WATER®, a MOARC publication and a registered trademark, is the newsletter of the Missouri and Associated Rivers Coalition (MOARC).  WATER® provides timely updates on matters of importance to the MOARC membership and stakeholders.
 

 
March 2019 Newsletter 


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May 2018 Newsletter 


February 2018 Newsletter 

 

 

 
 
  

 

MOARC Waterdrops supplement the MOARC published newsletter – WATER®, a registered trademark to provide timely updates on matters of importance to the MOARC membership.

 

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  • 30 Jan 2019 7:45 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    ASA-CW Directs Full Federal Funding for Kansas Citys Levees On 17 January 2019 the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA-CW), Mr. RD James, directed the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to address the Kansas Citys Levees as a single on-going construction project to be fully federally funded under the provisions of Public Law 115–123, enacted February 9, 2018, as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, and including Supplemental Appropriations related to disaster relief.  This policy clarification by Mr. James comes after years of advocacy and perseverance by MOARC, KCIC, KCMO and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas to correct the misinterpretation that Phase 1 and Phase 2 were to be treated as separate independent projects, as opposed to a comprehensive levee system.  The project was envisioned and developed as a system improvement of the nearly 60-miles of seven levees providing protection to over $20 billion in investments, 94,000 workers, and 20,000 residents.          

    The ASA’s policy clarification fully recognizes the KC Levees system approach and the Phase 1 and 2 improvements as on-going construction activities for the project.  Lacking this clarifying directive meant only the remainder of Phase 1 would be fully federally funded—Phase 2 improvements would be subject to the typical project cost sharing (65% Federal / 35% Local).

     

    Perseverance pays off!   MOARC has been working with the Corps and Congress since before the initial project authorization of Phase 1 in 2007 to ensure an on-going system approach for the two project phases—first seeking modification of the Phase 1 authority to add Phase 2, and then when Phase 2 was separately authorized, seeking to have those authorities combined.  All the while, the Corps Headquarters continued to address these levee system improvements as two distinct projects impeding project implementation despite the continued rationale for and documentation of the agreed upon Corps and local sponsors project vision and approach—a system-wide levee improvement. 

    With Supplemental Appropriations related to disaster relief being made available, MOARC recognized there was an opportunity for the remainder of the KC Levees project (both Phases 1 and 2) to be fully federal funded!  And, we got to work!!  With MOARC’s deep understanding of Corps process and policy, together with our strong federal network, we were able to quickly determine the Corps would treat Phase 2 as a separate, rather than ongoing project.  Meaning that, even though federal funds of $453 million were identified for KC Levees, there would still be required a 35% local match for Phase 2.  Only by having the KC Levees Project (Phase 1 and 2) considered as one project would allow for full federal funding of the remainder of the project to be realized. 

    MOARC began working with members of Congress from Missouri and Kansas, as well as relevant congressional committees, to get the necessary clarification in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018.  With much appreciated support from Representative Sam Graves (R-MO) WRDA 2018 addressed this specific issue, but the language was not a clear enough directive for the Corps to treat the 2 phases as part of one project.  Recognizing this, MOARC continued to work with several of our congressional members to get this resolved.  The entire Kansas and Missouri delegation were supportive throughout, and some were able to be especially helpful—Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) inclusion of further clarifying language in the Senate WRDA 2018 explanatory statement.  In addition, Senator Moran’s ongoing contact with the ASA-CW’s office helped to ensure the KC Levees language was implemented.         

    In response to MOARC’s informed messaging and with coordination of the local governments, the congressional offices worked with the Senate Energy and Public Works (EPW) Committee to clarify Congress’s desired intent.  Letters and calls from our congressional offices and the EPW Committee to the Administration set the stage for policy review by the Assistant Secretary of the Army-Civil Works (ASA-CW).  Based on that review, the ASA-CW made the policy determination that Kansas Citys Levees is be treated as a single on-going project and directed the Corps to budget the project as on-going construction under the provisions and policies for the supplemental appropriations.    

    Hard work, Advocacy and Perseverance paid off as the Corps begins to move forward with the local sponsors to sign a new Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) that will provide full federal funding of the project through completion of the remaining design and construction of the KC Levees project. 

    Without help, hard work and diligent pursuit, we could not have achieved this most desirable outcome.  MOARC offers ongoing and sincere appreciation to our members of Congress and the congressional committees that worked to help achieve this success!  To the Assistant Secretary of the Army–Civil Works, the Honorable R.D. James, and his extraordinary staff, we extend our special thanks in gratitude for what this means to KC!     

  • 23 Jan 2019 9:32 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    ARE YOU A MOARC MEMBER?   You should be!!! — And MOARC needs you!

    MOARC is currently in its 2019 membership drive and is reaching out to current and former members to renew or rejoin, and we’re also looking for new members from across our region. 

    MOARC is a volunteer non-profit, created in 1952 to promote more beneficial use of water resources in the Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas River basins after the disastrous 1951 flood.   For more than six decades MOARC has been key in helping members meet project needs for their community, and also works to inform policy impacting our region and members’ interests.  We have a long and successful history of putting stakeholders together with policy-makers to help achieve tremendous success, including many reservoirs and local flood control projects. 

    Today, our membership consists of local governments, utilities, associations, businesses, and even some individuals, promoting navigation, flood control, electric power, irrigation, recreation, fish & wildlife, the environment, conservation and the beneficial use of land and water resources within the Missouri and associated river basins. 

    We strive to be the leading regional voice for water and water related land resource project, policy and programmatic issues.  To remain effective in that role, we seek to expand our membership both geographically and by interest areas:  Flood Control & Risk Management, Water Quality & Supply, Power, Environment, Agriculture, Shipping & Ports and Recreation. 

    The MOARC Board approved a revised dues schedule outlining a new class of memberships for communities, businesses, associations, councils, other entities or individuals. Within each class of MOARC membership listed below there are three suggested contribution levels to assure the right fit for your community, organization or other membership type.  

    Contribution Levels

    Sponsoring Communities, for local governments or districts with a role in water resources management or infrastructure;

    Partnering Organizations, for businesses or associations aligned with the MOARC mission of promoting multi-beneficial use of water and related land resources in our region; and,

    Supporting Members, for entities or individuals with a vision toward river basins managed for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy.

    The membership levels within each type are structured to provide a variety of membership benefits, such as: committee participation, Board service, Congressional/Agency visits, or receiving regular communications through MOARC’s weekly WATERdrops and quarterly newsletter, Water®.

    So, why be a MOARC member?  No matter what you do, if it’s related to water, then MOARC’s for you!  Our involvement and integrated approach to various, and sometimes diverse, aspects of water resources management means what we do, is important and likely to be valued by you. Your membership and participation are needed for us to continue with our effective advocacy.  We also host events and have activities to encourage interaction among our members and with State, Federal agencies and elected officials. 

    Are you interested in or wanting to work on water resource issues?  If so, you’ll want to be a member and participant of MOARC.  Now is the time to renew membership and continue your support or join anew!!  Membership forms can be found at www.moarc.org.  For questions regarding membership, you can contact Dave Combs, MOARC Executive Director at info@moarc.org or at 816-686-1289.

     

  • 17 Jan 2019 9:43 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    Save the Date!  The annual Missouri River Navigator’s Meeting will be held February 12 and 13, 2019 at the National Weather Service Training Center located at 7220 NW 101st Terrace, Kansas City, MO.  The annual meeting hosted by the Corps of Engineers provides a venue of federal agencies and the navigation and Port industries to address issues and opportunities for navigation and shipping on the Missouri River.  As in the past, the meeting will consist of presentations and discussions on river and navigation conditions over the past year as well as projections of weather and river conditions for the upcoming navigation season. The Corps’ Water Management Division and the National Weather Service will present the expected conditions that will support the 2019 navigation season and Corps’ navigation support.   Navigators and Port industries will report on the 2018navigation year and shipping and transport projections for the 2019. The Corps and US Coast Guard will also report on work that was conducted in 2018 and expected navigation operations and maintenance activities in the coming year.

    The meeting is an opportunity to network with Missouri River operators and will provide info on Port development in the lower basin, as well as the river outlook for 2019

    The agenda is currently as follows:

    February 12th:

    3:00 pm – 5:00 pm:  Half Day meeting for Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard and Current Missouri River Navigators
    5:00 pm – 06:30 pm:  Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals Missouri River Basin meeting (
    RSVP required)
    6:30 pm:  Industry Reception – Open to All

    February 13th:

    8:00 am – 5:00 pm: Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division Missouri River Navigator’s Meeting – Open to All  

    A block of hotel rooms has been reserved at the Hilton at Kansas City Airport, 8801 NW 112th St., Kansas City, MO for the evening of February 12th and 13th.  Reservations should be made by Close of Business, Tuesday, January 22, 2019; Group name: Corps of Engineers at http://group.hilton.com/CorpsofEngineers-Feb12  

    MOARC encourages members to attend the Navigator’s Meeting and become more informed on Missouri River operations.  Understanding possible implications for your business or industry helps to reduce risk and informs advocacy, either yours individually or through MOARC. 

  • 11 Jan 2019 9:51 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    Save the Date!  The National Waterways Conference (NWC) is hosting its annual Legislative Summit March 4-6, 2019 in Washington DC.  The NWC invites all who are interested in current water resource development and the future direction of the nation’s water resource programs to attend the conference’s Legislative Summit.   As in years past the Legislative Summit will feature high-ranking Congressional and Executive branch officials and industry leaders about policy and program expectations for 2019. 

    The NWC announced that invited speakers include the leadership of both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. From the Executive Branch, speakers will include the Honorable R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and Major General Scott Spellmon, Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The NWC will continue to add speakers to reflect the nation’s Civil Works program and policy activities that will affect future water resource and associated economic development across the nation.

    The Legislative Summit will be held 4-6 March at the Madison Washington DC, a Hilton Hotel, located at 1177 NW 15th Street, Washington DC.  The Madison Washington DC has a special room rate for the Summit of $299 that expires on February 8, 2019.  For hotel reservations contact Hilton reservations at 1-800 Hiltons (445-8666) or the Madison directly at 202-862-1600.

    As a member and supporting organization of the National Waterways Conference MOARC encourages you register today to attend the 2019 NWC Legislative Summit.   You can register on line at http://www.waterway.org  or by FAX at (866) 371-1390. 

  • 24 Dec 2018 8:21 AM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    Missouri River Management Plan Record of Decision Signed.  In a US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) news release Tuesday 20 November, the Corps announced that the Northwestern Division Commander Brig. Gen. D. Peter Helmlinger signed a ‘Record of Decision’ for the Missouri River Recovery Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.  The Record of Decision (ROD) completing the development of the Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement has been anticipated since the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement in August 2018. 

    The plan outlines future recovery program activities along the river for the three endangered species (Interior least tern, Piping plover, and Pallid sturgeon) that will allow the Corps to continuing to operate its Missouri River projects for all their authorized purposes while complying with the Endangered Species Act and other federal laws. The selected alternative of the Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (MRRPMP-EIS) is to provide for a structured, scientific process to monitor, evaluate, and adjust actions through Adaptive Management, which includes collaborative engagement with the MRRIC.  MOARC supported the selected alternative as the alternative with the least impact to the continued operation of the river; however, continues to raise concerns regarding potential impacts to authorized purposes within the lower Missouri basin, the one-time high flow release of waters as a spawning cue test, and public involvement in the Adaptive Management decision-making. 

    The Corps developed the Missouri River Recovery Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and with unprecedented engagement with the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC), which includes members representing basin Tribal governments, states and stakeholders.  MOARC members continue to participate in the MRRIC process, monitor the implementation of the Adaptive Management, and will continue to provide updates to membership through WATERdrops.

    The Record of Decision is available online at: https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/mrrp/mgmt-plan/ in the “Final Documents” section.

     

  • 16 Dec 2018 9:21 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    Once again Advocacy Works!   The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released the 2019 Civil Works Work Plan on Wednesday 21 2018.  The Work Plan included two projects for the region that MOARC has advocated during both the Spring and Fall 2018 Congressional visits.   The Work Plan identifies the Kansas River Reservoirs Flood and Sediment Management Study as one of the six new start studies across the nation and Manhattan Levees construction as one of the new start construction projects. 

    The Kansas River Reservoirs and Sediment Management Study was formerly referred to as the Kansas River Basin Study will be initially funded at $1,500,000 as a multi-purpose study to investigate additional flood risk management opportunities, sediment control and management in the Kansas reservoirs, water supply sustainability, and potential ecosystem restoration within the Kansas River basin.  The watershed-based study has long been a priority of the State of Kansas and water supply entities within the basin.   MOARC has been a strong advocate of the watershed study and made it a priority over 2017 and 2018 as we have worked hard with the Corps, OMB and the Congressional offices for this project and new start water resource projects across the nation.  The naming and funding of the new start is a significant accomplishment for the region and we are looking forward to the kickoff of the study.

    The naming of Manhattan Levees as one of the construction new starts is funded at $18,494,000 which constitutes funding to complete construction of the levee improvements.  The 1993 flooding event in the Kansas River along with the releases to the Big Blue River from Tuttle Creek Reservoir threatened downtown Manhattan, Kansas.  The design and construction of the project incorporates a levee embankment rise across the 28,850 feet of levee along with utility and structure modifications.  Completion of the project will provide a reduced risk of flooding to 1,700 homes and 600 businesses valued at over $1.1M.  With full construction funding for Manhattan Levees along with recent successes in completion or funding to completion of Topeka Levees, St. Joseph Levees, Turkey Creek Basin, Swope Park Industrial Area, Blue River/Dodson Industrial District and the recent funding of Kansas Citys Levees under the Supplemental budget bill, integrated flood control across the region is more of a reality in the foreseeable future.  

    MOARC will continue to push for funding to initiate design of the Upper Turkey Creek Basin Flood Control Project in the 2020 budget and Work Plan along proposed future projects on the lower Missouri River and Little Blue River as well as with flood control, sediment management, and water supply needs in future budgets as the new “Kansas River Reservoirs Flood and Sediment Management Study” identifies needs for the Kansas River and lower Missouri River basins.

     

  • 23 Nov 2018 9:43 AM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    We have added BG Peter Helmlinger as an additional speaker!   MOARC is hosting its annual membership meeting and social on Thursday December 11, 2018.  The annual membership meeting provides the opportunity for members to discuss the activities and successes of MOARC over the previous year, the proposed areas and activities of advocacy planned for 2019 and participate in the selection of officers and Board members of the organization.  Making it Happen: Then and Now!” is the theme of the meeting as MOARC looks at accomplishments over its 65 years of advocacy.

    Keynote Speakers at the meeting will be Mr. Dru Buntin, Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and Brigadier General Peter Helmlinger, Commander of the Northwestern Division of the US Army Corps of Engineers.       

           

    Mr. Buntin has been asked to present information on water and water related issues and needs of the State of Missouri and the Missouri River basin facing the State of Missouri today and over the next decade.  Water related activities and issues drive the economic and social development across our region.  Dru will address those issues and the interests of the MDNR as they affect the activities and needs of the State and specifically within the lower Missouri River basin.

    BG Helmlinger, as the new Commander of the Northwestern Division, has been asked to discuss the opportunities and challenges he sees in the Kansas and Missouri River basins as he takes command.  With development and implementation of 2019 Corps Work Plan laying out funding for water resource projects in 2019 and the Corps taking on many new projects across the nation stretching resources, as well as, expected changes in Water Supply rules, final regulations driving Section 408 reviews of alterations to public works projects, and the expected implementation of the Missouri River Management Plan; the Northwestern Commander has a lot on his plate. 

    As part of the program, the MOARC Membership drive continues to build the organization and its advocacy outreach to the varied water related interests in the Kansas and Missouri River basins.  MOARC invites you to the members meeting and social to participate in the development of the organization and network with members and interested parties from the business community, local and state governments, congressional offices, and public who have interests in continued economic and social development of the region.  We would like to challenge all current members to bring one or two potential members (individuals or organizations) to the meeting to learn about MOARC advocacy and the role they can play in the protection and development of the resources of the region.  Save the Date for the Members Meeting and Social for:

    Date:  December 11, 210

    Time: 4:30 - 6:30 (Business and Social Meeting)

    Location: Hush Blackwell Law Firm (near the Country Club Plaza)
                    10th Floor Conference Room
                    4801 Main Street
                    Kansas City, MO

    Please join MOARC for the business meeting, keynote speaker, and opportunity to network with others over food and drink while viewing the beauty of the Plaza lights.  Please Save the Date on your calendar, bring others who would be interested in MOARC advocacy, and please RSVP to Ms. Glenda Johnson, Communications Chair, at glenda.johnson@kcmo.org or (816) 513-2635.

  • 11 Aug 2018 5:57 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    Project funding continues to flow into the Kansas City metropolitan area.  The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) recently released plans to fund water resource projects across the nation under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Act) to include the Kansas Citys Levees project.  The February 9, 2018 Act provides $17.4 billion for disaster recovery as well as repair and maintenance of water infrastructure, with $453 million allocated for Kansas Citys Levees!  

    MOARC, during its spring congressional visit, discussed the importance of completing regional flood protection and the use of the disaster recovery funding for regional projects but had been advised that KC Levees did not qualify for the funding.  Subsequent to those discussions, eligibility for funding was expanded beyond disaster recovery to include both on-going and new water resource projects of value to the nation. 

    Kansas Citys Levees is now one of 60 flood and storm damage reduction projects selected for funding.  The Corps’ intent is to fund flood control projects to completion.   Kansas Citys Levees has been under construction with most of the improvements completed on the Missouri River levee system (Phase 1).  The area has been awaiting funds to complete the remaining elements under Phase 1 and initiate Phase 2.  That work comprises levees along the Kansas River (Armourdale and Argentine) and pump station improvements.

    The Act provides the full amount of federal funding upfront to the Corps to initiate and complete the remaining design and construction of the project.  While projects in designated disaster areas are to be constructed at full federal expense, other new and on-going projects will be subject to current cost-sharing requirements (65% Federal and 35% non-Federal).

    The upfront funding to completion is unprecedented and provides the opportunity to complete the project in a shorter time frame and provide improved flood protection within the Kansas City metropolitan area.

    Mr. R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, stated that “In providing the current working estimates of funds required to fully fund these studies and construction projects, the Corps’ is showing its commitment to “moving dirt” and, more importantly, to completing studies and construction,”. 

    The tables listing the studies and projects receiving funding are posted at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Budget/ under "Supplemental Appropriations for Disasters 2018."  The Kansas Citys Levees project is under the “Long Term Disaster Recovery Investment Program” and construction.

     

  • 16 Jul 2018 5:46 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    Integrated flood control within the Kansas City metropolitan area continues to move forward.  MOARC along with its partners, KCIC and KCMO, have been advocating the completion of local flood risk management projects with Swope Park Industrial Area being a priority for the region.  The recent release of the Corps of Engineers (Corps) 2018 Work Plan provides funding to complete construction of the flood protection system for the businesses within the Swope Park Industrial Area adjacent to Blue River.

    The Swope Park Industrial Area has coped with periodic flooding for many years.  The most recent flood event in August 2017 led to high-water evacuations after the Blue River overflowed its banks.  The final phase of the project is expected to begin in 2019 and it includes building a flood protection wall and an embankment for a bridge to be constructed in a separate project.  When completed the project will provide protection from a 500-year storm providing significant flood risk reduction protecting lives and businesses in this important industrial area.

     

    Through the Corps Work Plan the federal government will fund $14.2 million for this final phase of construction. The local share of the funding, $9 million, is being provided through Kansas City Stormwater GO bonds. The businesses within the Swope Park Industrial Area have been long-time partners in Kansas City awaiting completion of flood protection for the various niche industries within the industrial area.  Funding under the 2018 Work Plan to complete flood protection for Swope Park follows other recent advocacy successes to include the Turkey Creek Basin, Blue River/Dodson Industrial District, and St Joseph Levees all being funded to completion.  MOARC has long promoted that the strong partnerships along with effective advocacy continues to deliver projects to the area that reduce flood risk, protecting lives and property, thereby strengthening the regional economy.

     

  • 12 Jul 2018 5:13 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    MOARC continues to monitor flow releases from the upper basin mainstem reservoir system to the lower basin and its effect on the interests and economy of the region and MOARC membership. The Corps of Engineers (Corps) water management offices are reporting waters currently stored in the upstream reservoirs are at levels reaching into the flood exclusion zone.  Due to the higher-than-average upstream runoff forecast in the upper basin the Corps has increased the system’s flows to 25,000 cfs above full service levels to facilitate the continued evacuation of stored flood waters. Storage issues and releases continue to be driven by the melting of the above average mountain snowpack and moderate heavy plains snowpack along with periodic rainfall events across the basin. 

    The increased service level means that Gavins Point releases will be increased to approximately 60,000 cfs, as downstream tributary flows recede.  Gavins Point releases to the lower basin will remain near 60,000 cfs for the remainder of the navigation season to ensure evacuation of all stored flood waters.   Storage within the mainstem reservoir system (storage was 67.8 MAF as of July 1, occupying 11.7 MAF of the 16.3 MAF flood control zone. The Corps reports that approximately 25 percent of the system’s flood storage remains available to capture additional runoff and provides the system flexibility to lessen downstream flooding. 

     

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MOARC Association
PO Box 22647
Kansas City, MO 64113

(816) 977-1690


MOARC promotes the beneficial use of water and land related resources in the Missouri River Valley including the areas of
Agriculture, Environment, Flood Damage Reduction, Navigation, Recreation, Shipping and Ports, Power, Water Quality and Supply.

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