Capitol Currents Newsletter

WRDA Hitches a Ride on Omnibus Bill

December 28, 2020

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WRDA Hitches a Ride on Omnibus Bill


Right before the 116th Congress adjourned, it continued the biennial process of enacting a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). For the first time in WRDA history, WRDA 2020 was attached to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 omnibus appropriations and COVID-19 relief package.


For inland waterways stakeholders, this WRDA bill represents a major legislative achievement during difficult political and economic times. The major win for WCI was the adjustment of the inland waterways construction cost-share formula from 50% Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)/50% General Revenues to 35% IWTF/65% General Revenues for FY 2021 through FY 2031.  Any project that is under construction during that time period will carry the new cost-share until construction of the project is completed. This adjustment will provide at least an additional billion dollars toward the modernization of the U.S. inland waterways transportation system. 


Other highlights of the WRDA bill and wins for the inland waterways industry include a 902 cost-limit increase for Kentucky Lock and a Chief’s Report authorization for the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway – Brazos River Floodgates and Colorado locks.  The cost-limit increase will allow work on Kentucky Lock to continue to completion, and the Chief’s Report will mean construction of new sector gates and channel widening to provide for more safe and efficient navigation while also helping with water and sediment management capabilities.


WRDA hitchhiked its way to passage on the FY 2021 Omnibus package that included the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that funds the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program. For the first time since 2004, a new lock project (called for in the bill but to be determined) will have the ability to begin construction with $113 million dollars appropriated from the IWTF, providing for an inland waterways construction program in FY21 at slightly less than $323 million.  This will ensure the ability to fund Chickamauga Lock to completion and provide efficient funding for Kentucky Lock.


WCI Holds First Virtual Annual/Board of Directors Meeting and 17th Waterways Symposium


After opening remarks by newly elected WCI Chairman of the Board Matt Ricketts (Crounse Corporation), a pre-recorded address by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 55th Chief of Engineers LTG Scott Spellmon was presented. General Spellmon said “the Corps does very little on its own,” citing the work of strong partnerships, such as with WCI, that allow for success in better engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges.


LTG Spellmon shared his Command Philosophy to promote and maintain a positive command climate, advance diversity and inclusion, deliver the program, and grow the next generation of leaders.


He noted that the Corps’ work is essentially a $22 billion annual business to support the Army, Air Force, Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, and many others, but has more than tripled to around $68 billion to serve these agencies and entities, “with more investment on the way.”


The Chief said the Corps continues to support Congress in its WRDA 2020 work, and once passed, will start development of the legislation with stakeholder sessions and public comment outreach. He highlighted that the Corps has completed 42 Chief’s Reports since WRDA 2018, with just 13 completed in 2016–2018. Six Chief’s Reports are expected in 2021, General Spellmon said.


Waterways champion Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), who lives on the Mississippi River, also provided a video message, saying “During harvest season, I love to watch the barges moving tons of soybeans and corn and other goods. Each one of those barges represents the hard work of our local growers and producers. It represents an investment in our small towns and in our communities…this underscores just how important our inland waterways are.”


Symposium participants also were able to watch a trailer for the Chicago Carpenters’ District Council’s Emmy Award-winning “Built to Last” TV episode about the importance of locks and dams to the nation. If you missed it, watch it here:


Next, a panel with the Corps of Engineers, moderated by Jeff Webb (Cargo Carriers/Cargill, Inc.) kicked off with a discussion of “Lessons Learned on the Closure of the Illinois Waterway 2020” ( by Tom Heinold, Chief, Operations Division, Rock Island District; “Review of the Capital Investment Strategy 2020” ( by Tom Smith, Chief of Operations and Regulatory Division; and “Dredging Through 2020 and Beyond” ( by Eddie Belk, SES, Programs Director, Mississippi Valley Division.


The Symposium’s Keynote Speech, “Macro-Economic View of World Trade and Politics 2020” by Jim Wiesemeyer, offered ever-humorous and informative insights into the recent elections, a view of what the Biden Administration will focus on (forming a Cabinet, issuing Executive Orders (EOs) that will likely abolish most of President Trump’s EOs, infrastructure, climate change, health care, and other issues like trade and farm & food policy). He also reviewed who will likely lead the top transportation committees important to WCI’s work in the House and Senate. He then turned to world and U.S. economy issues, with the biggest factor being COVID-19, with the timing and distribution of vaccines and treatments critical, the next COVID-19 relief package, trade that could increase after a vaccine distribution, and a possible ease in policy fights. In the global arena, Mr. Wiesemeyer said that the International Monetary Fund will revise its global GDP forecast higher but warns that the economy will be “prone to setbacks.”


China will likely see economic recovery, but tensions with the U.S. will continue, he said, and Europe’s economy will continue to falter amid surging COVID-19 cases. He expects a drop in oil prices globally, but virus vaccine news should boost those prices. Travel and leisure in the services sector will continue to be heavily impacted around the globe, he said. Mr. Wiesemeyer concluded with a look at the U.S. economy, the agricultural economy outlook and trade issues. See his presentation here (


WCI’s President/CEO Tracy Zea concluded the half-day symposium with closing remarks and thanks to our sponsors and participants on a successful virtual event.


Mississippi River Deepening Begins…How It All Began

By Sean Duffy, Sr., Executive Director, Big River Coalition


The Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC) is undergoing much-needed work that will help the Nation and this key artery of commerce become more competitive.


But first, a bit of background. The MRSC was authorized to be deepened to 55 feet in the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (WRDA 1986), and there were also other important items authorized in this same WRDA Bill. It created the Harbor Maintenance Tax and Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), but it also created a threshold for full deep-draft channel maintenance at 45 feet. Channels deeper than this limit of 45 feet would require a 50%-50% cost-share between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and a non-federal sponsor; for the MRSC that is the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD).


In response to this legislation, the Ship Channel was deepened from 40 feet to 45 feet, but the authorized channel would remain at 45 feet for decades. Then in 2012, Congress requested that the USACE’s Institute of Water Resources (IWR) prepare a report on the Nation’s post-Panamax preparedness in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-74). Congress tasked the IWR with preparing a report to Congress documenting the ability of the Nation’s ports to accommodate these large vessels at that time. The IWR utilized a broad array of navigation stakeholders from around the country to brainstorm with and collect information from. This included the Big River Coalition (BRC), with the information highlighted in the Congressionally requested report titled, “U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization: Preparing for Post-Panamax Vessels.” The report was presented to Congress on June 20, 2012.


The IWR conducted a conference call with stakeholders shortly after the report was presented to Congress, and later an announcement from the Obama Administration regarding the “We Can’t Wait” initiative combined efforts to fast-track the deepening of five East Coast Container Ports that were identified in the IWR Report. What followed was a true boots on the ground approach with Board members of the Big River Coalition expecting to address and challenge the IWR with historical information and economic data to battle for the deepening of Mississippi River Ship Channel and its inclusion in the Post-Panamax report.


Truthfully, there never was a battle at all, as the Coalition was greeted with respect and agreement that the report should have also referenced the benefits of deepening the Mississippi River. I will never forget that we prepared to advocate for the Ship Channel, but I was quite surprised that our reception was full of agreement. The focus shifted quickly to, “what would you like us to do?” Oddly enough in all the preparation, we had not truly formulated an answer, so with all eyes on me, I stated, the BRC respectfully requests that a Memorandum be attached to the Post-Panamax report that makes it clear the Mississippi River is a viable channel for deepening. The Memorandum for the Record was issued on August 24, 2012 and offered the following:


“IWR agrees that Port & Inland Waterways Modernization report could have considered deepening Federal channels on the Gulf coast to primarily serve post-Panamax bulk vessels.”


Invigorated by the positive feedback from the IWR, on August 25, 2012 I presented that the deepening of the Ship Channel to 50 feet be made a top priority to the BRC Board. Of course, their approval meant I had to research and develop a game plan, something I had done many times as a Coach and, yes, Waterways Management is a Team Sport!


Our plan would focus on the following:

The channel threshold for full federal channel maintenance must be increased from 45 feet to 50 feet. This was a provision achieved in WRDA 2014, so in many ways, the real stumbling block had been removed.


The USACE and LDOTD had to update the economics of the project and document the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of the MRCS Deepening to 50 feet. This was finalized with the documentation of a BCR of 7.2 to 1 in the Director’s Report that was signed on August 3, 2018.

In order to fund and deepen the Ship Channel, the USACE and LDOTD entered into a Project Partnership Agreement on July 31, 2020 and the historic deepening began on September 11, 2020.


I refer to the following two points as Louisiana Lagniappe (for readers outside of Louisiana, lagniappe loosely translates into a “a little something extra.”) Like a baker’s dozen being 13 not 12, but in this case, it also means improvements that were not required or part of the original game plan but that were critical to the deepening project. The first add was when WRDA 2016 changed the cost-share for channel deepening projects from an even split by increasing the federal responsibility to 75% leaving the non-federal sponsor responsible for the remaining 25%. The U.S. Soybean Board contributed $2 million to LDOTD to be used toward the non-federal portion of the deepening effort. Both extras were critical features of adaptive management designed to help facilitate the deepening project.


The present timeline suggests that the first phase of the deepening to 50 feet will be completed by the end of 2021. Of the 255 miles of the Ship Channel, only 66 must be deepened; the first phase deepens the first 33 miles of the Ship Channel, but upon completion 175 miles of the Mighty Mississippi will be available to deeper draft vessels. The next step in the deepening process requires 14 pipelines in the upper Ship Channel be deepened. The pipeline relocations are not considered a phase in the official USACE game plan; the second, third and fourth phases are to deepen the Ship Channel to Baton Rouge and the intent is to ensure pipelines are deepened before the dredge starts. Dredging will work upriver, meaning downriver areas will be deepened first and working the way up to the upriver limit of the Ship Channel. The timeline indicates the full length of the Ship Channel will be deepened by the end of 2024.


BRC is a long-time partner and collaborator with WCI and in the challenges of 2020 was compelled to officially become a member of WCI. We have long supported each other’s efforts to modernize the waterways system for the benefit of our operators, shippers and all that use the waterways. We look forward to continuing that important partnership and to focus on being a good teammate.

As I once said as a Coach and with this project, “We Win and Lose as A Team.”


Member Spotlight: Conrad Shipyard


This year, WCI welcomed Conrad Shipyard to its membership. Conrad, with a rich history, was founded in 1948 by Parker Conrad on a small parcel of Atchafalaya River frontage in Morgan City, Louisiana, to build wooden shrimp boats. Over 70 years later, Conrad Shipyard has grown into one of the nation’s premier Gulf Coast shipbuilders, with five strategically located facilities in Louisiana and Texas. To accommodate the ever-evolving needs of its customer base, Conrad offers new construction, conversion, and repair services for all varieties of commercial vessels, including pushboats, ferries, tugs, dredges, ATBs, tank, deck and construction barges, offshore supply vessels, and other steel and aluminum specialty vessels.


The company’s founder, Parker Conrad was a shipbuilding pioneer and a legend in South Louisiana and beyond. Parker’s commitment to the environment and to giving back to the community has been adopted by the second and third generations of Conrads now entrusted to continue the traditions. Johnny Conrad, Chairman and CEO stated, “Parker instituted a culture and core values of operating with integrity, of focusing on safety, superior quality and craftsmanship, and in always giving our customers exceptional service. Most of all, Parker believed in respecting others, in treating people fairly, and in doing what is right. Those ideals continue to be ingrained in every Conrad employee and remain at the core of Conrad’s mission. Parker’s advice to ‘only deliver vessels worthy of bearing the Conrad name,’ has served the Shipyard well.”


Mr. Parker’s legacy lives on in Conrad Shipyard’s relentless pursuit of bringing innovative, high caliber offerings to the industry. Conrad has the distinction of building the first ever LNG bunker barge in North America, the CLEAN JACKSONVILLE. Examples of Conrad’s commitment to delivering the highest standard of products to the WCI membership include the USACE’s Wicket Lifter for the Olmsted Lock and Dam project, the trailing suction hopper dredge currently under construction for Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, and the recent delivery of the 6,000HP inland pushboat, H. Merritt “Heavy” Lane Jr., to Canal Barge Company. Dan Conrad, Senior Vice President, has often recalled that, “the USACE pressed upon us just how important the wicket lifter was to the completion of the Olmsted project. We were proud to have constructed a quality piece of equipment for a longstanding customer, and proud to be an integral participant in the revitalization of such a critical lock and dam system.”


“Part of becoming an industry leader is the ability to stay on top of a diverse and demanding marketplace, to anticipate industry trends, learn about infrastructure improvements, and study legislative action impacting the industry,” stated Johnny Conrad. “Conrad Shipyard is honored to be a member of the Waterways Council. WCI is an exceptional source of news and information on policies and trends affecting our inland waterways operators and the organization provides an excellent forum to engage with them on those issues.”


Over the last 72 years Conrad Shipyard has delivered hundreds of vessels to government and commercial customers operating on the U.S. inland waterways. Conrad publicly trades on the OTC market: CNRD. Please visit to learn more.


Corps GLORD Announces 2021 Planned Lock Closures


The Corps’ Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (GLORD) announced its revised schedule for 2021 lock closures, along with 2022 planned lock closures, which will be finalized next fall. Below is a summary of planned 2021 closures:

Lockport Lock: December 3–February 5. Intermittent closures no longer than four hours in duration per closure.

Emsworth: Main chamber will be closed January 11–27 to complete work from 2020.

Greenup: Main Chamber closed from February 11–March 5. Auxiliary Chamber intermittent closures March 6–April 9.

Meldahl: Main Chamber closed February 1–4, then again February 12–June 11.

Montgomery: Main Chamber closed June 26–August 27.

Hannibal: Two 2-week closures of the Main Chamber between October 25–December 10.

Willow Island: Main Chamber closure sometime between June 1–September 30. Time and duration to be determined.

Pike Island: Main Chamber mid-April to the first week of May intermittent closures, exact dates TBA.

Kentucky: Chamber will be closed from November 1–December 10. 15-day closure, then open to clear queue, then another 15-day closure.

Cheatham: Chamber will be closed April 12–June 10, with openings every 11 days, for a duration of three days, with width restrictions.

Chickamauga: Chamber will be closed 07:00–18:00 February 16–March 4.


Inland Waterway Resilience Case Study: Your Help is Needed!


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and others are working to develop a Port Resilience Guide for the inland and coastal systems of the Marine and Inland Waterway Transportation System (MIWTS). The purpose of the Guide is to provide stakeholders and planners with a template and tools for assessing strategies that can be used for improving the resilience of the nation’s ports and waterways.


With respect to the inland waterways system, disruptions and delays in cargo movement often occur due to the linear topography and non-redundant functionality. The Guide will feature a case study examining the inland waterways supply chain to focus on two primary navigable tributaries to the Ohio River, the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. The case study will specifically investigate improving resilience of the petroleum supply chain for the Middle Tennessee region. The work is being developed by Vanderbilt University’s VECTOR Research Team, led by Dr. Janey Camp and Dr. Craig Philip, faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The team is supported by Ph.D. candidate Miguel Moravec and other students and staff at Vanderbilt.


Data analysis and input from key stakeholders will address the key research questions, which currently ask: 1) to what extent can the inland waterways system ensure supply of petroleum products to the Middle and East Tennessee regions during a disruption of the Colonial Pipeline?, and 2) to what extent might the inland waterways system’s ability to move commodities to/from the Middle Tennessee region be impacted by flood, drought, or earthquake?, and 3) what key ports/docks/terminals along the Tennessee and/or Cumberland River have the potential to provide loading/offloading capabilities that could be accessed as a result of a disruption?


To answer these questions, the research team is assembling data and mapping key transportation infrastructure assets, public industry economic data, and freight flows from various sources to characterize and inform stakeholders about the system. The team is also investigating the recent history of freight disruptions on the Tennessee Cumberland couplet to inform a series of potential future disruption scenarios. The researchers have convened the first of several stakeholder meetings, which included representatives from local to federal government, non-profit organizations, and the maritime and supply chain industry. The stakeholders will assist in providing input on current resilience strategies to include in the guide.


Ahead, the research team will deliver a concise, coherent case study document that will serve as an appendix to the Port Resilience Guide. The document will characterize the nuances of the inland waterways system through a resilience lens and illustrate an inland waterways resilience assessment on the Cumberland/Tennessee River Couplet.


For more information or if you are interested in joining the stakeholder team, contact Dr. Camp ( or Dr. Philip (


WCI Conservation Column: Corps Proposes Island to Protect Erosion, Provide for Wildlife Habitat


The Corps’ St. Paul District is proposing to build a 38-acre island near Hastings, MN’s upstream embankment at Lock and Dam 2 to prevent Mississippi River erosion. The protective island is intended to block wind and ice during both low and high-water conditions and would be armored with rock to protect the embankment that separates the Mississippi River and Lake Rebecca, popular for fishing. The island will also be seeded with wetlands and grasses to provide for a variety of shorebirds and nesting turtles. Its environmental benefits would also bolster wintering areas for fish to spawn, re-establish mussel colonies and provide varying vegetation to grow and sustain native species. The island would be constructed using river dredged material from the lock and dam pool collected near Hastings at a cost of $3-6 million. If approved by Congress, work could begin in early 2021 and could take about two years to complete.


The Corps held a virtual public meeting on November 4 to receive comments on the project.


America’s Watershed Initiative Grades Mississippi River Watershed


America’s Watershed Initiative (AWI), a collaboration of business, government, academic, and civic organizations working together to find solutions to the challenges of managing the Mississippi River and its more than 250 rivers, released its 2020 Mississippi River Watershed Report Card in December. This year’s report card marks progress toward restoring the health and condition of the Mississippi River Watershed and its basins, with an overall watershed grade of C-.


The transportation sector, which evaluates infrastructure conditions, maintenance and lock delays, received an overall grade this year of C, improved from the last report card in 2015 of a D-.


AWI’s goal for this sector as the nation’s most valuable river transportation corridor is to provide for safe, efficient and dependable commercial navigation within the Mississippi River Watershed to ensure a competitive advantage for our goods in global markets.

The Mississippi River and its tributaries serve as the nation’s most valuable river transportation corridor, providing safe, secure, well-maintained, and future-oriented inland infrastructure that is integrated with rail and highway transport to support cost-effective movement of goods and materials. Transportation scores improved from 2015, partly due to lock delay and infrastructure funding improvements. However, upgrades, regular maintenance, and capacity expansion are urgently needed to accommodate increasing demands on transportation and frequency of emergency situations such as flooding and natural disasters.


Indicators that were measured were: Infrastructure Condition: C (Condition of critical infrastructure at locks and dams); Infrastructure Maintenance: C- (The adequacy of funding for operations and maintenance of critical navigation infrastructure); and Lock Delays: B- (The average amount of time that locks in a basin were unavailable, weighted by the amount of traffic passing through the lock).


Corn Belt Ports Make Their Debut on the Global Waterborne Commerce Stage

By Col. (Ret.) Robert Sinkler, Chief Operating Officer of Streamside (Streamside Systems), and a Senior Advisor with Dawson & Associates (Federal Water Permit | Dawson & Associates | United States)


As the result of a bipartisan regional effort over the last year that involved, in addition to ports, three states (IL, MO, IA), 41 counties, 14 regional planning agencies, and over 635 miles of the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, three Top 100 Ports in the Heart of the Corn Belt are now for the first time recognized and ranked on the Principal U.S. Ports List, which is released annually by the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center. The Port Statistical Areas that were approved include:


  • The Illinois Waterway Ports and Terminals which is centered on the river cities of Peoria and Ottawa, handled 14.1 million tons of domestic freight in 2019, and was collectively ranked the equivalent of the 42nd largest port in the nation based on the tonnage handled. The Illinois Waterway Ports and Terminals include the Havana, Heart of Illinois, Illinois Valley, and Ottawa Regional Port Districts.
  • The Mid-America Port Commission which is defined by the confluence of the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers and headquartered in the Quincy-Hannibal, IL-MO area, handled 12.0 million tons of domestic freight in 2019, and was ranked the 44th largest port in the nation based on the tonnage handled.
  • The Mississippi River Ports of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois which is managed by a collaboration of five regional planning agencies centered on the Quad Cities, and includes riverfront counties north to the port city of Dubuque, handled 5.0 million tons of domestic freight in 2019, and was ranked the 81st largest port in the nation based on the tonnage handled.
  • Applications were submitted in early December 2020 to further expand and/or consolidate the Corn Belt Ports. It is anticipated that next year they will collectively be ranked as the equivalent of the largest inland port in the nation, and all three will individually be ranked as a Top 50 Principal U.S. Port.

“This national recognition reinforces the value of the Corn Belt to waterborne commerce and the global economy,” said Jim Tarmann, Managing Director at the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “Establishing Iowa’s first U.S. Port is an historical event for the nation’s top producer and exporter of corn, and the Corn Belt Ports will help open the doors for investment in multi-modal transportation infrastructure along over 600 miles of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers,” remarked Bob Gallagher, the Mayor of Bettendorf, IA and Co-Chair of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative. “The bipartisan leadership and support behind establishing the Corn Belt Ports in the Tri-State region just reinforces that this recognition is the smart thing to do, and will enable us to address a wide range of needed water resources issues,” said Mike Klingner, Chairman of The Upper Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers Association.


NCGA’s Social Media Message Highlights Waterways

In October, WCI member National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) developed a social media campaign “Inland Waterways Vital to America’s Corn Farmers” to highlight that the inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to export, with more than 60 percent of the grain produced in the U.S. being transported by barge.

Tracy Zea, WCI’s President/CEO, joined NCGA staff and grower leaders of the Risk Management and Transportation and Market Development Action Teams to see the construction of the locks and dams on the Illinois River and to tout the importance of the inland waterways. Watch his video message here:


In Memoriam, Major General “Bo” Temple

Major General(R) Merdith Wyndham Bolling “Bo” Temple, former Acting Chief of Engineers and Corps’ Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (June 2011- May 2012), and Deputy Commanding General of Civil and Emergency Operations for the Corps, lost his 13-year battle with cancer on November 1, 2020. He was 67.


As Acting Chief of Engineers and Corps’ Commanding General, Major General Temple oversaw the New Orleans construction program after Hurricane Katrina. He was also credited with leading the Department of Defense’s MILCON domestic and global military building expansion effort designed to make more efficient military design and construction.


According to Engineering News Record, who named Major General Temple an “ENR Newsmaker in 2010,” he improved project time-to-completion by 30% while reducing costs by 15% and expanded Corps-Industry partnerships programs “in ways that allowed the Army to leverage commercial standards and construction techniques,” according to one biography.

Major General Temple was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a degree in civil engineering, receiving his Master’ degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University.


Commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1975, Major General Temple served as a Platoon Leader in the 44th Engineer Battalion, Korea, and in the 548th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy), Ft. Bragg; on the staff of U.S. Army Europe & 7th Army in Heidelberg, Germany; and commanded A/307th and later served on the 307th Engineer Battalion and 82d Airborne Division staffs in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War. Major General Temple also served at the NATO Headquarters in Izmir, Turkey, with the U.S. Army Personnel Command Center in Virginia, and as a Reserve Component advisor with the Readiness Group in Denver, Colorado.


His esteemed military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit the Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Superior Unit Award, the Army Staff Badge, and the Master Parachutist Badge.

Major General Temple retired from the U.S. Army in 2012. Upon retiring, he joined policy consulting group Dawson & Associates, and served as a Board Director of design firm Dewberry.


Profiled: The Waterways In Your State

We remind you that the National Waterways Foundation (NWF) has commissioned state waterways profiles for 17 states, including Wisconsin, shown here. Developed by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. (CSI), these new inland waterways-focused profiles using the National IMPLAN economic model evaluate current economic and commodity flow information and provide details on inland waterways and waterways-dependent industries, top commodities, and the industries that most benefit from the inland waterways in each state. High-level, national benefits of and general statistics for the inland waterways are also included. The state inland waterways profiles can be found at, “CLICK YOUR STATE TO LEARN MORE.” CSI’s data methodology document can be found here:


Happy Holidays from WCI!

The WCI staff of President/CEO Tracy Zea, Senior Vice President Deb Calhoun, Vice President-Midwest Paul Rohde, and Senior Executive Assistant Medina Moran wish you the happiest and safest of holidays. Thank you for your support in 2020, and we look forward to serving you – and seeing you in person we hope!—in 2021!


2021 Industry Calendar (subject to change)

February 23: WCI Board of Directors Meeting (Virtual). Stay tuned for details.

March 4-6: Commodity Classic, San Antonio, TX (Henry. B. González Convention Center)

April 23: Seamen’s Church Institute Maritime Training Benefit Luncheon (Houston, TX, Marriott Marquis)

May 18-20: American Waterways Operators’ Spring Convention and Board of Directors Meeting (Washington, D.C., The Mandarin Oriental Hotel)

May 24-26: Inland Marine Expo (St. Louis, MO)

June 10: Seamen’s Church Institute Silver Bell Award Dinner (New York, Pier 60)

June 2-4: National Grain & Feed Association 125th Annual Convention (San Diego, CA, Hotel Del Coronado)

September 26-29: American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Annual Convention (Austin, TX)

November TBD: WCI Annual Meeting and 18th Annual Waterways Symposium (Location TBD) Stay tuned for details.

December 1-3: International WorkBoat Show (New Orleans)

December 9: Seamen’s Church Institute 22nd Annual River Bell Award Luncheon (Paducah, KY, Paducah McCracken County Convention Center)