Water Resources Planning for the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. DACW17-03-C-0003 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of the Army. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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Cover photo credits: bald eagle by Thomas O’Neil and lock and dam courtesy of the Alexis Park Inn & Suites, Iowa City, Iowa. Back cover map taken from Views on the Mississippi, the Photographs of Henry Peter Bosse, reproduced with permission, from the John R. Borchert Map Library, University of Minnesota.
Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
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COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS RESTRUCTURED UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER-ILLINOIS WATERWAY DRAFT EASIBILITY STUDY1
JOHN J. BOLAND, Chair,
Johns Hopkins University (Emeritus), Baltimore, Maryland
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
ROBERT K. DAVIS,
University of Colorado, Boulder (retired)
LEO M. EISEL,
Brown and Caldwell, Golden, Colorado
STEPHEN W. FULLER,
Texas A&M University, College Station
GERALD E. GALLOWAY,
University of Maryland, College Park
LESTER B. LAVE,
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Syracuse University, New York
ELIZABETH A. RIEKE,
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Carson City, Nevada
University of California, Irvine
RICHARD E. SPARKS,
National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, Alton, Illinois
JEFFREY W. JACOBS, Study Director,
Water Science and Technology Board
JOSEPH MORRIS, Senior Staff Officer,
Transportation Research Board
ANITA A. HALL, Program Associate,
Water Science and Technology Board
The activities of the Committee to Review the Corps of Engineers Restructured Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway Draft Feasibility Study are overseen and supported by the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board (lead) and the Transportation Research Board. WSTB and TRB members are listed in Appendix B. Biographical information on committee members is contained in Appendix C.
This is the third and final report from the National Research Council (NRC) Committee to Review the Corps of Engineers Restructured Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway Feasibility Study. The committee was formed in mid-2003. Since then, committee members have reviewed Corps documents and supporting studies, attended meetings and briefings, spoke with Corps staff members and other analysts involved in preparation of the feasibility study, and prepared reports. In the course of this work the committee had the opportunity to learn many things about the commerce, ecology, and history of the Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway (UMR-IWW) region. That learning process included Mississippi River outings on towboats and flat-bottom aluminum boats, and visits to sandbars, backwaters, and floodplains along the river.
The NRC’s review of the UMR-IWW Feasibility Study has been a lengthy engagement by any measure. It involved two committees and required more than five years to bring the review to this point. The first (Phase I) committee was convened in early 2000 to conduct a limited review of a feasibility study that was thought to be nearing completion. In its report, issued in 2001, the Phase I committee criticized several important aspects of the Corps study. This report, as well as criticisms received from other sources, led the Corps to pause the planning effort and to restructure the study before proceeding. Once work was well underway on the Restructured UMR-IWW Feasibility Study, the Corps invited the NRC to form a second (Phase II) review committee, asking it to perform an independent technical review of the entire feasibility study. The Phase II committee was formed in 2003 and met for the first time in September of that year in Washington, D.C. That meeting was devoted to reviewing of the first product of the restructured planning effort, an interim feasibility report. This review is documented in the committee’s first report (NRC, 2004a).
Subsequent meetings in St. Louis, Missouri; Irvine, California; and Red Wing, Minnesota, reviewed the evolving final feasibility study. The committee presented its conclusions and recommendations in a second report (NRC, 2004b). At that point the Phase II NRC review moved on to the subject matter for the third and last report. After a final meeting in Washington, D.C., the committee prepared the following report. The statement of task for the committee’s first two reports were identical, calling for the committee to review the feasibility study’s economic, engineering, and environmental aspects. This report has a different purpose. It considers larger planning and management issues in the UMR-IWW and within the Corps of Engineers, and also considers UMR-IWW management in the context of several NRC reports on Corps of Engineers’ planning procedures. Although the committee was at times tempted to revisit and comment upon its first two reports, this third report does not focus on ground that was covered in the committee’s first two reports. It is also worth mentioning that the statement of task for this third report differs from the statement of task that was earlier envisioned. As stated in this committee’s first report, the committee’s third report was originally intended to “review the Corps’ responses to advice from the NRC Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway studies (i.e., the reports of this committee and the NRC 2001 Phase I committee)” (NRC, 2004a). As this committee approached its third and final report, the Corps and the NRC agreed that a more useful and appropriate charge for this committee’s third report would focus on the NRC’s recent review of the Corps of Engineers’ planning methods and approaches. These NRC reports, also known as the “216” studies, reviewed several planning concepts relevant to UMR-IWW resources management and were used as a point of departure for this committee’s third report.
Throughout this extended review the committee has benefited greatly from a working relationship with Corps staff that has been as helpful and cooperative as it has been professional and mindful of the special responsibilities of independent reviewers. We particularly appreciate the effort that the Corps made to support this last part of our investigation. Among those participating in the Washington meeting were Major General Don T. Riley, Corps of Engineers Chief of Civil Works; William Dawson, Chief, Corps of Engineers Planning and Policy Division; Ken Barr, Environmental Analysis Team Manager, UMR-IWW Navigation Feasibility Study; Denny Lundburg, Chief, Engineering Division, Corps of Engineers Rock Island District; Rich Manguno, Economics Manager, UMR-IWW Navigation Feasibility Study; Chuck Spitzack, Regional Project Manager, UMR-IWW Navigation and Environmental Sustainability Program; and Richard Worthington, Senior Navigation Policy Advisor and Headquarters Manager, UMR-IWW Navigation Feasibility Study. Marcus Peacock from the Office of Management and Budget, and John Paul Woodley, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, also joined the meeting, generously sharing their time and thoughts.
The committee’s NRC Study Director Jeffrey W. Jacobs coped with the heavy work load that characterized this study process from the beginning, liaising with Corps staff, planning meetings, assembling documents, and—most of all—sharing with the committee chair the responsibility for assembling, editing, and revising committee reports. Jeff continued to be ably backed up by Joseph R. Morris of the NRC’s Transportation Research Board, who offered his own expertise to the committee when needed and assisted with editing reports. The Water Science and Technology Board staff, directed by Stephen Parker, provided their usual seamless logistical support, much of it delivered by Senior Project Assistant Anita A. Hall.
This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with the procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Donald F. Boesch, University of Maryland Center for Estuarine Studies
Douglas M. Johnston, University of Illinois
Catherine L. Kling, Iowa State University
Kai N. Lee, Williams College
Daniel P. Loucks, Cornell University
Nicholas Pinter, Southern Illinois University
Leonard Shabman, Resources for the Future
M. Gordon Wolman, Johns Hopkins University
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Walter R. Lynn, Cornell University, who was appointed by the Division on Earth and Life Studies and by Frank H. Stillinger, Princeton University, who was appointed by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. Drs. Lynn and Stillinger were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
As the nation’s river engineering agency, the Corps of Engineers will continue to play a lead role in operating and maintaining the UMR-IWW navigation project and its related benefits and uses. As societal values and resource availabilities continue to shift in unknown ways in the future, the configuration and operations of the UMR-IWW navigation system may likewise change. But it seems clear that the Corps will continue the trend toward working more closely with other federal agencies, state resources agencies, and citizens along the river. The Corps made conspicuous gains in this area during the conduct of the UMR-IWW study. This collaboration is a welcome development, as were a number of other innovations and achievements described in this report.
Our committee was pleased to play a role in this process. Just as it is hoped that the committee’s reports will have some lasting value in future river management decisions, we are each individually wiser for having been part of this process. We learned a great deal from meeting and working with the many Corps of Engineers employees, other federal employees, state employees, commercial navigators, nongovernmental organizations, and numerous citizens along the river. We wish them well in their future collaborations and as they work toward enjoying and managing the immense national resources of the Upper Mississippi River and the Illinois Waterway.
John J. Boland, Chair