International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

Brigadier General Margaret W. Burcham commander of the Army Corps Great Lakes and Ohio River Division was officially appointed as a member of the Mississippi River Commission by President Barack Obama on May 29. The President also appointed Brigadier Gen. Funkhouser Northwestern Division as a member on June 25.

Gen. Burcham’s division has seven engineer districts totaling more than 4800 people operating in a seventeen state area and is charged with directing federal water resource development in the Great Lakes and Ohio River basins with infrastructure valued at over $80 billion.

Gen. Funkhouswer oversees an annual program of more than $3 billion in civil works environmental restoration and military construction in more than a dozen states primarily within the Columbia and Missouri river basins. He is responsible for five operating district commands with a combined professional workforce of nearly 4800.

The Corps of Engineers members of the Mississippi River Commission provide representation and leadership from the nation’s three largest watersheds: the Mississippi River the Missouri River and the Ohio River.

An Act of Congress created the commission in 1879 to plan and provide for the general improvement of the entire length of the Mississippi River. This includes improving navigation preventing destructive floods and facilitating commerce. The presidential appointees consist of three officers from the Corps of Engineers a representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and three civilians two of whom must be civil engineers.

The commission itself is an advisory body. Its general duties include recommending policy and work programs studying and reporting on modifications or changes to the Mississippi River and Tributaries project commenting on matters authorized by law making inspection trips and holding public hearings that facilitate exchanges of viewpoints and ideas between the public and the Mississippi River Commission.