Waterways Action Plan

The Waterways Action Plan (WAP) provides the marine industry, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), States and local governments with a plan for facilitating the safe and orderly movement of traffic during extreme conditions on the inland rivers. In the event the implementation of a security plan conflicts with the WAP, the requirements of the security plan shall take precedence. The 2005 Ohio River and Lower Mississippi River high water event led to the activation of river contingency plans throughout the Eighth Coast Guard District. During the activation of these plans, several problems were encountered. One major issue that was discovered was that different plans used different terminology, which created confusion when trying to deal with similar river conditions on different rivers. A close look at the plans also revealed that some did not address each of the possible river extremes, and not all of the major waterways, including those tributaries that influence some of the larger waterways, were included in the plan. To address these problems, it was proposed to consolidate the existing contingency plans into one comprehensive document. The two major existing plans that were used are the Mississippi River Crisis Action Plan and the Ohio River Valley Waterways Management Plan, which served as the foundation to develop the WAP. Lessons learned from past events were consolidated and incorporated into this plan. The WAP is a living document that should be frequently updated. The WAP and each annex shall undergo annual review to verify the accuracy of the plan and the communications information. This review shall take place each August unless the plan is exercised and reviewed during the year. The sole intended purpose of the WAP is to address all river extremes, including high water, high velocity, low water and ice conditions as a joint partnership between the USCG, USACE and industry. This plan establishes one common framework for all parties to use when taking either proactive or reactive steps to deal with these river extremes. Common terminology and communications will allow inter-agency and industry cooperation during emergency response and life saving operations. The overall goal of this plan is to ensure safety of life and navigation, protection of infrastructure and property, and to prevent marine casualties. Conference calls between USCG, USACE and industry stakeholders have proven critical throughout years of response to river emergencies, and they are useful tools to successfully manage river emergencies. As the situation develops, and throughout each phase of river emergencies, conference calls with wider participation should be initiated for broader information collection and sharing. Incident command leadership will determine the frequency of these calls based upon the nature of the emergency. Local USCG commands will pre-identify needed conferencing capabilities, and normally host these conference calls unless the emergency primarily affects an USACE navigation project, during which events, the USACE will host the calls. USCG and USACE personnel should initially lead the brief and host the call as described above. All participants are requested to exercise standard conference call protocols: dial into the call in a timely manner; remain quiet until the initial status briefing is concluded; mute telephones when not speaking; speak in turn as the conference host calls on participants.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 72p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01052042
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 20 2007 4:58PM