A crane operator from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District drift removal team lifts out pieces of a dilapidated pier just off the coast of San Pablo Bay, Calif.
Many people have heard me use the term “building to last” when talking about the need for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use the talents and innovation within our organization to help preserve our planet and build our Army and our Nation strong.
Because of our diverse and global mission, we have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the sustainability of our global resources and the security of our Nation. We’re working hard to improve efficiencies in our facilities and vehicles, increasing our use of renewable energy, and improving water use and management. We’re looking across the entire organization, at all our missions and activities, both day-to-day and those planned for the future, to see where we can build upon existing sustainability initiatives and take advantage of new opportunities and technologies.
This week we’re delivering!!
At our San Francisco District we’re working with our partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to begin testing an almost 100 percent, non-petroleum fuel called B100. It can be used to power the vessels that range from debris vessels to towboats and all types in between. This week’s test is the first of several we’re running on vessels within our floating plant to see if this more sustainable option will set a new standard for how we’re working to build a more sustainable Corps.
We still have a little ways to go make sure we’re getting this right, but each journey starts with the first step!
Lt. Gen Van and Col. Anderson, commander of the Baltimore District, discuss navigation while touring the Chesapeake Bay on the Linthicum, a USACE survey vessel.
Last night I had the privilege to represent the 37,000 dedicated men and women of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in throwing out the first pitch before a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a stadium which sits next to the city’s beautiful Inner Harbor. And while I was honored to participate in this event, I was even more grateful to our Baltimore District for the opportunity to explore the area’s waterways earlier in the day and see first-hand an element of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that few know about, but from which nearly everyone benefits.
Nearly $2 trillion worth of trade travels up, down, in, and out of our Nation’s harbors and waterways. Baltimore is one of 926 ports and harbors and leads to some of the 12,000 miles of our Nation’s federal channels. The Corps is responsible for keeping those ports operational and those channels open so that we can provide safe, reliable, efficient, effective and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems for movement of commerce, national security needs, and recreation. By moving that commerce up and down our rivers, we are helping to reduce stress on land and air transportation systems, and on the environment.
Did you know that a 15 barge tow equals 216 rail cars and 6 locomotives or 1,050 semi-tractor trailer trucks? Overall, this system of waterways handles over 544 million metric tons of freight annually, keeping this traffic off our overcrowded highways and railroads. That’s getting ‘er done!
Keeping these rivers and harbors open is a team effort between the Corps and the communities along each mile of the waterway. We work closely with our partners to ensure we’re operating and maintaining these waterways in the safest and most environmentally sound way possible. And it’s just another way that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works to build a stronger nation.
Civil Works, Navigation