Monday, January 31, 2011

Making rivers more navigable goal of U.S. Army Corps study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will solicit public comment on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study tomorrow from 2 P.M. to 8 P.M. at Tangeman University Center at the University of Cincinnati.

The public scoping meeting is being held to evaluate a range of options and technologies to mitigate the effects of the transfer of aquatic nuisance species through the region's inland waterways.

Aquatic nuisance species are non-indigenous species that threaten the diversity or abundance of native species; the ecological stability of infested waters; or the commercial, agricultural, or recreational activities dependent upon the water. Largely introduced through international commerce and travel, these species have thrived due to modern waterway improvements in both the Great Lakes and its connected rivers.

The study will inventory current and forecast future conditions within the 19-state study area, idenfify aquatic pathways that may exist between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, inventory current and future potential aquatic nuisance species, analyze possible controls – such as hydrologic separation of the basins, analyze the impacts of species control, and recommend a plan to prevent the transfer of nuisance species.

Input will be used to refine the scope of the study to focus on the most significant issues, such as natural resources, threatened ecosystems and endangered species, commercial and recreational fisheries, recreational uses of lakes and waterways, flood risks, and effects of nuisance species controls on navigational waterway uses.

The meeting will consist of two separate three-hour sessions.

Public scoping comments will be accepted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through March 31.

Future meetings will be held in Ann Arbor; St. Louis; Vicksburg, Miss.; Milwaukee; and New Orleans.

Previous reading on BC:
Ohio funds could create true 'Port of Cincinnati' (5/27/10)
Martin says Queensgate Terminals will be 'something that Cincinnati people are proud of' (5/4/09)
River West Working Group latest to oppose Queensgate Terminals (4/16/09)
Professor calls newest Queensgate Terminals report 'flawed' (3/18/09)
River West Working Group: Queensgate Terminals report 'unacceptable' (4/7/08)