IRPT and U.S. Army Corps, IWR sign Memorandum of Common Purpose

September 12, 2018:

Cindy Cutrera, Port of Morgan City and President of Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals and Dr. Joe Manous, Jr., Director for the Institute of Water Resources (IWR) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed the Memorandum in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 12th.

Through the IWR, the Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center (NDC), exercises its Federal responsibility for establishing and maintaining a variety of water transportation automatic information systems that include databases and statistics pertaining to waterborne commodity and vessel movements, domestic commercial vessel characteristics, port and waterway facilities, lock facilities, lock operations, and navigation dredging projects, and helps ensure that USACE decisions are based on the best available data.

“While we are all different, some of the problems experienced by our Members, such as inadequate funding and tonnage reporting, we have common issues throughout the Inland River system”, says Cindy Cutrera. One of those challenges includes conveying an accurate account of what travels on the river system and how much the nation depends on the river system being open for commercial navigation.

It is our vision to navigate a path forward through strategic partnerships, such as with the Institute of Water Resources for an accurate reporting system with valuable data that shows the truest value of the inland waterway system for freight transportation in order to support adequate, long-term funding.

The memorandum explained the authorities, goals and objectives of their individual organizations and have found a common ground for mutual support to meet the present-day challenges facing the Nation’s inland waterways, rivers, ports and terminal facilities as well as the collaborative actions needed to address those challenges. We agreed to:

  1. collect and disseminate information on marine commerce, environmental health, social values and other information pertinent to a sustainable, resilient inland and coastal navigable waterways system; and
  2. foster the development of a collaborate public river portal to enhance the safety and efficiency of commercial navigation, leveraging the USACE waterborne operational and performance data;
  3. mutually develop an initial plan of specific actions to meet common goals.

Educating inland waterway users on the basics of tonnage reporting is IRPT’s first step in achieving our goals.