The Big River Coalition filed the attached list of emergency federal funding needs to assist and speed up the restoration of maritime commerce and true recovery through efforts to remove weaknesses identified by the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ida.  


The letter was sent directly to White House staff on behalf of President Joe Biden and the appointed Recovery Czar, Senior Adviser to the White House, and former Louisiana Congressman, the Honorable Cedric Richmond. 


The channel conditions along the Mississippi River Ship Channel continue to be scrutinized and new areas of concern are actively being identified. The focus of the preliminary requests was designed to target emergency actions identified directly along the Mississippi River Ship Channel.  Additional concerns will be developed as the Ship Channel is recovered, the immediate response was to focus on efforts to protect and restore critical areas of the navigation channel while embracing technological sensors designed to provide real-time information.


Prior to the hurricane making landfall government agencies, led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard, conducted daily updates with the support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA’s National Weather Service, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection provided situational awareness updates to key maritime stakeholders throughout Hurricane Ida assault on Louisiana.  


These valuable conference calls allow maritime operators on the ground to report challenges and are utilized by the government agencies to prioritize decisions related to channel surveys and vessel movements.  Decisions made through emergency response calls are made around identified obstructions to restore river and supply chain commerce while focusing on recovery and to minimize negative impacts while accessing reported damages and obstructions.


The Big River Coalition worked to compile this list of identified areas of concern and actively worked to list known priorities to restore and protect commerce along the Mississippi River Ship Channel.


The Coalition appreciates the opportunity to convey Ship Channel recovery concerns directly with the White House and has a long-standing relationship with Cedric Richmond. 


Feel free to share these concerns and expect additional lists of recovery items to be proposed as the targeted restoration actions offer a unique opportunity to maximize efficiencies and streamline technological advancements designed to promote maritime commerce.