|Written by Brad Pickel|
|Wednesday, March 23, 2011 04:44 AM|
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) is a commercial water
highway serving Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia
and Florida. Construction of the Waterway was completed in 1940
and it has become valuable for commercial, military, recreational
and dredging industry traffic, generating billions of dollars of
commercial, recreational and personal income annually. The
authorized depth for most of the AIWW is 12 feet, however,
there are areas that can be as low as 2.5 feet, creating a serious
navigation safety issue for users.
FEDERAL BUDGET AND MAINTENANCE
The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining
the AIWW. The Corps receives its annual funding from the
Energy and Water Development Appropriations subcommittee.
The federal budget becomes more challenging every year and
funding priority is given to inland waterways based on the amount
of cargo carried annually on barges. The Corps maintains the
annual Waterborne Commerce Statistics database that is the
documentation the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
uses to develop the President’s budget.
What OMB does not take into consideration is the many other
vessels that use and rely on the AIWW. Commercial fishing
vessels, sport fishing vessels, recreational vessels, National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) vessels, US Department
of Energy contracted vessels, research vessels and dredging vessels
are not documented. As a result OMB annually develops a budget
that is inadequate and has caused major shoaling problems in the AIWW.
The most energy-efficient way to move commodities such as coal,
grain, iron, steel, aggregates, petroleum and chemical products is to
use the nation’s navigable rivers. Barges can move one ton of cargo
576 miles per gallon of fuel. A rail car would move the same ton of
cargo 413 miles, and a truck only 155 miles. (courtesy of the
Summary of Emissions - Grams per Ton-Mile (National Waterways Foundation)
A 2006 North Carolina Report to the North Carolina Sea Grant Program, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and the North Carolina Beach, Inlet and Waterway Association (NCBIWA) on the Economic Impacts and Economic Benefits of Recreational Boating Along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) in North Carolina
A Study conducted by Georgia Marine Business Association (GAMBA) of their members indicated that $33million total revenue generated by the AIWW to GA businesses on the waterway
In a 2011 study completed by the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), They found that the Waterways currently generate an estimated annual state‐wide benefit of $11.86 billion in business volume, $3.02 billion in personal income, 66,843 jobs, and $540.4 million in tax revenue. The significance of the Waterways is further illustrated by the estimated impact of the 2007‐2009 U.S. economic recession, which results in a annual state‐wide decrease of $8.7 billion in business volume, $2.24 billion in personal income, 50,478 jobs, and $391.1 million in tax revenues.
|Last Updated on Monday, January 26, 2015 11:33 AM|