GICA Resolutions: 2020-2021
The resolutions below represent statements of position on priority items for the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association and commend the efforts of individuals who have contributed by extraordinary measure to the organization. They are updated each year, and approved by membership at the Annual Seminar. These 2020-2021 Resolutions were approved by a membership vote on August 6, 2020.
The Association recognizes the continued efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its own industry members who continue to manage, maintain and navigate our waterway despite significant challenges posed by storms, various water conditions, aging infrastructure and budget realities. Recognizing the importance of waterways transportation, decision makers must continue to carefully consider professional mariners’ inputs as they craft safety requirements, direct barge traffic safely through shallow waters and direct dredging and infrastructure repairs to improve safety and the efficient flow of commerce.
The Association continues to endorse ongoing efforts to enact full funding for the Capital Investment Strategy and applauds the efforts of lawmakers who are supporting this initiative to provide for recapitalization of inland waterways infrastructure. Additionally, the Association supports the proposal for a change to the cost share formula for IWTF projects to a 75/25% formula to help speed need replacement and major rehabilitation projects. The Association will continue efforts to move GIWW studies forward and in to the Capital Investment Plan. In particular:
- IHNC Lock Replacement
- Bayou Sorrel Lock Replacement
- Brazos River/Colorado Lock Replacements
The Association again applauds the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TXDoT) continued efforts to improve reliability of the GIWW in Texas. Focusing on choke points to clear traffic backlogs remains right approach. TXDoT’s continued partnering with USACE on studies for the replacement or redesign of the Brazos River Floodgates and Colorado Locks is showing tangible results as the project has been approved by the Chief, USACE and will likely be authorized by the 2020 WRDA. The Association continues to stand ready to assist and support these forward leaning efforts by TXDoT and USACE.
The Association again affirms its support for Gulf states’ efforts and plans to restore and protect the coast and looks forward to continued participation in state led working groups planning and executing restoration projects. The Association is pleased to assist and provide input regarding impacts these projects may have on the inland navigation industry. Not only is a resilient coastline vital for the safety and health of coastal communities, but the very existence of the GIWW is reliant on the protection that the coast affords. The value of our waterway cannot be overstated and its protection should be a shared goal of states working to restore and protect our coastline from further erosion and damage.
The Association reaffirms its responsibility to its members to return a significant service and value for the membership dues and support that members provide. The Association continues to provide its members and the general public a useful and vibrant website and will redouble its efforts to identify areas where members expect, or desire, improved value for their membership.
The Association affirms its continued support for the partnership that GICA continues to foster relative to Intracoastal Waterway management issues, including its lead role in partnering with the US Coast Guard, NOAA and the Corps of Engineers with regard to hurricane and other emergency response needs of shallow draft navigation interests on the Gulf Coast.
The Association affirms its support for sister waterways associations and organizations focused on the inland waterways industry. GICA recognizes the value of a unified voice in working with these partners on waterways, towboat, and maritime issues. GICA stands with associations such as the Waterways Council, Inc., American Waterways Operators, Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority, Warrior Tombigbee Waterway Association, Texas Waterways Operators Association, Louisiana Association of Waterway Operators and Shipyards, Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Association, and others working toward the common goal of efficient, safe, and economical U.S. inland waterborne commerce.
The Association welcomes its membership on the Maritime Sector Coordinating Council and looks forward to continuing to represent Gulf region inland waterways and industry on the Council. The Association thanks the MSCC for its help with COVID-19 response and preparedness.
The Association is disappointed and discouraged by significant delays associated with two critical GIWW lock replacement project studies. The IHNC Lock Replacement GRR has been delayed for up to additional two years; and the Bayou Sorrel Lock study awaits a reexamination of previously incorrectly calculated lock delay data. Both projects would have competed well in the recently developed IWTF Capital Investment Plan. However, these delays mean they have missed another chance at timely approval, authorization, and ultimately, Congressional appropriations. The Association urges USACE to expeditiously complete work on these studies to assure the continued economical and safe operation of the locks and our waterway.