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The Corps of Engineers Problem - Underfunding

Excerpts from a letter from Charles M. Hess, Chief, Operations Division, Navigation and Operations Branch, US Army Corps of Engineers to Senator Robert Byrd - 25 September 2001

"With the current budgetary restraints, the Corps is challenged to continue business as usual, and, must balance operational flexibility in the navigation projects with several other missions’ needs. One impact of limited resources is a growing maintenance backlog, which is in excess of $800 million. The inland waterways infrastructure is experiencing more than $350 million of this maintenance backlog which impacts the locks and dams on the Monongahela River.

Our Corps districts are trying to find ways to keep our projects functional within the constraints imposed by the reduced funding and staff levels in the field. They have assessed the operational requirements and levels of service that must be provided to ensure an efficient and effective waterborne transportation system within the constraints of a reduced budget."

The Waterways Journal carried a good story on the problem in their 23 September 2002 issue. See Waterways Funding Faces Numerous Obstacles

Captain George Boyle's report on the National Waterways Congressional visit day, March 2004

Recently we have found other organizations are recognizing that their problems with Corps of Engineers maintenance of Navigation works are not just a local problem, but are part of a national set of priorities.

It would be nice to be able to write of a national coalition in support of a solution, but that has not yet been organized. We are at present, however, moving toward a conjunction of efforts.

This page provides links to work of, and news about, other organizations seeking to solve the Navigation Problem.

These organizations include:

Publications with a direct interest in the crusade include:

Anchors Aweigh Magazine