2017 Progress Report from Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association
Cruisers’ Net is proud to be a supporting member of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association whose efforts toward improving navigation conditions in the Waterway are invaluable. See Brad Pickle and AIWA Recognized by BoatUS.
If you are not aware of the achievements of AIWA, please read this report and consider joining AIWA to support their efforts on behalf of all Waterway boaters. See membership application below.
Greetings from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association (AIWA).
This year is going to be a very busy year for the AIWA in every state along the waterway and we are relying very heavily on the support of our members. Below is a list of some of our major accomplishments for 2017 and recent efforts in 2018.
• Worked with Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to increase funding for the dredging of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW). As reported to our membership in June, our lobbying efforts led to over $15.6 million for AIWW funding for maintenance dredging in Fiscal Year 2017, which is an increase of almost 80% above the President’s budget for FY17. This is the highest amount the AIWW has received since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Bill). We also worked with all Corps Districts along the waterway to secure additional funding to address impacts caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The additional funding for the AIWW is more than $30 million for waterway dredging in every state and brings the total to over $47 million in 2017.
• Looking forward to 2018 and 2019, we continue to receive increases in the amount of money included in the President’s Budget for the AIWW. In 2018, the President’s Budget included $14.455 million, and the recently released budget for FY19 has $19.139 million for the AIWW. These are much higher amounts than in the President’s Budget in FY17. Earlier this month, our Board of Directors met with sixteen Congressional Offices in Washington, D.C. to request funding for additional dredging needs for FY18 and FY19 and they are supportive
of our efforts. We also met with staff at Headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the visit to highlight the importance of the AIWW.
• We presented our annual meeting to bring decision-makers and stakeholders together to discuss issues impacting the AIWW. This year’s annual meeting was on November 15-16, 2017 at the Blockade Runner Resort in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Some of the topics included: State of the Waterway and ongoing maintenance efforts after Hurricane Matthew and Irma, beneficial use of dredge materials including a pilot project in Georgia,
establishment of no-wake zones in the AIWW, waterway access, and real estate challenges and opportunities. We were also joined by Captain Bion Stewart, Wilmington Sector Commander for the U.S. Coast Guard, Kyle Ward of NOAA, and Amanda Rutherford of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration in addition to many other stakeholder groups. The event was a major success and we look forward to being in Charleston, SC in 2018.
• We are working with non-federal partners to establish non-federal funding for the dredging of the AIWW. Florida and North Carolina have established non-federal funding programs and we are raising awareness of the benefits of providing non-federal funding in South Carolina and Georgia. This will be critical in the long-term maintenance of Marine Highway 95.
• Participated in regional and national coalitions to increase awareness of AIWW issues. We are an active board member and on the Executive Committee of the National Waterways Conference, Inc., and partner with numerous other national organizations. In 2017, we presented at the Local Government Meeting and Annual Meeting of N.C. Beach Inlet and Waterway Association; the Institute for Trade and Transportation Studies; the Smart Rivers Conference; and were invited to be on a panel briefing in Washington, D.C for the Congressional Boating Caucus which consists of Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
• Continued outreach with other federal agencies such as the Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard to support many efforts including the Marine Highways program and chart mapping efforts, especially in areas where maintenance dredging is needed.
• We published a newsletter of our efforts and distributed to the membership. Our most recent issue can be accessed from the News section on our website at https://atlanticintracoastal.org/news/. As you can see, we had a busy 2017 and are hitting the ground running in 2018. We want to thank you once again for the opportunity to partner with you as we advocate for waterway maintenance. We do not take our responsibilities lightly, and we hope that we can continue to work together to be the Voice of the Waterway into 2018 and beyond.
5A Market Street Beaufort, SC 29906 (843) 379-1151