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 convention.
The Association recognizes the continued efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, state agencies including LA-DOTD and Texas Department of Transportation’s (TXDoT), as well as its own industry members who continue to manage, maintain, and navigate our waterway despite significant challenges posed by storms, fluctuating water conditions, aging infrastructure and budget realities. Recognizing the importance of inland marine transportation, decision makers must continue to carefully consider professional mariner input as they propose and promulgate new safety requirements, manage barge traffic throughout the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and implement 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 is pleased with changes to the cost share formula for IWTF projects. The Association fully supports a permanent 75/25% formula to help speed need replacement and major rehabilitation projects. The Association will continue efforts to move GIWW studies forward and into the Capital Investment Plan. In particular:
- IHNC Lock Replacement
- Bayou Sorrel Lock Replacement
- Brazos River/Colorado Lock Replacements
The Association again applauds TXDoT’s continued efforts to improve reliability of the GIWW in Texas. Focusing on choke points to clear traffic backlogs remains the right approach. TXDoT’s continued partnering with USACE on studies for the design and replacement of the Brazos River Floodgates and Colorado Locks is showing tangible results. Association members have been heavily engaged with the USACE throughout the past 12 months providing input to refine the proposed design of the Brazos River Flood Gates. A second round of navigation simulations in Vicksburg, MS in coordination with the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (RDC) will be completed in the Summer of 2022. This continued engagement will ensure the replacement structure will meet the needs of the maritime community for the next fifty plus years. 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 while concurrently maintaining safe and efficient navigation throughout the system.
The Association reaffirms its responsibility to its members to return a significant service and value for the membership dues and support those members provide. Over the past 12 months, the Association automated the collection and processing of annual membership dues and transitioned critical email communications to Constant Contact. The Association will continue to leverage technology to further streamline processes to reduce administrative overhead and enhance service delivery to Association membership 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 U.S. 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 recognizes the impact on safe and efficient navigation posed by the numerous aging bridges throughout the state of Louisiana. The Association will continue to build on the enhanced relationships and communication developed over the past 12 months with LA-DOTD and endeavor to support this critical state agency to meet the needs of both the maritime and shoreside public served by the numerous bridges under their purview. The Association will also leverage and enhance our relationship with the Louisiana Association of Waterway Operators and Shipyards, the USCG District Eight Bridge Program, and the Louisiana Multimodal Commerce Commission to ensure the needs of the maritime community are better understood and properly taken into consideration when decisions involving moveable bridges are made in Louisiana which may impact the safe and efficient movement of marine traffic.
The Association is extremely pleased the USACE’s FY2022 Work Plan which included $2.8 million for the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Replacement Study which will fully fund the completion of the IHNC Lock General Reevaluation Report (GRR) and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The completion of the GRR and SEIS are the critical next steps in the process to initiate the replacement of the IHNC Lock. The Association stands ready to continue to assist the USACE with community outreach to bolster local support for a new, modern, safer, and more efficient structure and see this project through to completion.
The Association is very encouraged by the recent Community Project Funding (CPF) request by Representative Garrett Graves (R-LA) for $400,000 to initiate the long overdue Bayou Sorrel Lock replacement study. The study will reexamine previously incorrectly calculated lock delay data resulting in an incorrect Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR) during the initial lock replacement authorization. The negative BCR generated by the incorrect lock delay data stymied lock replacement activities despite construction being authorized under WRDA 2007. The study and associated reevaluation to calculate an accurate BCR are the critical first steps to gain authorization to resume lock replacement. The Association urges the USACE to expeditiously complete the study and expedite lock replacement to facilitate the continued safety and economic viability of the waterway.
The Association would like to recognize and thank Seamen’s Church Institute for providing volunteers to assist in administering and conducting our 117th Annual Seminar.
The Association expresses its sincere appreciation to our 117th Annual Seminar sponsors. Without their support for our Seminar, and our year-round Association activities, our waterway would not be as safe, efficient, and effective as it is.
American Commercial Barge Line
Calhoun Port Authority
Canal Barge Company, Inc.
Enterprise Marine Services, LLC
Harbor Towing & Fleeting, LLC
Port of Houston Authority
The Southern Devall Group
T & T Marine Salvage
The Cooper Group
Florida Marine Transporters
Golding Barge Line
Ingram Barge Company
Jones Walker, LLP
Magnolia Marine Transport Company
Marquette Transportation Company
Matagorda County Navigation District #1
Port of Bay City Authority
Port of Harlingen Authority
Port of West Calhoun Navigation District
Waterways Council, Inc.
McDonough Marine Service
John Bludworth Shipyard, LLC
Dale’s Welding & Fabricators, LLC
Orion Marine Group
GOLF – HOLE SPONSORS
Ingram Barge Company
Marine Fueling Services
Oil Recovery Company
Gulf South Marine Transportation