WHY WC I? PDFWho Is WCI? PDF
Dear Prospective Member,
As Chairman of Waterways Council, Inc.’s (WCI) membership effort, let me take the opportunity to familiarize you with WCI, the national public policy organization advocating for a modern and well-maintained national system of ports and inland waterways.
Our members include shippers and receivers of our nation’s bulk commodities, waterways carriers, ports, shipping associations, agriculture producer groups, organized labor, waterways advocacy groups from all regions of the country, and environmental and conservation groups, totaling approximately 175. WCI has accomplished great things since its inception in December 2003.
WCI programs and operations rely solely on the financial resources of the organization’s membership. We work to promote the importance of our inland river transportation network to policy leaders, the news media, and the general public. We are seeing progress in this regard through the passage of WRRDA 2014 and higher appropriations funding levels that will ultimately create hundreds of millions of construction man-hours and regenerate America’s economic prosperity through more efficient river transportation. We have an opportunity to make further progress with a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in 2020.
Our timely legislative initiatives are complemented with a strategic public education campaign, as well as our active grassroots work across the country. A strong foundation of public awareness is necessary to meet the challenges ahead, but our success is based solely on funding from our members.
I invite you to join us in Las Vegas for one of the premier inland waterways conferences, our 17th Annual Waterways Symposium, November 11-13, at the Four Seasons Hotel.
President, Upper River Services
St. Paul, Minnesota
WCI is a broad-based coalition of shippers and inland carriers, waterways service providers, contractors, ports, manufacturers, energy providers, agriculture and agribusiness interests, organized labor, conservation organizations, and other advocacy groups.
For more than a decade, WCI continues to provide tremendous value to its members who rely on the infrastructure that supports a strong and vibrant inland waterways transportation system
Changing Public Policy
WCI is the respected voice to Congress & the Administration. From Congressional hearings to one-on-one meetings, WCI is a valued resource on public policy.
• Increasing appropriations for lock and dam modernization. WCI leads the charge to increase federal investment in construction funding, delivering $1.3 billion in Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)-financed projects since 2001;
• Preserving the Inland Waterways Trust Fund by highlighting the multiple stakeholders benefiting from the completion of Olmsteddam. The IWTF was never designed to be a blank check. Shifting the 50%-50% cost to 85% federal-15% diesel fuel revenues will allow approximately $546 million for other priority projects;
• Prioritizing the $8 billion portfolio of lock rehabilitation and modernization. WCI members reached out to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deliver a 20-year capital development plan;
• Immediate goals: completing Olmsted’s dam while finishing Chickamauga, Lower Mon 2,3,4 and Kentucky projects; modernizing the Upper Mississippi & Illinois Rivers through the Navigation-Ecosystem Sustainability Program(NESP); maximizing efficiency on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW);
• Achieving a 9-cent per gallon increase into diesel fuel revenues. WCI members unanimously and voluntarily agreed to a 45%increase to the per-gallon diesel fuel user fee, leveraging an additional $145 million per year available for lock construction;
• Authorizing legislation. WCI led the advocacy effort for the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), providing Congress a blueprint for completing the backlog of rehabilitations and new construction;
• Stopping lockage tolls or other taxes. WCI continues to prevent proposals that would negatively impact barge transportation;
• Achieving funding. WCI urged Congress to appropriate nearly$450 million in 100% federal stimulus funding for lock and dam construction – unrequested by the Administration – in the 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.
• WCI successfully urged the Corps of Engineers to develop a 20-year capital development plan,the Inland Marine Transportation System Capital Projects Business Model of April 2010, which has become law;
• WCI members infused industry perspectives into the WRRDA 2014-authorized update to the capital development plan;
• WCI provides outreach to state legislators, governors and mayors;
• WCI is an important partner in Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) initiatives such as dredging and continues to engage Congress toward full annual appropriations of the $1.6 billion deposited annually into the HMTF;
• WCI searches for collaborative opportunities with conservation organizations;
• WCI is active in other entities important to the inland waterways, including the National Waterways Foundation, which commissions research on the importance of the inland waterway system, and the Inland Waterways Users Board (IWUB), an advisory board to Congress and the Administration;
Your Voice on Locks & Dams
• WCI is the go-to source for regional, national and international media. WCI iswidely recognized as a respected voice of industries impacted by the waterways;
• Comprehensive media & public education campaignso Award-winning brochures and publications illustrate the importance of ourwaterways system. Easy downloads available at www.waterwayscouncil.org;
• WCI’s TV commercial brings the waterways to the airwaves! View it atwww.waterwayscouncil.org. A longer 3-minute YouTube video is also available;
• Outreach to editorial boards at publications across the United States;
• Supporting RiverWorks Discovery, Living Lands & Waters, and other effortshighlighting the importance of our rivers and waterways;
WCI provides multiple opportunities for members to stay connected and to network:
• Bi-weekly Roundtable Discussion conference calls address the latest legislative developments, WCI staff activity, and timely topics of interest to members
• Bi-weekly E-briefs to keep members informed
• Our Capitol Currents newsletter provides comprehensive information from a national and regional perspective, including the Member Spotlight and Conservation Column features
• www.waterwayscouncil.org provides a wealth of statistics and easy access to legislators through our Action Center
• Our annual Waterways Symposium - join us in Las Vegas November 11-13, 2020 for our 17th annual Waterways Symposium at the Four Seasons Hotel
• Our annual Washington Meetings, held February 12-14, 2020 at the Mayflower Hotel - the premier fly-in to discuss waterways transportation issues with Congress and the Administration - Register Here
• More info? Text LOCKS to 52886