Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
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42 Proceedings Summer 2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings 3. See www.nps.gov/miss/riverfacts. 4. See www.waterwayscouncil.org. 5. See www.marad.dot.gov/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Phase_II_Report_Final_ 121907.pdf, page 38. 6. See www.nps.gov/miss/riverfacts. 7. See www.mvr.usace.army.mil. 8. GAO Report 14-667, "Oil and Gas Transportation: Department of Transportation is Taking Actions to Address Rail Safety, but Additional Actions are Needed to Improve Pipeline Safety," August 21, 2014. 9. "An Evaluation of Maritime Policy in Meeting the Commercial and Security Needs of the United States," prepared by IHS Global Insight, Inc., for the Maritime Administration, January 7, 2009. 10. "Panama Canal Expansion Study, Phase 1 Report: Developments in Trade and National and Global Economies," prepared by the Economic Development Research Group, Inc., for the Maritime Administration, November 2013. 11. "M-55 Illinois-Gulf Marine Highway Initiative," prepared by the RNO Group for the Missouri Department of Transportation, March 2013. 12. Information provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems (CG-NAV-3). 13. Information provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Cutter Forces (CG-751). Recapitalization estimate is in 2012 dollars. 14. "Record Harvest Seen Pushing U.S. River Transportation System to Near Break- ing Point," Michael Hirtzer and Karl Plume, Reuters, September 25, 2014. emphasize that utilizing our maritime transportation sys- tem can aid these efforts. An assertive information campaign leveraging these issues will raise the visibility of the Mississippi River system to policymakers and legislators beyond those from the states the system runs through. About the author: CAPT Cribbs is a military fellow at the Center for Strategic and Interna- tional Studies. He has served 10 years at sea on five cutters and recently completed an assignment as commanding officer of USCGC Harriet Lane. CAPT Cribbs has served in diverse staff assignments, including assistant Senate liaison in Coast Guard Congressional Affairs and project manager at Civil Engineering Unit Providence. CAPT Cribbs holds a B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering and is a licensed professional engineer. Endnotes: 1. See www.nps.gov/miss/riverfacts. 2. National Security Strategy, February 2015. Risk-Based System Protection Transportation systems require protec- tion, but what are the threats to our waterways? Acts of terrorism certainly cannot be ruled out, but recent history indicates that other modes of trans- portation are more attractive targets for terrorists. History, however, shows us that major waterway closures regularly result from natural disasters and extreme weather. For example, in 2012, extreme drought triggered a low-water crisis that came dangerously close to closing the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois. In 2013, massive flooding on the Illinois River caused several barges to break loose from their moorings and crash into the Marseilles Dam, temporarily shutting down the river. So while implementing prudent phys- ical security measures at critical river infrastructure is important, the best protection for the Mississippi River system, based on risk, is to enhance the system's resilience in the event of severe weather events. The best way to accomplish this task is to replace or refurbish dams and locks and recapi- talize the equipment needed to main- tain the system. High Probability, High Consequence What happens when a major port — or an entire river system — shuts down? Hurricane Katrina offers an excel- lent case study. Of course, Katrina impacted tens to hundreds of thou- sands of people, and its effects were felt throughout our nation. If we take a look at one market segment, we can more clearly see the cascading, dele- terious economic impact of a major waterway closure. Each year, millions of tons of agricul- tural products such as corn, soybeans, and wheat harvested in the Midwest make their way down the western rivers by barge to port facilities in Loui- siana for export to countries across the globe. The Mississippi River was shut down immediately after Katrina made landfall. Bid prices for corn and soybeans expe- rienced a significant decline because grain elevators at facilities along the Mississippi River were completely full. These falling commodity prices had an immediate impact on rural farming communities and the marine trans- portation industry throughout the Midwest, both of which employed tens of thousands of people. Further, the timing of Katrina's landfall in late August was particularly precar- ious for the farming sector, as two of the area's largest exports — corn and soybeans — are harvested in October. While the Herculean efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, Louisiana port authorities, and the U.S. shipping industry were able to gradually reopen channels and grain handling facilities, it was months before the system was fully restored. Bibliography: CRS Report for Congress: "U. S. Agricul- ture After Hurricane Katrina: Status and Issues," Randy Schnepf and Ralph M. Chite, September 12, 2005.