, chlorine and other materials between sites, terminals and customers.  The company also maintains an extensive Jones Act and blue water presence supplying the East Coast and Puerto Rico as well as Trans-Atlantic, Caribbean Basin and Far East customers with caustic soda and chlorinated solvents and resins.  Westlake’s network of containers, Reefers, International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-Tanks and pressurized containers also support our international operations and customer base making over 30,000 container moves annually.


In addition to the extensive marine presence, Westlake’s Houston logistics team manages one of the largest private rail fleets in North America, moving over 80,000 loads annually in support of its diversified footprint. 


Westlake noted that it is pleased to join its marine partners and the many great projects supported by Waterways Council.



Conservation Column: WCI Honored with Conservation Innovation Award for Advocacy and Education of NESP


This summer, WCI was honored for its advocacy and public education on behalf of advancing the Navigation-Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP). At the Soil and Water Conservation Society's (SWCS) annual conference in Denver, CO, WCI received the 2022 Conservation Innovation Award for implementation of NESP, which achieved its start in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act earlier this year.


The award introduction read, in part, “Through NESP, there’s a spotlight on America’s greatest river and education for the public on the need for its restoration through workable solutions that benefit all citizens of its watershed, regardless of income, ethnicity, or other status. The efforts of Waterways Council, Inc. are most deserving of the 2022 Conservation Innovation Award.” You can read the write-up in the conference program here. Visit:


SWCS is an international conservation organization founded 75 years ago, and is headquartered in Ankeny, IA. Its mission is “to foster the science and art of natural resource conservation.” The Conservation Innovation Award is awarded "In recognition of an outstanding activity, product, or service by a group, business, firm, corporation, or organization the promotes natural resource conservation."


From SWSC’s website:


The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is the premier international organization for professionals who practice and advance the science and art of natural resource conservation. We believe sustainable land and water management is essential to the continued security of the earth and its people. Our goal is to cultivate an organization of informed, dynamic individuals whose contributions create a bright future for agriculture, the environment, and society.


Our community of more than 2,000 conservation leaders represents nearly every academic discipline and many different public, private, and nonprofit institutions around the world. Our skilled members include researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers, and ranchers, all who share the common goal of building a more sustainable future.


This was the second award garnered by WCI in 2022, as Campaigns & Elections chose WCI’s television commercial, part of a larger America’s Waterways campaign, as its Reed Award recipient in May for best television commercial for public affairs on the topic of infrastructure.


WCI thanks our members for your longtime advocacy of NESP and especially those organizations contributing specifically to WCI’s public education efforts.  



WCI Meets in Paducah for Annual Meeting, 19th Annual Waterways Symposium


WCI descended upon the “epicenter of the marine industry” as it has been called -- Paducah, Kentucky -- for its Annual Meeting, Board of Directors meeting and 19th annual Waterways Symposium, December 7-8.  This year, for the first time, the meeting was held in Paducah in coordination with the Seamen’s Church Institute 22nd Annual River Bell Awards, and resulted in record-breaking attendees, at 192.


After WCI’s Annual Membership/Board of Directors Meeting the National Rivers Hall of Fame presented its National Achievement Award to Dan Mecklenborg, who recently retired from Ingram Barge Company, and Tim Parker, Parker Towing Company.  Mr. Parker was unable to attend but participated by Zoom.


WCI kicked off its Annual Waterways Symposium with a Keynote Speech on the outcome and impact of the 2022 midterm elections with Nathan Gonzales, Editor and Publisher of Inside Elections. Gonzales, who spoke to WCI Symposium attendees in 2021 in St. Louis, reviewed the House, Senate, and gubernatorial race results in 2022’s midterms, noting that the results of the Senate were fairly expected, but the House outcome came down to independent voters who broke for Democrats over Republicans.


Next, renowned economist and former Economic Policy Advisor to President Reagan, Dr. Arthur Laffer addressed symposium attendees, saying “It’s all about incentives,” to work and invest and increase government revenue because higher tax rates create strong disincentives against earning taxable income. "Tax cuts are a way to increase economic growth", he noted.


Jim Bodron, Director of the Corps of Engineers’ Regional Business Directorate, and Acting Director of the Programs Directorate for the Mississippi Valley Division discussed a range of topics, from low water to the Navigation & Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) to the upcoming 2023 maintenance closure of the Illinois Waterway and the deepening of the Mississippi River.  He was later interviewed by Paducah’s local WPSD-TV. Visit:



Cary Sifferath, Vice President, U.S. Grains Council, spoke to attendees about a very timely, topical subject, “The Effects of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on Trade and Shipping.”  The low-water disruptions on the U.S. inland waterways were further stressed by the need to deliver particularly agriculture products to world buyers in the light of the Ukraine war. Ukraine, in theory, he said, should be able to export  15+ MMT of corn this year, but numbers are down almost 50% there from the year before.


To wrap up day one of the WCI symposium, Matt Woodruff, Chairman of the National Waterways Foundation (NWF), provided a primer on what the NWF is and all that it provides to the industry in terms of research, statistics and talking points that are critical to conveying the importance of the system to lawmakers, the news media, and the general public.


A festive opening reception was held at the 1857 Hotel in Paducah, with special cocktails that included “the Mistle Tow.”


On the second day of the waterways symposium, Joe Craft, Chairman, President, and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. addressed attendees, thanking the industry “for what you do for this country,” noting that the U.S. is in an energy crisis with coal in short supply. “It’s hard to predict the energy outlook here, given the volatility in the market” and intense regulatory challenges. Rushing toward renewable energy without a plan to replace coal and the materials, like minerals, to produce them is extremely short-sighted, he surmised.


The last panel of the symposium featured an update on navigation priority construction projects by the Corps of Engineers. Andrew Goodall, P.E., P.M.P., NESP Regional Program Manager for the Rock Island District, addressed progress at Lock 25 (L&D 25) for NESP. Adam Walker, P.E., P.M.P., Project Manager - Programs and Project Delivery Branch for the Nashville District, discussed work at Kentucky Lock, which has been delayed due to supply chain and contracting issues. Stephen Fritz, P.E., P.M.P., MEGA Projects Program Manager for the Pittsburgh District, reviewed progress on the Upper Ohio Navigation Study. When asked when these key projects would be operational, it will take around 10 years for L&D 25, 2030 for Kentucky Lock and anywhere from 2032-2035 for the Upper Ohio project, they said.


At the Annual River Bell Awards luncheon on December 8, which began just after the conclusion of the WCI symposium, SCI honored Jim Guidry, Executive VP, Vessel Operations, Kirby Corporation, with the River Bell Award.  Frank Morton, Founder and Director, Turn Services, LLC, was presented the River Legend Award.  The SCI Lifesaving Award was bestowed to the crew of Marquette Transportation Company’s M/V Miss Niz and Ingram Barge Company’s M/V Michael Granger crew.





Thanks to our generous sponsors of WCI’s Annual Meeting and Waterways Symposium 2022


Platinum Sponsors


  • Canal Barge Company
  • CGB, Inc.
  • Channel Shipyard Companies
  • CHS, Inc,
  • Crounse Corporation
  • Ingram Barge Company
  • Kentucky Laborers
  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation
  • Marquette Transportation Co., LLC
  • Port of Pittsburgh Commission
  • Southern Devall


Gold Sponsors


  • ADM
  • Alberici Constructors
  • Cargill
  • C&B Marine
  • Cooper Group of Companies
  • Illinois Corn Growers
  • J.F. Brennan
  • Missouri Corn Growers
  • National Corn Growers Association
  • Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
  • SCF/Bunge
  • Upper River Services, LLC


Silver Sponsors


  • AEP River Transportation
  • Amherst Madison
  • Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA)
  • Harbor Towing/Star Fleet
  • Heartland Barge
  • Hines Furlong
  • International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers
  • James Marine
  • McDonough Marine
  • McNational, Inc.
  • MEP Rail/Maritime Summit
  • Parker Towing
  • Port of Memphis



Save the Date for WCI’s Washington, DC 2023 Meetings


Online registration is now open for Waterways Council, Inc.’s 2023 Washington Meetings and Capitol Hill Fly-In, taking place February 7 - 9, 2023. Visit:


The fee to attend the WCI meetings and events is $650. A discounted rate is available for government employees.


Accommodations and Tuesday's meetings will be held at the InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf, 801 Wharf Street, SW, Washington, DC. Group Rates are available until Friday, January 13, 2023 at $299/night, plus tax. Reserve your room today visit:,%20Washington,%20DC,%20US&srb_u=1, or call the hotel at 202/800-0844 and reference Waterways Council. See the schedule of events (right). All times listed are Eastern.


Sponsorships are available for the Washington meeting: Platinum: $5,000 (includes one meeting registration); Gold: $3,500; Silver: $2,000. Contact Deb Calhoun, if you are interested.  Sponsorships can also be arranged online. Visit:


For questions on the meeting and registration, contact Amber McClay, 202/765-2166,


Tuesday, February 7, 2023


12:00 – 1:15 p.m.  Buffet Lunch Provided for Early Arrivals | InterContinental Hotel

1:30 – 4:00 p.m.  WCI Board Meeting | InterContinental Hotel Open to all WCI members in good standing.

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.  Hill Prep | InterContinental Hotel

4:30 p.m.  Adjourn | InterContinental Hotel

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.  Opening Reception | Whiskey Charlie, 975 7th St. SW (adjacent to hotel)

Evening Dinner | On Your Own


Wednesday, February 8, 2023


7:30 – 8:30 a.m.  Buffet Breakfast | InterContinental Hotel

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Legislative Meetings | Capitol Hill

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Capitol Hill Reception and Presentation of WCI's Leadership Service Award | Capitol Hill Location To Be Announced

Evening Dinner | On Your Own


Thursday, February 9, 2023


7:30 – 8:30 a.m.  Buffet Breakfast | InterContinental Hotel



Living Lands & Waters Sets Record for Garbage Removed from Our Rivers and Waterways


Living Lands & Waters (LL&W), whose mission is to clean America’s rivers, had its most productive year in 2022, setting a new record for the most garbage removed in a clean-up season – at 1.5 million pounds removed so far.


While not on a river, LL&W responded to the devastating tornado that hit western Kentucky on December 10, 2021, removing over 1.2 million pounds of dangerous storm debris from Kentucky Lake and its shoreline.


This year, they also distributed 146,985 trees in 25 states through LL&W’s MillionTrees Project.  They will soon reach the 2 millionth tree milestone, with more than 1.7 million trees planted and given away to date.


Besides the Kentucky Lake clean-up efforts, LL&W volunteers assisted the Hamilton County Police Association Dive and Recovery department to remove vehicles that had been sitting at the bottom of the Ohio River, some for over 40 years.  Together, they removed 14 cars in four days from the river. 


LL&W’s educators returned to in-person workshops with students throughout the Midwest. To date, more than 4,200 students have participated in learning about ecology and how to protect the rivers.  The program next will build a new classroom barge that will focus on clean water and river-related careers. This floating classroom is being built from an old, repurposed steam-powered crane barge from the 1930s. Learn more about LL&W here. Visit:



Low Water Disrupts Inland Deliveries, Detailed by News Media


The low water on the lower Mississippi River and Ohio River that began in mid-October and still hampers shipping today was a historic event not seen since 1988 that disrupted delivery, particularly of agriculture and coal products, to the world’s export market.  But the news media covered the event voraciously, with WCI becoming one of the key sources of information about the event. WCI staff and its members appeared on CBS Evening News, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC, Fox, CNN, CNBC, AccuWeather, the Weather Channel, National Public Radio, RFD-TV, and in articles for Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Voice of America, Agence France Presse, all industry trade publications, and many more.



WCI Launches Five on the Five


WCI has begun “Five on the Five,” interviews with a champion of the inland waterways. It features 5 questions issued on the 5th of each month. Those interviewed thus far include Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), and Rep. Garret Graves(R-LA).



2023 Industry Calendar




February 7-9:  WCI Washington Meeting and Capitol Hill Fly-In (Washington, DC). Visit:


February 22-23:  American Waterways Operators (AWO) Atlantic Region Annual Meeting (Baltimore, MD). Visit:


February 28 - March 2:  AWO Combined Regions Annual and Safety Meeting (Houston, TX). Visit:


March 7-8:  AWO Pacific Region Annual Meeting (Seattle, WA). Visit:


April TBD :  AWO Spring Barge-In (Washington, DC)


May 10-12:  Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway Association 2023 Annual Meeting (Orange Beach, AL). Visit:


May 31-June 2:  Inland Marine Expo #IMX2023 (Nashville, TN). Visit:


August 9-11:  Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Conference (Point Clear, AL). Visit:


November 13-15:  WCI Annual Meeting and 20th Annual Waterways Symposium (New Orleans).