Sabtu, 30 Juni 2012

......The World's Biggest Construction ...????....>>> .... From Asia to the Middle East... North Africa to the Caribbean... Nearly $50 Trillion Worth of Infrastructure Projects is Under Way And starting today, you could make millions from three global giants that play a pivotal role in rebuilding our world.>>......This $50 trillion global infrastructure project will actually be... 2,765 times bigger than the Golden Gate Bridge, which used enough steel wire in the cables of the bridge to circle the Earth three times! 2,765 times bigger than the Hoover Dam, which used enough concrete to build a four-foot-wide sidewalk around the Earth at the Equator. 2,765 times bigger than the Three Gorges Dam, which is so enormous that it can actually be seen from the moon! 2,765 times bigger than the Aswan High Dam, which used enough rock in its construction to build 17 Great Pyramids at Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The tons of steel, concrete, glass, and other resources needed for this $50 trillion global build-out will dwarf any other construction projects ever built....???? >>>...believe it or not, this massive construction project — soon to be the largest the world has ever undertaken — was initially agreed upon secretly behind closed doors in a tiny undisclosed location in Seoul. In fact, it actually started out as nothing more than another backroom deal between a dozen or so G-20 leaders, a small group of the world's most powerful men and women who represent 19 countries, plus the European Union... A group representing countries that control 90% of the world's Gross Domestic Product, 80% of world trade, and 66% of the world's population......>>> a $50 trillion global build-out amounting to the biggest construction project the world has ever seen....??? >>.....Hey, Europe! Print More Money! ??>>> ..... China and Indonesia have both come out and demanded that Europe "reach an agreement on rigorous methods to manage the crisis." Of course, we should not be fooled by what Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono means when he says "rigorous methods to manage the crisis." "Rigorous methods" is code for "the EU needs to print money. Now."...>>...BTW.....Craney Island mosquito spraying scheduled30 Juni 2012 1:5506/29/2012 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Portsmouth will conduct joint aerial mosquito spraying 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 2 at federal properties on Craney Island, adjacent city properties and the Churchland area in Portsmouth, Va. Crabbe Aviation L.L.C. will conduct aerial spraying in areas north of Rte-164, weather permitting. The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft to spray Trumpet EC, a formulation of Dibrom to target flying adult mosquitoes. The plane will be conducting low-flying spray operations in the area. ???..>>...Those upgrades to the Fort Norfolk pier and wharf, completed in May, paid immediate dividends during the 2012 OpSail Parade and Sail and the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations, held in early June. Six U.S. Navy vessels docked and nested here, offering the public several days of open house vessel tours throughout the weeklong festivities. "The Army Corps of Engineers pier at Fort Norfolk is simply beautiful," said Lt. Cmdr. Marc Devine, commander of the USS Monsoon (PC 4). "It provides a very safe mooring for smaller vessels, is well lit, and numerous guests commented on the smartness of the facility's landscaping. The new concrete walkways also provided our guests safe and easy access to our ships.">>

The World's Biggest Construction
Project Has Begun... 
The Largest Construction Project in the World...
From Asia to the Middle East... North Africa to the Caribbean...
Nearly $50 Trillion Worth
of Infrastructure Projects is Under Way
And starting today, you could make millions from
three global giants
that play a pivotal role in rebuilding our world.

"In short, without well-functioning infrastructure, we'd have nothing even approaching a first world existence." — Forbes

Dear Reader,
What you're about to see in this presentation is the largest construction project in the history of the world.
I'm talking huge.
In fact, it's so enormous that it will be 2,765 times bigger than four of the most famous man-made "Wonders of the World" combined:
This $50 trillion global infrastructure project will actually be...
2,765 times bigger than the Golden Gate Bridge, which used enough steel wire in the cables of the bridge to circle the Earth three times!
2,765 times bigger than the Hoover Dam, which used enough concrete to build a four-foot-wide sidewalk around the Earth at the Equator.
2,765 times bigger than the Three Gorges Dam, which is so enormous that it can actually be seen from the moon!
2,765 times bigger than the Aswan High Dam, which used enough rock in its construction to build 17 Great Pyramids at Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The tons of steel, concrete, glass, and other resources needed for this $50 trillion global build-out will dwarf any other construction projects ever built.
According to a study by Stanford University, the current global Infrastructure boom "... amounts to the biggest global build-out of physical economic assets in the history of man."
And believe it or not, this massive construction project — soon to be the largest the world has ever undertaken — was initially agreed upon secretly behind closed doors in a tiny undisclosed location in Seoul.
In fact, it actually started out as nothing more than another backroom deal between a dozen or so G-20 leaders, a small group of the world's most powerful men and women who represent 19 countries, plus the European Union...
A group representing countries that control 90% of the world's Gross Domestic Product, 80% of world trade, and 66% of the world's population...
And with such a prominent membership, they have a vast influence on the world's economy.
So when the G-20 members emerged from their secretive meeting with a document stamped Confidential, I knew I had to get a copy.
That's why I'm so excited to write you today.
Because with the help of some well-placed inside contacts, I was able to obtain a copy of this Confidential report...
A report that contains a detailed blueprint for a mandated worldwide infrastructure project: a massive undertaking that will prove to be the world's biggest construction project in history.
From adding thousands of miles of new railways in Tanzania to installing new solar panels in Morocco...
To building new highways and adding border-crossing improvements from Mexico to Panama...
To building a new gas pipeline running through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India...
To the production of new, technologically-advanced bioenergy reactors in Vietnam and Cambodia...
This Confidential blueprint details how the projected pace of new infrastructure spending worldwide is about to accelerate at an astonishing pace.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, global infrastructure requirements will be in the order of $50 trillion.
Already, billions are being set aside for a North African solar project that will eventually send 20 gigawatts of solar power to Europe — or enough to power 7 million European homes.
And that project, by the way, is already in development.
Meaning this is the perfect opportunity for you to get in early — and profit from — the biggest build-out in world history.
That's why I was eager to put together a timely new report that builds on the Confidential letter I got ahold of...
It's called "Tapping into the World's Biggest Construction Project for a Lifetime of Wealth," and it details the $50 trillion global infrastructure build-out.
This report also reveals the three global powerhouses that are set to profit tremendously on the heels of the huge worldwide infrastructure boom now under way.
Most importantly, this report shows you how much money you stand to make by honing in on these three global giants.
With their vast worldwide contacts and their world-renowned expertise in providing infrastructure improvements... these three giants are poised to get the lion's share of nearly every single infrastructure deal that emerges from this huge construction project.
Truth is you'd be hard-pressed to find one significant global infrastructure project that didn't already involve at least one of these three firms.
In the next few minutes, I'll tell you how to get your FREE copy of "Tapping into the World's Biggest Construction Project for a Lifetime of Wealth."
But first, let's take a look at what has brought about this "perfect storm" of infrastructure demand... and how it can make you retirement-rich — starting today.

Over $50 Trillion in Spending is Up For Grabs
The fact is global infrastructure improvements are becoming big business.
What do I mean by 'infrastructure'?
Broadly speaking, infrastructure refers to all the stuff that we use every day, but never think about, like the bridge you cross on your way to work...
Or the runway your plane lands on...
Or the road you drive to get to the grocery store...
Or the energy you use when turning on your light...
Or the big things that make the global economy function: airports, seaports, energy facilities, schools, hospitals, and rail links.
You see, ever since the financial crisis ravaged the globe, world governments vowed to spend trillions on infrastructure to build or repair bridges, power plants, water systems, and to develop other projects that will bolster economic recovery...
In essence, a $50 trillion global build-out amounting to the biggest construction project the world has ever seen.
According to Reuters, four major trends are converging to bring about this "perfect storm" of infrastructure demand and investment opportunity:
  • The rapid urbanization and rising affluence of emerging markets, which must fulfill pent-up infrastructure demand and rapidly accelerating new demand in order to grow
  • Aging infrastructure in developed nations, which over the last 30 or 40 years has lagged in system maintenance while under-investing in new capacity
  • Environmental and pollution control initiatives as nations develop more advanced infrastructure systems in an effort to provide cleaner energy, reduce the transportation impacts of population growth, and maximize scarce water resources
  • Economic competitiveness among nations, which will need adequate infrastructure to support economic growth and attract new investment
The fact is the consequences of failing and inadequate infrastructure have become such a critical issue to the global economy...
That the elite members of the powerful G-20 recently created a special worldwide panel of experts — called the High Level Panel on Infrastructure — to foster infrastructure investment around the world.
The impact of this group is already being felt with the amount of money pouring into global infrastructure doubling in just the last two years.
According to the recent Global Strategic Infrastructure Forum in London, the top 100 Global Strategic Infrastructure Projects for 2012 alone are estimated to hit nearly $800 billion.
That's double the total value of the Top 100 Projects in 2010!
In total, an astonishing $50 trillion will flow into the global infrastructure marketplace for airports, roads, seaports, energy facilities, schools, hospitals, rail links — the list goes on and on.
And it will transform how the world looks...
How it powers its homes and businesses...
How it transports its goods and services...
How it treats the sick and cares for the poor...
And bottom line: This "perfect storm" of infrastructure demand can make you a very wealthy person... if you know where to look.
And that's where I come in.
I've logged over 100,000 miles traveling the globe... Spent hundreds of hours sifting through infrastructure reports and journals... And talked to some of the top infrastructure experts from Beijing to Paris to New York...
All to find you the greatest opportunities available in this emerging infrastructure blowout.
That's why I was ecstatic when I was glaring down at the Confidential G-20 blueprint that detailed upcoming global infrastructure project recommendations...

Leaked G-20 Report Shows Blueprint for the
World's Biggest Construction Project Ever
This was like hitting the Mega Millions.
Because now I can pinpoint and give you full details on all the current project recommendations brought forth from the G-20's recently created High Level Panel on Infrastructure Investment.
I can give you recommendations on the specific companies set to soar thanks to this massive infrastructure undertaking.
Already, I've pinpointed three powerhouse infrastructure providers that are set for explosive gains.
Without these three powerful companies, it's nearly impossible for any major infrastructure project to be completed — anywhere.
It's no wonder the sales of these companies are soaring as corporations and governments around the world seek to modernize buildings, update manufacturing practices, and improve their power grids...
Their global presence is found in well over 100 countries; their innovative technologies are helping build the energy, health, transportation, and technology infrastructure of the new century.
And in just a moment, I'll give you the full details on these three worldwide behemoths — each capable of bringing you a windfall of cash...
Not to mention a healthy dividend.
But first, let me introduce myself...

Hi. I'm Jeff Siegel.jeff on fox
Perhaps you've seen me as a featured guest on Fox, CNBC, or Bloomberg Asia...
Or read my top-selling book, Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks...
Or listened to me speak at one of my frequent investment and modern energy conferences.
I've been showing wealthbuilders how to create and protect wealth for over 18 years.
And my goal is always the same: to help you get rich — fast.
You see, I don't just sit in my office and do research...
I spend my hours each day reading, learning, talking on the phone, trading emails, dealing with people.
I scour the world looking for the hottest investment ideas — figuratively and literally.
I go places, meet and talk with people, visit sites and projects, learn more and more...
All so that I can bring you plays that will usher in a new way of life... as well as a new generation of wealth.
From Vietnam to Africa to Canada, I'm always on the lookout for the biggest energy and infrastructure opportunities worldwide.
Since 2004, I've been at the forefront of the new, modern energy revolution.
Along the way, I've helped individual investors make small fortunes by tapping everything from solar, wind, and geothermal... to natural gas, electric cars, and smart grid technologies.
Although fossil fuels will remain the dominant energy source for years to come, it is the growth opportunity in modern energy technologies that's making forward-thinking investors wealthy.
In just a moment, I'll give you the full details on how to find out about the hottest, most cutting-edge technological energy innovators on the planet...
Companies that you most likely won't hear about in the mainstream media — or from your average investor...
Breakthrough energy innovators that could set you up for a carefree retirement.
But first, I want to focus on another emerging issue that will also play a critical role in our world's future.

Infrastructure: Your Path to a Fast Fortune
Without a strong infrastructure, our world would cease to function.
For decades, countries around the world have been under-investing in infrastructure. And now they're starting to pay the price...
Roads are becoming impassable. Bridges are collapsing. Buildings are crumbling. Water treatment systems are failing.
Even in developed countries like the United States, infrastructure is in desperate need of improvements.
Many major infrastructure projects were constructed during post-World War II years and are more than 50 years old. These structures are in urgent need of upgrades or outright replacement.
The latest figures from the American Society of Civil Engineers show that the U.S. rates a horrendous D in infrastructure.
  • As dams age and downstream development increases, the number of deficient dams has risen to more than 4,000 — including 1,819 high-hazard dams.
  • America's drinking water systems face an annual shortfall of at least $11 billion to replace aging facilities that are near the end of their useful life and to comply with existing and future federal water regulations.
  • More than 26% — more than one in four — of the nation's bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Kiplinger sums up the current condition of our infrastructure in six words:
"America's Failing Infrastructure: A Scary Picture"
It's no wonder a recent Forbes headline proclaimed, "2012 is the Year America Must Get Serious About Its Infrastructure."
"The nation's infrastructure crisis is endangering our future prosperity," American Society of Civil Engineers President Wayne Klotz said at a press conference.
"Crumbling infrastructure," he continues, "has a direct impact on our personal and economic health."
That's bad news for the American taxpayers who will have to pay for the repairing and rebuilding of the nation's failing infrastructure...
But excellent news for the handful of infrastructure providers poised to soar as BILLIONS pour into the rebuilding of America.
And even better news for a few savvy investors who get an early-in on these booming infrastructure providers.

America's 2013 Budget Calls for a Massive
$526 Billion Infrastructure Investment
A 2012 final draft report prepared by the Department of Defense shows plans to renew and expand America's infrastructure are already under way.
According to the Department of Defense, the Fiscal Year 2013 budget includes an aggressive plan to renew and expand America's infrastructure.
The plan includes a $50 billion upfront investment connected to a $476 billion six-year reauthorization of the surface transportation program and the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank.
That's a monster increase of 80% compared to previous federal investment.
And the United States is just the tip of the global infrastructure iceberg...

Infrastructure Projects are Booming All Over the World
The importance of infrastructure development and its impact on global economic growth has become a sizzling-hot topic worldwide...
So much so that the elite G-20 group has made infrastructure investments a top priority in its recent meetings around the world.
And now, with the release of their Confidential report detailing their top 11 global infrastructure project recommendations, the floodgates have opened for what's become the "World's Largest Construction Project."
Around the planet, the focus has shifted to investing in infrastructure build-out to boost economic growth and stay competitive with the rest of the world.
In China, a $586 billion infrastructure spending plan was recently approved.
The Business Insider reports:
"From highways spanning the continent, to the largest wind power base in the world, to a modern Silk Road that links Europe and India, to new cities in the desert, China is showing what it really means to do big things."
Determined to become one of the world's economic powerhouses in the 21st century, India announced it's doubling its infrastructure spending to $1 trillion between now and 2017.
Brazil's winning host rights to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are helping kick the country into high gear on infrastructure spending.
It recently recommitted itself to a $900 billion infrastructure plan — including construction of a $19 billion high-speed rail line from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo, as well as new power plants, hydroelectric dams and ports.
Everywhere you look — from Asia to Africa to Europe and the Middle East — nations are getting ready to spend staggering amounts on infrastructure.
The Associated Press says:
"Just as railways and highways transformed America into an industrial superpower, the 21st-century building boom is laying the foundations for these rapidly growing economies to join the top leagues."
In the advanced economies, renewed economic growth will come from refurbishing and expanding critical infrastructure, much of which was built more than a half-century ago.
And in emerging economies, continued infrastructure development will be needed to accommodate growth and lay a foundation for future expansion...
Either way, explosive infrastructure growth bodes well for savvy wealthbuilders like you...
Opening up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to get in early on companies that are poised to take full advantage of the trillions pouring into the global infrastructure boom — like the three explosive infrastructure providers I'll tell you about in a minute.
The fact is some $4 trillion of fiscal adrenalin will be injected into the global economy in the next 24 months alone.
According to a Stanford University Research Study on Global Infrastructure:
"... the only other time in human history when this much money has moved this quickly into the global economy was during WWII and that event of course reset the world order for the next 60 years, with America at the helm."
The bottom line is this incredible influx of money into infrastructure could lead to a fundamental change in the global balance of power.
The winners, says the Stanford study, will "create strong new engines of economic growth for generations to come based on new energy, globally competitive health care, and strong educations."
And many believe this new infrastructure boom could be the catalyst for the next set of investment millionaires.
Why shouldn't that include you?

Power Portfolio
Your Energy and Infrastructure Blueprint to Future Wealth
Infrastructure is set to become one of the biggest investment opportunities in history... offering steady income, stable growth, and solid diversification to all investors.
That's why I'm so excited to write to you today about my new premium service called the Power Portfolio.
It's an independent investment research service that focuses primarily on two of the hottest sectors out there: modern energy and infrastructure stocks.
Modern energy and infrastructure development isn't just something I enjoy writing about...
This is really big stuff. Bigger than the telecoms, bigger than the biotechs, bigger than the Internet.
Because the bottom line is that none of this stuff exists without a continual supply of cheap and sustainable energy.
In fact, I would argue that this modern energy and infrastructure transition represents the next great Industrial Revolution. And the companies leading this revolution represent the most powerful companies on the planet.
These are the companies that the world now relies on to facilitate economic growth today — and well into the 21st century...
Companies that could provide you with the safest, steadiest way to profit.
And with this new service, I'm doing it in a way that limits your risk and allows you to receive a steady stream of income via distribution payments...
In times of both economic uncertainty and economic prosperity.
Let the other guy fight it out in front of his computer screen all day, trying to score a few pennies from a quick trade...
My focus with Power Portfolio will primarily be on long-term financial stability — finding opportunities that bring you steady growth, steady profits, and solid wealth-building.
And I believe the most lucrative plays in these two sectors are in massive corporate behemoths with extraordinary amounts of cash and political influence...
Like our three infrastructure global powerhouses that could bring you hefty gains, along with impressive dividend payouts.
Or a dozen or so tech plays that are now bringing disruptive technology to the table.
Quite frankly, those tech plays will likely be acquired by the big guys, a huge takeover opportunity that could land early wealthbuilders a massive fortune.
And if my previous record of winners is any indication of the success of my new service, you're in for a real treat...
Here's just a small sampling of some of my winners:
  • XsunX — 546% gains
  • New Energy Technologies — 88% gains
  • World Water Corporation — 153% gains
  • JA Solar — 84% gains
  • Hain Celestial — 77% gains
  • Capstone Turbine — 82% gains
  • World Energy Solutions — 73% gains
  • Cree, Inc. — 159% gains
And take a look at what our readers have to say...
tearsheet.petertearsheet.altearsheet.rene2tearsheet.janice
And I've got stacks more of success stories just like these.
But these gains could pale in comparison to the blockbuster opportunities brought about by the G-20's Confidential report and the explosion of infrastructure spending around the globe.
And that's why I'm eager to send you my timely new report, "Tapping into the World's Biggest Construction Project for a Lifetime of Wealth"for FREE.
Inside, I'll reveal three of the world's largest contractors that are set to benefit tremendously from this global infrastructure juggernaut.
Sure, I've made a decent chunk of change trading stocks over the years, looking to ride trends for short-term gains... and certainly I'll continue to jump on those opportunities when they come along...
But for the sake of long-term sustainable growth, these solid infrastructure powerhouses offer you both steady income and security in these shaky economic times.
And without their innovative infrastructure technologies, the infrastructure boom could come to a grinding halt.
So it was no surprise when I found out that all three of them have participated in the recent G-20 meetings on infrastructure and its impact on the global economy.
Imagine with the contacts they made, the advantage these three companies will have in securing contracts for the billion-dollar infrastructure projects recommended by the powerful G-20 group.
So let's take a closer look at these three infrastructure providers that are set to skyrocket as the infrastructure build-out goes global...

Infrastructure Wealth-Builder #1: This $199 Billion Modern
Energy Powerhouse Could Make You Retirement-Rich
My first play is a true global infrastructure behemoth...
An innovative, advanced technology infrastructure and financial services company with the scale, resources and expertise to solve tough global problems for customers and society.
Working in more than 150 countries around the globe, this booming infrastructure provider has been bringing cutting-edge innovation to the world for over 120 years — amassing over 19,000 patents and two Nobel Prizes.
With infrastructure projects worth billions in Brazil, Egypt, China, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Turkey, and over 92 other countries...
This global powerhouse has won over $18 billion worth of global contracts in the last six months alone.
With the G-20's High Level Panel on Infrastructure triggering a $50 trillion global build-out, this explosive company could be on the launchpad of spectacular gains...
And for those savvy wealthbuilders who get in early, the rewards could be tremendous.
The bottom line is it would be nearly impossible to find a global infrastructure project that this company hasn't touched:
From an integrated wind, solar, and natural gas project in Turkey...
To developing new infrastructure in the U.S. to accelerate the adoption of natural gas-powered trucks and buses...
To smart grids that help utilities manage electricity demand in Great Britain...
To gas engines that run on municipal waste in Hungary...
To more accessible charging stations for electric vehicles in the United States...
This global powerhouse provides the infrastructure that the world needs.
It's no wonder their infrastructure orders for the last quarter popped 15% from the prior year.
With five multidisciplinary Research & Development Centers worldwide, 3,000-plus employees on its research team, and over 39,000 engineers worldwide... this global titan continues to have a huge advantage over its competitors.
And in order to keep on top of the $50 trillion global infrastructure boom, this company has widened its footprint — acquiring over $20 million in acquisitions since 2006:
  • In 2007, it acquired avionics and drilling companies...
  • In 2008, it acquired pressure control and life sciences companies...
  • In 2011, it acquired a subsea drilling, oil recovery and power conversion company...
No matter where you look on the planet, this company is meeting the world's infrastructure needs with services as varied as:
green check mark water
green check mark electricity
green check mark health care
green check mark aviation
green check mark energy
green check mark oil and gas
green check mark electric vehicle infrastructure
green check mark rail
green check mark lighting
green check mark appliances
The list goes on and on.
And their future is bright. Not only do they stand to greatly benefit from the U.S.'s and other developed countries' deteriorating infrastructure, but they'll continue to reap the rewards of the booming infrastructure growth in emerging markets as they build roads, bridges, and power grids.
Already their global infrastructure services and products are paying off...
They've doubled their revenue in five years in over 25 countries and they have the largest infrastructure backlog of their history at over $199 billion.
This is truly a remarkable opportunity for you.
To get in early on a company that is enjoying incredible worldwide growth — and could prove to be in the right place at the right time in history to make ordinary investors mega-wealthy.
This is a virtually rock-solid company that's been around for 120 years and has over $79 billion in cash on hand.
Plus they currently pay a 3.5% dividend yield — so you can collect a nice income along the way... and they've been paying a dividend for over 100 years!
It's no wonder they've consistently been ranked as one of the world's leading companies by Fortune, Barron's, Fast Fortune, and Bloomberg.
This global titan is truly one of the world's largest construction companies...
They have a virtual lock on specific technologies that are essential to the global infrastructure boom, with products and services that are essential in every phase of global construction...
And this is only one of the three global giants that are playing a vital role in the $50 trillion global build-out.
Here's another...

Infrastructure Wealth-Builder #2:
Re-Building the World... and Your Pocketbook
My second play is a booming infrastructure provider that has become a global electrical engineering giant.
In fact, it's the leading energy service provider for nearly 20% of all large-scale and industrial power plants worldwide.
Its modernization and upgrade solutions increase efficiency and capacity of existing power plants, enabling them to generate more electricity with the same amount of fuel.
While it's mostly recognized as an electrical engineering company, its business includes two explosive segments that could make you a boatload of cash — and will allow it to continue its run as a global giant.
Those two segments are energy and infrastructure.
For over 150 years, this global giant has stood for outstanding technical capacity, innovation, quality, reliability, and internationality.
It's become a major player in the wind energy industry and has positioned itself as the leader in the offshore wind segment.
From the world's first offshore wind farm more than 20 years ago, this energy giant has been at the forefront of this breakthrough technology.
One of its newest wind projects in Germany will create enough power for nearly 400,000 households by 2013.
But that's just a start...
This fast-growing infrastructure powerhouse currently has a record order backlog of over $14 billion in its wind power business.
And this global giant has developed high-speed trains, energy-efficient locomotives, light rail, subway cars — all to lower the energy consumed by modern day society and allow the residents of key cities around the world to enjoy a more economically-sustainable infrastructure.
In industry, solutions from this innovative company provide energy-saving drive technology, environmentally-friendly steel production processes, and wastewater treatment in the paper industry — a triple-win for customers, the environment, and this global infrastructure giant...
The customers get lower energy costs and higher productivity...
Future generations win through preserved and improved living and environmental conditions...
And this company wins through access to attractive markets and the opportunity for profitable growth.
And although this company's breakthroughs in energy are impressive in themselves, it's this company's massive impact on the global infrastructure build-out that is absolutely jaw-dropping.
With a portfolio consisting of:
  • Integrated mobility solutions
  • Building and security systems
  • Power distribution equipment
  • Smart grid applications and low- and medium-voltage products
... this global infrastructure superstar is a worldwide giant in energy and infrastructure technologies for metropolitan centers and urban infrastructures worldwide — and a critical player in the $50 trillion infrastructure blowout.
From the regional multiple-unit trains bound for Russia...
To the power distribution networks being shipped to India...
To the signaling technology and components for trains being sent to Greece...
To building a network control system for the Czech Republic's power grid...
This global player offers you an opportunity to gain exposure to the explosive infrastructure boom without a lot of risk.
And the 4%-plus dividend the company offers is a nice bonus.
This company's business is soaring, with profits climbing 36% for fiscal year 2011.
The outlook for this year looks even better — with an order backlog of more than $131 billion, a strong portfolio of infrastructure products and services, and a solid financial position.
This is a perfect opportunity for you to get an early-in on a global infrastructure titan that could add thousands of dollars to your pocket.
Which leads me into my third global infrastructure provider that's set for massive gains from the giant infrastructure build-out...

Infrastructure Wealth-Builder #3:

Get Rich with This Emerging Markets Power-Builder
Look for this third play to continue landing major contracts in the next few years as massive improvements in infrastructure are sorely needed worldwide...
Between crumbling power distribution systems, new transmission to facilitate wind and natural gas power production, and technological improvements that are leading to a more efficient grid, there's a lot of capital flowing into new and existing electricity infrastructure projects.
As a result, you can expect to see a lot of major deals for a handful of grid-related companies — like this major transmission and grid giant.
This infrastructure powerhouse has been in business for 120 years and now leads the world markets in both power-transmission and power-management systems, as well as in industrial-automation products and systems.
It operates in more than 99 countries and has offices in over 85 of those nations, giving global and local customers the support they need to develop and conduct their infrastructure build-out successfully.
This company is already a mainstay in developed economies, but it's now penetrating emerging economies around the globe...
And with exploding infrastructure demand worldwide, this company's revenue and orders are hitting record numbers... with net income last year soaring 24%.
And this year looks even better...
Recently, this booming infrastructure giant won numerous contracts around the world — including, but not limited to:
  • A $20 million Swiss order to boost efficiency of hydroelectric power plants
  • A $60 million order for energy-efficient powering of Royal Caribbean ships
  • A $15 million order in India to power a metro for Pink City
And like the other two infrastructure powerhouses, this company offers a wide variety of infrastructure products and services.
In Germany, it has exposure to the growing demand for offshore wind, even landing a $1 billion deal this year to connect offshore wind farms in the North Sea to Germany's grid. It also recently won a deal to supply transformers and switchgear for one of the world's first commercial deep-sea mining projects.
But that's not all...
In Estonia, it won a tender offer to build a network of hundreds of electric vehicle fast-charging stations.
And in Brazil, it secured a multi-million-dollar order from a power distribution company to supply an indoor distribution substation.
Here in the United States, this company won a $49 million plus order from a Texas company to provide electrical equipment that will improve reliability, strengthen the existing transmission grid, and facilitate the integration of wind power.
Certainly all this positive news helped bolster support for the stock...
But it's nothing compared to the riches this company will receive once the $50 trillion infrastructure blowout hits full swing.
Emerging countries are desperate for smart grid technology — and this is the company that is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this.
The bottom line is this: You could see explosive gains from this smart grid powerhouse as the infrastructure boom explodes...
Not to mention an impressive dividend of over 3.4%.
And it's only one of your tremendous opportunities from three of the most powerful companies in the world that are heading up one of the most powerful movements we've seen in 100 years...

Your Path to Prosperity
This is your opportunity to get in early on these three global infrastructure powerhouses that are transforming our world — and watch your gains soar as you ride the $50 trillion global infrastructure boom.
And I want to help you do this by offering you a free copy of my brand-new report, "Tapping into the World's Biggest Construction Project for a Lifetime of Wealth."
It contains all the details on the global infrastructure boom and the three powerful stocks that could make you retirement-rich, starting today.
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http://www.angelnexus.com/o/web/37067?r=1 

Hey, Europe! Print More Money!
China and Indonesia have both come out and demanded that Europe "reach an agreement on rigorous methods to manage the crisis."
Of course, we should not be fooled by what Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono means when he says "rigorous methods to manage the crisis."
"Rigorous methods" is code for "the EU needs to print money. Now."
Europe is the new kid on the global economic block. It's no surprise that EU leaders like Germany's Merkel still suffer under the naïve belief that the European currency means something, that it has some kind of intrinsic value.
Of course, it doesn't. Not in this crazy world economy where central banks willingly shovel more and more cash onto the debt bonfire.
Would You Lend Money to Spain?
Even as Greece elects a government that will bow to the EU's will in order to get more cash, the yield on Spanish 10-year bonds jumped above 7%. (For comparison's sake, U.S. 10-year bonds yield around 1.5%.)
Why the big difference?
Because there's little doubt that Uncle Sam will pay back the loan. Sure, the loan might get paid back with devalued U.S. dollars, fresh off the printing press... but the loan will get paid back.
There are no such assurances with Spain. And it's only because Spain can't print money.
It's the same story for Italy, as its 10-year yields climb above 6%.


Norfolk District - US Army Corps of Engineers
          The latest news from the Norfolk District USACE


       
     
      Craney Island mosquito spraying scheduled30 Juni 2012 1:5506/29/2012 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Portsmouth will conduct joint aerial mosquito spraying 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 2 at federal properties on Craney Island, adjacent city properties and the Churchland area in Portsmouth, Va.
   
Crabbe Aviation L.L.C. will conduct aerial spraying in areas north of Rte-164, weather permitting.
   
The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft to spray Trumpet EC, a formulation of Dibrom to target flying adult mosquitoes. The plane will be conducting low-flying spray operations in the area.
   
Beekeepers are asked to keep their bees covered during the spraying operations in their particular area and anyone with known allergic reactions is advised to stay indoors.
   
If conditions don't allow spraying July 2, the inclement weather date is July 3.
   
Call the Portsmouth's Mosquito Hotline at 757-393-8666 for more details about the spray operations.
Repairs complete, Fort Norfolk's pier, wharf resume full operations27 Juni 2012 22:2506/27/2012 - FORT NORFOLK, Va. — For years, Mother Nature's fury has steadily eroded the structural integrity of the Fort Norfolk pier and wharf area, seriously degrading its operational effectiveness and jeopardizing its safe operation.

Broken, crumbling and missing pilings; deteriorating pier foundation; wharf top cap rotten away; mooring fasteners and piling bolts – gone!

That was then.

Today, new state-of-the-art structural upgrades are expanding the facility's operation and extending its useful life for up to 15 years.

Those upgrades to the Fort Norfolk pier and wharf, completed in May, paid immediate dividends during the 2012 OpSail Parade and Sail and the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations, held in early June. Six U.S. Navy vessels docked and nested here, offering the public several days of open house vessel tours throughout the weeklong festivities.

"The Army Corps of Engineers pier at Fort Norfolk is simply beautiful," said Lt. Cmdr. Marc Devine, commander of the USS Monsoon (PC 4). "It provides a very safe mooring for smaller vessels, is well lit, and numerous guests commented on the smartness of the facility's landscaping. The new concrete walkways also provided our guests safe and easy access to our ships."

The Fort Norfolk Bulkhead and Pier Repair project, under the design and construction management of Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began work in October 2011, and was completed ahead of schedule and more than $150,000 under budget.

The Corps' prime contractor, Team Henry Enterprises, LLC, based in Newport News, Va., is an 8A minority-owned small business. The project marked the first time Team Henry had performed work for Norfolk District, but their land work experience extended to other federal and state agencies.

Completing the project ahead of schedule and below budget was no surprise to Steven Baum, Norfolk District's project manager.

"Team Henry did a super job," Baum said. "They kept the cost down by working efficiently and were able to pass those cost-savings on to us. They required very little daily oversight and were extremely well organized and professional. Anytime there was a problem, all I had to do was raise an eyebrow and they just took care of it."

"This was a highly successful project, due in large part to proper planning and the 'Team' approach Team Henry takes with all of its projects," said Devon M. Henry, Team Henry CEO and president. "That approach requires that everyone communicate, be responsive and willing to work together to reach the common goal. From our staff to the Corps' fine professionals to our dedicated subcontractors -- they didn't disappoint!"

The Fort Norfolk Bulkhead and Pier Repair project consisted of two separate issues.

"Our pier is the primary mooring for our patrol boats and survey vessels," Baum said. "The pier had sustained so much damage that 50 percent of its pilings were either broken or missing. The structure underneath the pier was completely deteriorated, which resulted in tearing up our boats as they docked at the pier." 

The wharf area is the Fort's secondary mooring. Baum explained that for the last couple of years they haven't been able to tie up any of the district's vessels or visiting ones there because the wharf's top structure had completely deteriorated and no longer could support a vessel tie-up.

"The cap on top of the wharf had rotted away; it didn't have any fasteners to moor to; most of the pilings were broken or missing; and the few that were still in place weren't bolted in any longer," Baum said. "When we no longer could tie up and safely moor our vessels, the district reached deep and hard and found funding to make repairs."

Shortly after the repair project began last year, Hurricane Irene damaged the wave splash wall in front of the Corps' Waterfield Building at Fort Norfolk. A large steel portion of the wall fell into the Elizabeth River near the fort's flagpole, compromising the face of the seawall. The pavement surface in the same area also sustained damage. Additionally, storm debris washed ashore and destroyed approximately 25 percent of the security fence and a portion of the concrete sidewalk that runs along the seawall from the fort's pier to the Waterfield Building.

Norfolk District requested and was authorized supplemental funding, as part of the Fort Norfolk Bulkhead and Pier Repair project, and repairs were made that had resulted from Hurricane Irene.

Once repairs were completed, a structural inspection of the cement pier was performed to ensure the pier was safe for operation.

"The structural inspection revealed that the pier is in good shape," Baum said. "We'll have minor repairs to address over the next five years, especially to the wharf area behind the guard shack, but we're definitely open for business."

Corps releases report on U.S. port and inland waterways modernization26 Juni 2012 0:4506/25/2012 - WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers submitted to Congress June 20  the "U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization: Preparing for Post-Panamax Vessels" report, an examination of options for future modernization of U.S. ports and inland waterways.  The report has been released to the public at http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/portandwaterways/.

The USACE Institute for Water Resources in Alexandria, Va., developed the report as directed by Congress in Public Law 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (H.R. 2055), in December 2011. 

The act required USACE to submit within 180 days a "report on how the Congress should address the critical need for additional port and inland waterways modernization to accommodate post-Panamax vessels." 

"Post-Panamax vessels today make up 16 percent of the world's container fleet, but account for 45 percent of the fleet's capacity," said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, USACE deputy commanding general for civil works and emergency operations.  "Those numbers are projected to grow significantly over the next 20 years."

"The United States is a maritime nation," continued Walsh.  "This report provides to Congress and the public an analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by the post-Panamax vessels, and outlines options on how the nation might address the port and inland waterway infrastructure needs required to accommodate these new vessels."

"U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization: Preparing for Post-Panamax Vessels" identifies capacity maintenance and expansion issues associated with the deployment of post-Panamax vessels to trade routes serving U.S. ports.  This identification was accomplished through an evaluation of the future demand for capacity in terms of freight forecasts and vessel size expectations, and an evaluation of the current capacity of the nation's inland waterways and coastal ports.

The report, along with a summary, reflects the information available at the time of its writing.  It addresses the factors Congress identified with chapters on:  Discussion of Demand for Future Capacity, Current Capacity, Evaluating Capacity Maintenance and Expansion, Environmental Impacts of Capacity Expansion, Financing Options for Funding U.S. Port and Inland Waterway Infrastructure Needs, and Additional Considerations.  This is a technical report and does not necessarily reflect program and budgeting priorities inherent in the formulation of a national Civil Works construction program or the policy perspective of higher review levels within the executive branch. 

The report makes the following observations and findings:

   World trade and U.S. trade are expected to continue to grow, with imports growing more than fourfold, and exports expected to grow more than sevenfold over the next 30 years.
   The U.S. population is expected to grow by almost 100 million over the next 30 years, with most of the growth in the southern and western regions of the nation.
   Post-Panamax size vessels currently call at U.S. ports and will dominate the world fleet in the future.  By 2030, post-Panamax vessels will account for 62% of the capacity of the world's container fleet.
   These vessels will call in increasing numbers at U.S. ports that can accommodate them.
   Along the Southeast and Gulf coasts there may be opportunities for economically justified port expansion projects to accommodate post-Panamax vessels.
          
               This is indicated by an evaluation of population growth trends, trade forecasts and an examination of the current port capacities.
               Investment opportunities at specific ports will need to be individually studied.
       
   The potential transportation cost saving of using post-Panamax size vessels to ship agricultural products to Asia, through the Panama Canal may lead to an increase in grain traffic on the Mississippi River for export at Gulf ports.
       
               An analysis indicated the current Mississippi River capacity is adequate to meet potential demand if the waterways serving the agricultural export market are maintained.
               A need for lock capacity expansion is not indicated.
       

   Despite the uncertainty in market responses to the deployment of post-Panamax vessels and the expansion of the Panama Canal, individual investment opportunities for port expansion can be identified using established decision making under uncertainty techniques.  Adaptive management techniques can also be used to address uncertainty issues.  Preliminary estimates indicate the total investment opportunities may be in the $3-$5 billion range.
   Environmental mitigation costs associated with port expansion can be significant and will play an important role in investment decisions.
   The primary challenge with the current process to deliver navigation improvements is to ensure adequate and timely funding to take advantage of potential opportunities. 
   
               A notional list of financing options is presented to initiate discussion of possible paths to meet this challenge.
               It is anticipated that a variety of options may be desirable, and in all cases individual project characteristics, including its economic merits, would need to be considered in selecting the optimal financing mechanisms.
   



Maintaining the capacity of the nation's major ports and waterways and expanding port capacity when, where, and in a way that best serves the nation will require leadership at all levels of government, and partnership with ports and the private sector. The main challenges are to continue to maintain the key features of our current infrastructure, to identify when and where to expand coastal port capacity, and to determine how to finance its development.

For more information about the report, visit http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/portandwaterways/

Project's Future Looks Bright19 Juni 2012 1:4506/18/2012 - The Virginia Port Authority and the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently signed an agreement reaffirming Craney Island's  Eastward Expansion project.

Jerry Bridges, VPA executive director, and Col. Paul Olsen, Norfolk District commander, signed the Project Partnership Agreement for the Eastward Expansion, which formalized the federal/state partnership and cost-sharing agreement between the two agencies. The agreement was originally authorized by Congress in 2007's Water Resources Development Act.

"This is truly a momentous time for the Port of Virginia and the Commonwealth of Virginia as a whole," Bridges said during the signing ceremony. "The expansion of the Panama Canal will play very large in the increased volumes that move through our port, and Craney Island will be key in Virginia capturing a bigger share of that cargo."

A recent USACE report provided verification that the future benefits of the project outweigh the costs. An update to the 2006 Chief's Report, this analysis used the most recent commodity and terminal capacity projections, vessel operating costs, and land-side transportation cost data to determine that the project's projected National Economic Development, or NED, benefits have nearly doubled, to $16 billion a year, with a Benefit-to-Cost Ratio of 6.2:1 that affirms the federal interest in the project.

The benefits to the nation upon the opening of Craney Island Marine Terminal have increased: since the 2006 report, the facility was redesigned with automated cargo-handling technology like that at APM Terminals in Portsmouth, Va. By using the most technologically advanced equipment available, the facility's projected cargo-handling capacity will double, to nearly five million containers per year.

This capacity increase will extend the life of Craney Island as a dredged material placement area for Norfolk District and generate NED benefits through transportation cost savings created by handling cargo destined for the Port of Virginia that, without the new facility's extra capacity, would have to use an alternative port.
OpSail 2012: Corps Kickers dominate sand soccer tournament in international military competition14 Juni 2012 1:1506/13/2012 - VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It's like the calm before a storm.

The Virginia Beach boardwalk at 6 a.m. during the summer months is brimming with familiar life. Couples walk hand-in-hand along the white sand and surf and shirtless rollerbladers and joggers taking advantage of the cool morning Atlantic Ocean breeze. They’re all savoring the calm and small window of opportunity to use the 10-foot wide, 59-block-long concrete boardwalk built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In early June, and especially during this year’s OpSail Parade of Sail and three-day North American Sand Soccer Championships, that serenity, or "calm", ends earlier each day. It’s replaced by beachgoers in the thousands descending upon the Virginia Beach boardwalk to set up umbrellas and chairs and stake out front-row seats to watch the impressive array of military and sailing vessels pass-by.

Then there’s the "storm."

In the words…"With an oceanfront like Virginia Beach, you really ought to try sand soccer," the idea for the Virginia Beach Sand Soccer Tournament was born. The first tournament in Virginia Beach was held in 1994, drawing over 26 adult and children teams, with more than 35,000 spectators.  This year, 800 teams participated and more than 105,000 spectators cheered atop mounds of sand along the boardwalk.

This year an International Military Division was added due to the large military presence in Hampton Roads, coupled with the international military participation in the 2012 OpSail Parade of Sail.

This year, the Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, entered a team in International Military Division. 

"Anyone who enjoys the sun on their shoulders, the sand under their feet, and the crash of waves while they play should look into playing sand soccer," said Christian Brumm, team captain for the Corps Kickers. Brumm is the resident engineer for the Norfolk District at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. 

The Corps Kickers – a group of 12 men and women who work with or are family members or friends of the Norfolk District -- played four games in two days. Originally scheduled to play three games, the team’s two wins and one tie placed them first in the division and back on the schedule to play another game.

On the first day of competition, the Corps Kickers defeated the British Royal navy 6-4 and sank the U.S. Coast Guard 9-4. On the second day of competition, the team played the Danish navy, kept the lead for most of the game and left the field with a 4-4 tie. These scores catapulted the Corps team to a match against the Colombian navy team. After losing 9-4, the Colombian team moved forward and lost to the Brazilian team – who won the International Military Division competition.

"The sand, uneven and unpredictable, was a great neutralizer.  It put us on even footing with the other teams and gave us a chance to compete.  The tiring nature of the game played well to our team’s depth," said Samuel George, a Norfolk District mechanical engineer and member of the Corps Kickers.

The ballpark number of people who come to Virginia Beach for vacation during these two international events is right at a million, according to Virginia Fest Event planners. That number doesn’t include vendors selling T-shirts, hotdogs, funnel cakes, jewelry, soccer balls, or the private citizen who rents a booth each year to try and make a few extra bucks selling all types of specialty wares.

"I've been playing soccer for years, but sand soccer is very different than field soccer," Brumm said. "The goal is smaller, a player's reaction and movement is altered by the shifting sand, and there are only four players on the field and one goalie. Each game is played in 11-minute periods and moves along at a fast clip. I sum up our success this year to the team -- very diverse backgrounds, but with one thing in common: the ability to quickly learn, adapt and perform well as a team."

Amazing as it seems, this "Grand Prix" of international amateur beach soccer is hard to miss and attracts teams from nearly 20 states and as far away as Africa, Germany, Brazil, Norway’s rocky seacoasts and the wilds of Canada's northwest territories. The championships are staged over 22 city blocks of prime oceanfront real estate, over 1.5 miles of white sand. 

The Virginia Beach Sand Soccer tournament has been selected by the U.S. Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events of the summer. A big draw is the men’s pro/am cash division’s three-day competition, which boasts players from all around the world vying to win the U.S. National Championships.

"Despite the steep learning curve, the tournament was a really rewarding experience.  It gave us a chance to have fun and compete together.  We began with little to no expectations and left feeling like we had truly accomplished something," George said.
Clean the Bay Day: 23 people can make a difference07 Juni 2012 4:1506/06/2012 - PORTSMOUTH, Va.— Armed with disposable gloves, large trash bags and a desire to make a difference, 23 Norfolk District volunteers, family members and friends gave up their Saturday morning June 5 to join thousands of fellow Virginians in removing unhealthy debris from cherished waterways throughout the Commonwealth.

The district's eco-friendly team, organized by zone captain Kristen Donofrio, cleaned approximately five miles of Craney Island's shoreline, collecting 3,135 pounds of trash and approximately 1,150 pounds of non-bagged or bulky items.

The most unusual items found this year included a 50-foot tug boat rope, large pieces of scrap metal, a couch cushion, ball caps, a plastic doll, basketball, and almost a full case of unopened water bottles. The most common items found were plastic bottles and food wrappers, a change from previous years that included a ton of Styrofoam from crab pot buoys and coolers. Last year on Craney Island alone, 104 bags of trash totaling 2,392 pounds and approximately 1,450 pounds of bulky items were collected.

"Clean the Bay Day is important because individuals often overlook how simple lifestyle changes such as proper trash and chemical disposal can impact the bay.  Data gathered from events like this remind us that we all need to be equally enthusiastic about maintaining (the bay’s) health as we are about using its resources," Donofrio said.

Since 1989, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has removed tons of trash from local beaches, shorelines and waterways during the region-wide clean-up effort. The state-wide initiative –organized by the foundation, in conjunction with municipalities, businesses and government agencies – work together to restore the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and its streams. This year, more than 6,200 volunteers state-wide removed approximately 200,000 pounds of debris from 500 miles of streams and shorelines along the bay, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Last year, 7,430 volunteers removed 217,641 pounds of debris at 245 sites along 419 miles of the Chesapeake Bay.

With the increasing popularity of the annual campaign, last year Clean the Bay Day expanded beyond Hampton Roads to include eastern Virginia, Richmond and northern Virginia.  Clean the Bay Day is one of the largest volunteer cleanup efforts in Virginia, involving thousands of Virginians working on foot and by boat along the Chesapeake Bay’s rivers and streams.
"This is the fifth year I have participated in this event at Craney Island and am glad to see the amount of material collected each year has steadily decreased. This indicates to me efforts focused on restoring the bay and keeping it clean is having the intended effect," said Mike Darrow, chief of the district’s water resources division.

"It is great to see so many Norfolk District employees and their families volunteer their time to help clean the environment," Darrow said.

The Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area is a 2,500-acre confined dredged material disposal site authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1946, and was constructed from 1956-1958. The federal facility is operated by the Norfolk District, Army Corps of Engineers and is used by private interests, local municipalities, and federal and Commonwealth of Virginia government agencies for the disposal of dredged material from Norfolk Harbor and its adjacent waterways, including the Elizabeth and Nansemond rivers.

Interesting Facts About the Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is 64,000 square miles and has 11,600 miles of tidal shoreline, including tidal wetlands and islands. The watershed encompasses parts of six states. Approximately 17 million people live in the watershed; about 10 million people live along its shores or near them. It's the largest estuary in the U.S.

Formed about 12,000 years ago as glaciers melted and flooded the Susquehanna River valley, the Chesapeake Bay is North America's largest estuary and the world's third largest.
Chesapeake Bay is approximately 200 miles long and runs north-south from the mouth of the Susquehanna River to the Atlantic Ocean. Chesapeake Bay's headwaters begin at Cooperstown, N.Y., home to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed (the area of land that drains into the Bay) is 64,000 square miles and has 11,600 miles of tidal shoreline, including tidal wetlands and islands. The watershed encompasses parts of six states: Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as Washington D.C.
The average depth of the Bay, including tributaries, is about 21 feet. The deepest part of the Bay, "the Hole," is 174 feet deep and located off Bloody Point southeast of Annapolis, Md.
The narrowest part of the Bay, near Aberdeen, MD, is about 3.5 miles. The widest point - from Smith Point, VA, to Virginia's Eastern Shore - is 30 miles.
"Chesapeake" derives from the Native American "Tschiswapeki," which loosely translates into "great shellfish bay."
There are more than 100,000 streams, creeks, or rivers in the watershed, including 150 major rivers. One can reach a Bay tributary in less than 15 minutes from nearly everywhere in the watershed.
The Bay's skipjack fleet represents the last commercial fishing fleet to use sail power in North America.
Two of the five major North Atlantic ports--Baltimore and Hampton Roads--are on the Bay.
More than 500 million pounds of seafood is harvested from the Bay every year.
The Bay supports 3,600 species of plant and animal life, including more than 300 fish species and 2,700 plant types.

Partnership keeps communication/channel open24 Mei 2012 4:0005/23/2012 - CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — Local, state and federal officials met with commercial fishermen here on the small island May 8 to discuss the best way to keep the channel and harbor open and safe for all vessel traffic that uses the waterway.

Hosted by the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Chincoteague navigation partnership brings together multiple interested parties to hear concerns as well as discuss current funding and upcoming dredge activities.

With current funding dwindling for shallow draft projects nationwide, officials said the channel is still receiving cash – although in small amounts and only enough to complete just-in-time dredging – to keep the channel open.

"Out of 65 shallow draft projects alone in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Chincoteague is only once one of three that continues to see funding, the others are Rudee and Lynnhaven inlets in Virginia Beach," said MikeAnderson, a Norfolk District supervisory civil engineer.

Because of current budget shortfalls, the Corps is taking a hard look at its current operations and looking for any cost cutting measures that won't compromise safety or the main mission.

"In our changing budget climate, we're using different folks to find solutions -- not just our operations branch personnel," said Mike Darrow, chief of the Norfolk District's water resources division.

One such solution is to realign the channel, which would bring boats farther away from a consistent problem area Corps dredges have addressed in recent years.

Kristen Mazur, a project manager with the Corps of Engineers, said such a move will have two outcomes.

"An adjustment to the channel will mean we will take boaters away from an area that continues to have a shifting shoal as well as save money and time from having to continually go back and dredge the same area over and over," Mazur said.

Commercial fisherman, along with town representatives, presented new economic data at the meeting, which showed an increase in the amount of commercial vessels using the channel to offload seafood to market.

 "With this knowledge and buy-in from stakeholders, we are working with the Coast Guard to realign portions of the channel to optimize the limited funds and dredges," Mazur said.

Another adopted proposal is to maximize the time the Corps Dredge Currituck remains on-site.

"We currently have the dredge come during very short periods of time; what we are going to do in the future is have them come for at least 21 days to a month to do a very comprehensive dredge of the channel," Mazur said. "Our hope is that we reduce mobilization and de-mobilization costs as well as get more of the material out of the channel rather than only hitting a few hotspots."

Chincoteague Inlet's importance to the region is twofold; it serves as a small port for a bustling seafood industry, and a critical harbor of refuge for boaters seeking shelter during storms.

According to Wayne Merrit, the Chincoteague harbor master, the local fishing community has seen an uptick in the amount of fishing boats coming in for offload, bolstering the towns need to keep the waterway safe and open.

"With increased vessel traffic, comes increased tonnage, which says we are a thriving harbor and need to keep the inlet open to continue our growth," Merritt said.

Officials voiced their funding concerns and asked the Corps what could be done so their inlet can continue to be a priority when it comes to budget time.

Officials with the Corps offered a few points of advice to the crowd:

"You need to continue to keep us updated with the most current information as far as amounts of boats, types of boats  as well as work together in chorus with each other to tell elected officials just how important the waterway is to you, the town, the region and the commonwealth economically," Mazur said, addressing the group.

The Chincoteague navigation partnership meets once a year, and according to Mazur, allows for a very productive forum to get things done.

"The meeting allowed us to get input from the users, stakeholders and sponsors of the project about the channel conditions, vessel usage, and needs for improvement." Mazur said. "I think the meeting went well and received positive comments from many of the attendees."
Public invited: FNOD restoration advisory board meets June 724 Mei 2012 1:5005/23/2012 - SUFFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host its second quarterly meeting of the Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot, or FNOD, Restoration Advisory Board Thursday, June 7, from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Courtyard Marriott located at 8060 Harbour View Boulevard in Suffolk, Va.
 
Current areas of interest being discussed by USACE include the following:

Next phase of the Geophysical Investigation
FNOD Background Study (Arsenic Investigation, Area of Concern 22)

 
The quarterly Restoration Advisory Board, or RAB, meetings serve as a public forum for discussing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, remediation progress at the 975-acre former depot, located near the former Tidewater Community College Portsmouth campus. At the meetings FNOD RAB members provide input on proposed work plans and restoration efforts to an interagency project team consisting of USACE, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency. Community members are also encouraged to attend and ask questions during the meeting.
 
In 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, placed FNOD on its National Priorities List. In 1997, the FNOD RAB was established. It is the main forum for the public to provide input to project team members of USACE on cleanup plans and efforts at the site. The RAB is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, including members of the community, local businesses, local and state officials, a Tidewater Community College Real Estate Foundation representative, property owners, and interagency project team members from USACE, VDEQ and the EPA.
 
All FNOD quarterly meetings and applications for RAB membership are open to the public. Adriane James is the Norfolk District projects branch environmental section chief and RAB government co-chair, (757) 201-7701. Sher Zaman of the USACE Baltimore District provides overall project and funding oversight and can be reached at (410) 962-3134, or by email: Sher.Zaman@usace.army.mil. Daily FNOD activities are managed by Jeff Zoeckler of the USACE Norfolk District. He can be reached at (757) 201-7726.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will honor new America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Annual Pass for Military17 Mei 2012 7:1505/16/2012 - WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today it will begin accepting the America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Pass Program's new Interagency Annual Pass for Military (Military Pass) at its more than 2,500 USACE-managed recreation areas nationwide.

Beginning on Armed Forces Day on May 19, service men and women - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and activated National Guard and Reserves, and their dependents who present the new Military Pass will receive a fee waiver to USACE-managed day-use areas (boat launches and swimming areas). The Military Pass, which is free, may be obtained in person at U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities. Additional information on the Federal Recreation Pass Program is available at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/annual.html.

Military members and their dependents may also present a Department of the Defense Identification Card or Common Access Card (CAC) to receive the day-use fee waiver at USACE-managed day-use areas.

In a separate effort, USACE will continue to waive camping fees for active duty military members and their dependents on mid- or post-deployment leave. To qualify for a camping fee waiver at a USACE-managed campground, a member or dependent must present the new Military Pass or CAC and a copy of their mid- or post-deployment (reintegration) leave orders. Camping fees are waived on a walk-up and space available basis, as well as for reservations made through the National Recreation Reservation Service call center at 1-877-444-6777. However, fees will not be waived for on-line reservations made through the on-line Recreation.gov website.
Acceptance of USACE fee waivers is encouraged, but not required, at the more than 1,800 nationwide recreation areas managed by other entities on USACE lands.

"Our military service members and their families sacrifice so much for our country. The waiver of day-use fees at USACE lakes and recreation areas will make it easier and more affordable for them to get to the great outdoors with their families and relax," said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, USACE Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations.

USACE is the nation's largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, managing more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. For more information on USACE recreation sites and activities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.
Pits, catwalks among new construction making Langley, Airmen safer11 Mei 2012 5:4505/10/2012 - JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS , Va. — The work of the 633rd Security Forces Squadron at Langley's LaSalle gate was worthy of a nod from the "Dirty Jobs" man himself.

"We've worked in some bad places, and that was a bad place," said Lt. Col. Scott Foley, 633rd SFS commander.

The gate served not only as an entrance for the thousands who work on Langley but as an inspection area for contract and commercial vehicles coming on to base.  There, base defenders had no choice but to squeeze themselves between a filthy road and a dirty vehicle in every weather condition to thoroughly inspect each truck before it gained access to the installation.

But these Airmen's dirty job just became cleaner – and easier.

A new 9,000-square-foot Large Vehicle Inspection Station, complete with catwalks, inspection pits and blast-rated booths opened with a little bit of fanfare and a lot of excitement.
"It's been a long time coming," said Col. Reggie Austin, 633rd Air Base Wing vice commander at the ribbon-cutting ceremony May 4. "[This] eliminates security threats and … keeps defenders out of harm's way."

Security forces Airmen previously worked a few feet from active lanes of traffic. This arrangement slowed inspection time and, in turn, created a perpetual line of trucks that slowed regular base traffic coming in through the LaSalle Gate.

The new $7.2 million inspection station can accommodate three vehicles at a time, which was part of the design to improve inspection efficiency, eliminate gate congestion and get the Airmen out of traffic.
The joint venture project, constructed by W.M. Jordan/Versar, Inc. and overseen by the Norfolk District, Army Corps of Engineers' includes a waiting area for drivers, a room for the canine unit and cameras for monitoring the inspection bay. 

"With this facility, security forces can access each driver's license information and perform a basic background check," said Buff Jackson, Norfolk District construction representative. Specifications for LEED Silver certification – an internationally recognized standard for sustainable "green" buildings – were met during the design and construction of the facility. The station is phase one of a two-part project. The second phase of construction, which will take place at LaSalle Gate and begin this summer, will widen the road, add protective barriers and construct  a visitor's building.
325 participate in 9th annual Paddle for the Border08 Mei 2012 1:3005/07/2012 - DISMAL SWAMP CANAL, N.C. — By 6 a.m. on May 5, light rain showers combined with early morning dew covered the trees and leafy vegetation lining the banks of the historical Dismal Swamp Canal.

The temperatures at 6:30 a.m. were in the low 70s and the sun was just beginning to peek through the clouds as the day welcomed 325 people who gathered at the welcome center in North Carolina to participate in the 9th annual Paddle for the Border.

"This has been the third year I have paddled, and it has been a fantastic experience every time," said John Monroe, who drove more than three hours from a small North Carolina town to participate in the Chesapeake, Va.-sponsored event.

Monroe, 76, said the event "keeps me in shape and gives me an opportunity to travel the historical canal at my pace."

As kayaks, canoes and waterboards launched in North Carolina at 8:30 a.m., temperatures had crept to 80 degrees for the 7.5-mile paddle to Virginia. Word along the banks of the Great Dismal Swamp Canal was that the massive trees that arched over the water and small coves would provide shady retreats for people to stop, sip water and snap photos of their friends paddling by.

"It was a perfect day to slip a paddle into the dark waters of the historic Dismal Swamp Canal," Gladys Jones said.

Jones, the event coordinator for the city of Chesapeake, Va. – the city in which the paddle ended – said the maximum amount of paddlers – 300 – participated in 2011. As a result, that number was increased to 325 participants this year.

"Each year, registration becomes more competitive," Jones said. "Many participants are regulars, calling us early in January to find out when registration will begin."

Paddlers traveled from several states, as well as localities throughout North Carolina and Virginia, to participate this year.

With more paddle participants that in 2011, Joy Greenwood, park superintendant for the Dismal Swamp State Park, said it was important to that everyone be "mindful of the increased water traffic so it is an enjoyable, safe and hazard- free experience."

Accordingly, park rangers from three different jurisdictions provided on-water boat operations in support of the event while the Chesapeake fire department's community emergency response team provided on-bank observations and emergency medical services.

The annual event, sponsored by the Dismal Swamp State Park, Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and City of Chesapeake Parks and Recreation Department, gives participants an opportunity to paddle from the Dismal Swamp State Park in North Carolina to the Great Dismal Swamp Boat Ramp in Chesapeake, Va.

President Obama's America Great Outdoors initiative, or AGO, seeks to reinvigorate the nation's approach to reconnect Americans with the lands and waters that are used for farming, hunting, fishing and other recreational activities. It spreads the messages of conservation, protection, reconnection and stewardship of the outdoors.

Did you know?

The Dismal Swamp Canal was inspired by George Washington, who as a surveyor of rural lands, made his first visit to the Great Dismal Swamp in May 1763. Washington, along with other prominent Virginians and North Carolinians, suggested draining the swamp and digging a north-south canal through it to connect the waters of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. In 1805, after 12 years of back-breaking construction, the 22 mile long Dismal Swamp Canal was finally completed. Since 1929, the Corps' Norfolk District has held the responsibility for maintaining and operating the Dismal Swamp Canal, which has the distinction as the oldest continually operating man-made canal in the United States.
Corps oversees construction on new 'battle lab'28 April 2012 1:3004/27/2012 - FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Construction is underway to expand the capabilities of a laboratory tasked by the Army to train Soldiers in an ever -changing wartime environment.
The Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group battle laboratory celebrated its construction start in a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday on post.

The $55 million complex, which is being built by Newport News, Va.- based W.M. Jordan Company, will expand the AWG's capability to program new and different scenarios based on real-world experiences for which Soldiers can train – prior to boots being on the ground.

 "In today's challenges and tomorrow's uncertain conflicts, we must field an Army that must rapidly dominate any operational environment and achieve decisive results across a full range of missions," said Col. Patrick Mahaney Jr., Asymmetric Warfare Group commander, in his ceremony speech. "What we have here will enable us to assist the force to do just that."

The battle lab will provide the Army with facilities to quickly replicate and quickly devise means and methods to defeat evolving threats on the battlefield.

"This provides the Army with an area where we can model scenarios and work on rapid combat-solution development and Soldier adaptability," said Bill Mizell, Asymmetric Battle Lab operations director.
Not only will the project enhance the training of Soldiers, but the local economy as well. The project is bringing in more than 200 jobs and, combined with three other firing rages being built simultaneously, the area is seeing around a $91 million investment.

"This Army investment exceeds any current corporate investment in Caroline County," said Lt. Col. Jack Haefner, Fort A.P. Hill garrison commander.

Project construction is expected to be complete in October of 2013.
ODU's 'smooth sailing' aids in restoring health of Elizabeth River26 April 2012 7:0004/25/2012 - NORFOLK, Va. — Perfect sailing weather awaited the Old Dominion University sailing team, but they chose instead to remain ashore on the banks of the Elizabeth River -- just long enough to celebrate the grand opening of their new sailing pier.

Flanked by friends and guests, ODU officials and its project partners, Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Norfolk, cut the ribbon on the new sailing pier water access project and companion Elizabeth River Wetlands Restoration project.

Bob Finney, ODU vice president for Administration and Finance, told the audience that this project completion was special because it tied into the university's weeklong "Blue goes Green" celebration, which focused on the school's many environmentally-friendly initiatives.

"This project couldn't have been completed without the dedication and commitment of our Norfolk District and city of Norfolk partners," Finney said. "Together, we've completed a special project that's worthy of the other great efforts over the years to restore the health and vitality of the Elizabeth River."

 Lt. Col. David Fedroff, Norfolk District deputy commander said restoring the health of the river depended on cooperation among partners; local universities; federal, state, regional and local agencies; civic groups and organizations.

The ODU Drainage Canal Wetland Restoration project is located on the main branch of the Elizabeth River within the city of Norfolk. The project is part of a much larger Elizabeth River environmental initiative that began in 1993 with four folks sitting around a kitchen table discussing ways to clean-up their beloved river.

That gathering produced the Elizabeth River Project, the grassroots non-profit organization that today has morphed into a multi-million dollar public-private venture that is steadily restoring the health of the Elizabeth River.

The Norfolk District has long partnered with ERP to make their vision to restore the river a reality.
In 1998, at the urging of the ERP, Norfolk District gained Congressional approval to form a project delivery team to formulate and conduct an environmental restoration study to restore the health of the Elizabeth River. The PDT included five cost-sharing sponsors: the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the four cities on the banks of the Elizabeth River: Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

The award-winning study produced an environmental restoration plan that included the use of environmental dredging to remove contaminated river sediment and construction of wetland areas for habitat restoration.

The ODU Drainage Canal Wetland Restoration project constructed two stone breakwaters to create a protected area for nearly an acre of wetlands restoration, and a check dam at the mouth of the stormwater canal to control sedimentation. The funding for this phase of the project came from the federal government and the city of Norfolk.

An additional project feature included the rehabilitation of the existing revetments along the golf course and ODU shoreline, and the construction of a timber pier, gangway and floating pier at the ODU Sailing Center. This was funded by ODU and the city of Norfolk.

The ODU Drainage Canal Wetland Restoration project was designed by Andrews, Miller and Associates of Cambridge, Md., with construction performed by Polu Kai Construction Company of Falls Church, Va., a Service-Disabled Veterans small business.
Environment Virginia Symposium promotes collaboration, innovation and results19 April 2012 0:3504/18/2012 - LEXINGTON, Va. — The 23rd edition of Virginia's premier environmental summit, held April 10-12 on the historic campus of Virginia Military Institute, attracted more than 700 environmental stewards from throughout Virginia's public-private sectors as well as non-governmental agencies.

Together, they exchanged information, technology and ideas aimed at contributing to a prosperous economic and environmentally sustainable future.

Environmental scientists and other staff of Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attended the Environment Virginia Symposium, along with Col. Paul Olsen, the district's new commander and Michael Darrow, chief, Water Resources Division. The district's educational exhibit was on full display and staffed by environmental scientists in the Medal of Honor Hall at the George C. Marshall Center for Leadership and Ethics.

Olsen said he was honored to attend this important environmental symposium, with its theme: "Sustainable Solutions for Uncertain Times," and relished the opportunity to meet with and learn from so many diverse industry leaders who, like he, embrace environmental sustainment.

Shortly after assuming command of Norfolk District on March 16, Olsen was quick to convey to the district team his two environmental imperatives: "Building Strong" implies "Building Smart."

"Through combined education and dedication," Olsen said during his change of command remarks, "we balance our nation's passion to build with its responsibility to protect."                                     

Keith Lockwood, chief, Norfolk District Operation's Technical Support Section, led a symposium break-out session on the district's Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area in Portsmouth, Va. Lockwood touched on the strategic importance of the dredged material site, but his main focus was on the growing popularity of the site as an important habitat, nesting and bird-watching area for several species of local and migratory birds.

Michelle Hamor, chief of the Flood Plain Management Section, Norfolk District, led a presentation on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Silver Jackets program and the establishment of a Virginia team.  The Silver Jacket program seeks to bring together federal, state, tribal and local agencies to learn from one another and jointly apply resources to reduce flood risk. The Virginia team has been active since June 2010, and signed a formal charter in December 2010. 

The Virginia team is comprised of representatives from USACE, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Weather Service River Forecast Centers and Weather Offices, U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Following the presentation, Hamor paneled a question and answer session regarding floodplain management and dam safety initiatives, including the Virginia Silver Jackets Pilot Project, Flood Risk Information System.

Tom Tracy, executive director of Virginia Turfgrass Council, based in Virginia Beach, Va., called the symposium an absolute success.

"Every year I attend this symposium, I'm simply amazed at what new technology is emerging," Tracy said. "Moreover, I always leave here with my environmental tool box brimming with new, innovative ideas and solutions."
New beach/seawall vital for facility's ability to lift off18 April 2012 2:5004/17/2012 - WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — Sand and stone will provide better protection for rocket launch pads, as well as Commonwealth of Virginia and Navy facilities located on Virginia's Eastern Shore from the advancing Atlantic Ocean.
   
The construction of a 14-foot-high seawall, as well as a widened beach, at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility's launch range will help slow erosion along the island that has seen the sea advance approximately 8 to 11 feet per year in recent decades.
  
The seawall, completed last month, extended the existing wall by 1420 feet, and protects launch pads from being washed away. 
  
The beach fill portion, which began earlier this month, involves three dredges working simultaneously to add additional beachfront pushing the lapping waves of the ocean at least 82 feet further away from vital infrastructure rather than just a few feet.
  
"After the years of conceptual design, coastal modeling, environmental evaluations and permitting the Norfolk District is just as excited as our Wallops Island Flight Facility project counterparts  " said George Mears, the Norfolk District project manager overseeing the construction.
  
Approximately 3.2 million cubic feet of beach quality sand will be pumped  and placed on shore along 19,700 feet of oceanfront along the island's southeastern side.
  
The new beach will offer a 14-foot -high dune behind a 6-foot-high berm that will gradually descend in elevation to the ocean giving the launch range a 130-foot-wide beach to absorb the constant pounding of surf, especially during coastal storms.
  
The Wallops Island facility is home to, not only NASA, but also the US Navy Surface Combat Systems Center and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport making this a growing economic generator for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the region.
  
In his State of the Commonwealth speech, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell noted his vision for expanding the commercial space industry at the facility, something that would not be able to happen if Mother Nature continues to erode the island away and compromisinge the facilities located on site.
  
The project will allow the facility to continue safe launch operations for years to come, something that is vital to the nation, the Commonwealth, and the growing economy in the area. 
  
"There is a bright and busy future for NASA, MARS and US Navy missions on Wallops Island.  This project and the adaptive management and maintenance of this investment is essential to protect the ongoing health and future growth potential of those missions so unique to the Nations' science, spaceflight, and national defense objectives and regional economic development opportunities," said Caroline Massey, Assistant Director for Management Operations at NASA Wallops.
  
Current construction of the new beach is expected to last until late July of this year.
'Paradise Found' turns out to be a nature park in Portsmouth, Va.05 April 2012 0:4004/04/2012 - PORTSMOUTH, Va. — It began with four folks, sitting around a kitchen table, discussing ways to clean-up their beloved river.

That was 1993.

On March 29, the Elizabeth River Project – the grassroots non-profit organization that morphed into a multi-million dollar public-private venture – broke ground on its largest public restoration site: Paradise Creek Nature Park in Portsmouth, Va.

Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, ERP executive director, told the crowd the future urban park will become a unique "oasis for recreation and education" for the city of Portsmouth and the Hampton Roads region.

Paradise Creek Nature Park is a 40-acre waterfront park on the southern branch of the Elizabeth River. When phase 1 work is completed in spring 2013, the park will boast two miles of nature trails and restored native plants that meander through one of the last stands of mature forest on the river. The former creek bottom, filled with dredged material in the mid-1990s, will be restored. The park will feature the region's largest restored wetland, plus unique outdoor sculptures, education stops, kayaking, public access roads and an earthworks mound designed as public art, where visitors can enjoy a view of the entire park.

The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has long partnered with ERP to make their plans to restore the river a reality.

In 1998, at the urging of the ERP, Norfolk District gained Congressional approval to form a project delivery team to formulate and conduct an environmental restoration study to restore the health of the Elizabeth River. Led by Robert Pretlow, district civil engineer and project manager, The PDT included five cost-sharing sponsors: the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the four cities on the banks of the Elizabeth River: Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

The award-winning study produced an environmental restoration plan that included the use of environmental dredging to remove contaminated river sediment and construction of wetland areas for habitat restoration.

The Elizabeth River provides for Hampton Roads in economic terms.  She sets a scene for attractions, such as the Harbor Park battlefield and Norfolk's National Maritime Center, Nauticus, where its war hero resides, the U.S.S. Wisconsin.  Her channel waters bustle with military fleets and foreign cargo vessels of the expanding Port of Hampton Roads. She hosts thousands of recreational boaters that cruise the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and hundreds of thousands party on her shores during the annual Harborfest.

However, the Elizabeth River remains one of the more seriously degraded urban rivers in the United States. Originally a broad, shallow estuary of the Chesapeake Bay, the river has been dredged to twice her normal depth and filled to 75 percent her normal width to accommodate three centuries of development.

Toxins accumulate in the river's muddy floor. The lurking toxins cause health problems in fish, including tumors, cataracts and other abnormalities, and pose risks for human health. Aquatic life in the river is hard-pressed to find a habitat; as much as 50 percent of tidal wetlands have been lost on the Elizabeth River since World War II.

Some of the river's problems have abated with the environmental consciousness of the last several decades. Industrial discharges into the river are regulated and significantly cleaner. Municipal improvements include state-of-the-art sewage treatment plants. Large challenges, however, remain for the 300-square-mile watershed, and that's where the district's environmental restoration plan took center stage.

The Norfolk District recently completed two wetland restoration projects:  the Scuffletown Creek Sediment Remediation project in Chesapeake and the Old Dominion Drainage Canal project in Norfolk.  The district is also working to complete the design leading to the construction of a wetland restoration project at Woodstock Park in Virginia Beach.

Currently, Norfolk District supports the ERP through the Craney Island Eastward Expansion project, said Michael Anderson, project manager.

"As a 50 percent cost-share partner with the Virginia Port Authority to construct the Craney Island Eastward Expansion project, we are also constructing 11 acres of wetlands at the Paradise Creek Nature Park," Anderson said.

The creation of wetlands at Paradise Creek Nature Park is set for completion in October. The park's second phase of work is scheduled for completion in 2015, and will include a children's playground and picnic shelters.
USACE seeks comments on working draft report for port and inland waterways modernization04 April 2012 22:3004/04/2012 - ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Institute for Water Resources has released a working draft report examining options for future modernization for U.S. port and inland waterways.
The Conference Report on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (H.R. 2055), instructed the IWR to report to Congress on how it should address the need for additional port and inland waterway modernization to accommodate post-Panamax vessels.

Because of the broad stakeholder interest in these options, IWR is committed to conducting its investigation and communicating the findings in a transparent and accessible manner.

About the Working Draft Report

Congress asked that the report consider: costs associated with deepening and widening deep-draft harbors; the ability of the waterways and ports to enhance the nation's export initiatives benefitting the agricultural and manufacturing sectors; the current and projected population trends that distinguish regional ports and ports that are immediately adjacent to population centers; the availability of inland intermodal access; and environmental impacts resulting from the modernization of inland waterways and deep-draft ports.

This early draft of the report has components that are still in progress.

It includes a draft executive summary to show stakeholders the direction the report authors are taking based on research to date. It incorporates information from activities and outreach efforts that were already underway, and begins to incorporate feedback from discussions held through listening sessions and other venues over the last few weeks.

The draft report considers the perspectives of shippers, carriers, ports, environmental interests, state and Federal agencies, and other interested parties as well as taking a national view.

Opportunity for Stakeholder Input

IWR will collect comments on the draft through April 18 and will host a webinar listening session from 1 to 4 p.m. EDT April 13. To participate, please RSVP to Portandwaterways@usace.army.mil. To review summaries of comments collected during last months' listening sessions, visit the study website at www.iwr.usace.army.mil/portandwaterways/.

Next Steps

The preliminary report continues development and will be reviewed by USACE headquarters and the executive branch prior to being transmitted to Congress in June 2012.

Public meetings seek comment on native oyster restoration plans for VA, MD30 Maret 2012 5:1503/29/2012 — In April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, will host three public meetings - two in Maryland and one in Virginia, to talk about a master plan to restore the population of native oysters in Maryland and Virginia tributaries. 

Since the turn of the 20th century, oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay have declined dramatically, largely due to disease, overharvesting, loss of habitat, and degraded water quality.  "Oyster restoration is critical to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and is a high priority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," said Susan Conner, chief of the environmental analysis section at the Norfolk District, USACE. "These public meetings are being conducted to ensure that the public is aware of the Master Plan and every effort is made to identify and consider all beneficial and adverse effects of the proposal," she added.

The Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan is USACE's plan for large-scale, science-based oyster restoration throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The public meetings will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide feedback. 

"We are excited with the direction oyster restoration is taking toward focused, tributary based efforts and look forward to discussing our proposed oyster restoration plans with the public", added Angie Sowers, study manager from the Baltimore District, USACE.  Members of the Norfolk and Baltimore district's oyster teams as well as their partners in oyster restoration will be present at the meetings.

Public meeting dates and locations are:

Maryland

- April 10 from 3-8PM

The Philip Merrill Environmental Center (Chesapeake Bay Foundation)

6 Herndon Ave., Annapolis MD 21403

Maryland

- April 19 from 3-8PM

Chesapeake College (Route 50)

1000 College Circle, Wye Mills MD 21679

Virginia

- April 17 from 5:30-9PM

Thomas Nelson Community College

99 Thomas Nelson Drive, Hampton VA  23666


During the meetings, comments and feedback using social media are encouraged. Join the discussion on Twitter (#MdVaOyster) or watch via Livestream at http://www.livestream.com/usaceoysters. Questions posted on social media channels during the meeting will be shared and discussed at the public meetings and responses will be posted.


About the Master Plan

The Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan presents the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan for large-scale, sanctuary-based oyster restoration throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The master plan examines and evaluates the problems and opportunities related to oyster restoration, and formulates plans for implementing large-scale, Bay-wide restoration. Restoration plans recommended by USACE's master plan have been developed in coordination with the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC), and Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). 

The long-term goal is to restore an abundant, self-sustaining oyster population that performs important ecological functions such as providing reef community habitat, nutrient cycling, spatial connectivity, and water filtration, among others, and contributes to an oyster fishery.

Public Comments

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be accepting public comments during the public meetings. In addition, written comments on the proposal will be accepted through May 19, to supplement the meeting records. Faxed comments will not be accepted. To submit written comments:

Maryland

Mail: Ms. Angela Sowers, 10 S. Howard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Email: NativeOysterRestMasterPlan@usace.army.mil

Virginia
Mail: Ms. Susan Conner, 803 Front Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

Email: NativeOysterRestMasterPlan@usace.army.mil

During the meetings, comments and feedback using social media are encouraged. Join the discussion on Twitter (#MdVaOyster) or watch via Livestream at http://www.livestream.com/usaceoysters. Questions posted on social media channels during the meeting will be shared and discussed at the public meetings and responses will be posted.

Note: In an effort to conserve and eliminate duplication of viewpoints or facts presented, groups with common interests are encouraged to consolidate their comments for presentation by a representative spokesperson.

Media Queries

If you are a member of the media and have questions about the Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan, please contact:

Maryland Media

Ashley Williams, Public Affairs Specialist

410-962-2809

Ashley.a.williams@usace.army.mil

Virginia Media

Pam Spaugy, Public Affairs Specialist

757-510-6398

Pam.k.spaugy@usace.army.mil
Olsen takes command of Corps' Norfolk District21 Maret 2012 6:3003/20/2012 - NORFOLK — In a time-honored military ceremony dating back to ancient Roman times, Col. Paul B. Olsen became the 57th commander of Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers March 16, assuming command from Col. Andrew W. Backus.

Backus, who assumed command of the district in June 2009, is being assigned to the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, Combined Joint Engineers at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan. The mission of NTM-A is helping the Afghans stand up, equip and train a security structure that will allow the elected government to govern in accordance with the will of the people, and provide stability and security for the country.

The ceremony, officiated by Col. Christopher Larsen, North Atlantic Division commander, featured a color guard from the 11th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade and a quintet from the U.S. Continental Army Band at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. The formal transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from Backus to Olsen was symbolized by the passing of the organizational colors and by publishing the assumption of command orders.

In keeping with Norfolk District tradition, Jorge Nadal, acting deputy district engineer and director for Programs and Project Management, performed the transfer.

The ceremony included emotion-filled remarks from Backus, who, fighting back tears, cited several key district accomplishments and praised the district team, key stakeholders and community and government leaders for making his command tenure such a success. Larsen thanked Norfolk District for "always stepping up to the plate, no matter how difficult the mission," and characterized the Norfolk District as one of the "very best in the Corps."

Col. Victoria Bruzese, Arlington National Cemetery senior engineer, who represented Kathryn Condon, Arlington's executive program director, praised the Norfolk District team for its outstanding mission support during recent repairs of the Tomb of the Unknowns and other engineer work under way. Norfolk District became involved with supporting the Arlington National Cemetery Program last spring, providing planning, engineering design, contracting and construction support and consultation on behalf of the North Atlantic Division.

"You have brought fresh energy, technical expertise, and most importantly passion and you are an important part of the restoration of the honor and dignity that is Arlington National Cemetery," Bruzese said. "…I can't thank you enough for all the veterans and families that have loved ones in ANC."

Other presenters included Mary-Ann Saunders, who represented Mayor Alan P. Krasnoff of Chesapeake, Va. Saunders thanked the district team for its active support of the city's South Norfolk Jordan Bridge project and the annual Paddle for the Border kayaking event down the historic Dismal Swamp Canal.

John Karafa, president of Leebcor Services, LLC, a service-disabled veteran small business, thanked Norfolk District for allowing his company to participate in its mission-critical $1.14 billion 2005 Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, design and construction management work at Fort Lee, Va. Karafa said the work really gave his company a "shot in the arm," and noted how proud his employees are for achieving the first LEED Gold-certified construction project at Fort Lee: the $7.3 million Air Force/Navy Dining Facility. The certification was awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council's Green Building Certification Institute.

The ceremony's final speaker was the newly minted Norfolk District commander. Standing erect behind the podium, all 6 feet, 4 inches, Olsen peered out over the packed theater and began his remarks by acknowledging and thanking the many dignitaries, friends, relatives, fellow engineer officers and noncommissioned officers and special mentors, many who traveled near and far to celebrate his career milestone.

A special shout-out went to Command Sgt. Maj. Clint Pearson.

"For those of you who serve, we know that no accomplishment is ever done alone…so command sergeant major, as with the rank I wear today, as well as this command, it is yours as much as it is mine," Olsen said.

Olsen then introduced his wife, Lt. Col. Cynthia Olsen, as the "infinitely more talented, more intelligent, and far better-looking colonel Olsen." Lt. Col. Olsen is assigned to The Pentagon, serving as the Army's deputy for Administrative Law.

Finally, Olsen addressed the Norfolk District's "legacy of excellence," and briefly described his sojourn throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia before taking command, admiring firsthand some of the district's great civil works and military construction projects.

"As it has done since time eternal, our fresh water flows into the Chesapeake Bay from watersheds to the North and West that owe their protection to many in the country, the Corps, our communities and the Commonwealth," Olsen said. "Through combined education and dedication, we balance our nation's passion to build with its responsibility to protect – for 'Building Strong' implies 'Building Smart'. I'm thrilled to be joining a community that recognizes both of these imperatives."

The change of command was held at the Chrysler Museum of Art in downtown Norfolk, Va.
On Flickr: Nofolk District's change of command20 Maret 2012 0:35Olsen takes command of Corps' Norfolk District16 Maret 2012 1:1503/15/2012 - NORFOLK — Colonel Paul Olsen will assume command of the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in a ceremony at the Chrysler Museum here at 10 a.m. Friday.

Olsen replaces Col. Andrew W. Backus, who assumed command of the district in June 2009. Colonel Backus’ new one-year assignment is at the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A), Combined Joint Engineers at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan. The mission of NTM-A is helping the Afghans stand up, equip, and train a viable and sustainable security structure that will allow the elected government to govern in accordance with the will of the people, and provide stability and security for the country.    

Colonel Christopher L. Larsen, commander of the Corps' North Atlantic Division, will preside over the ceremony.

As the Norfolk District Commander, Olsen will manage the organization's dual military and civil works mission of engineering, construction and water resource management.

Colonel Olsen was commissioned in the U.S. Army upon graduation from the University of Wisconsin where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geography.  He has held leadership positions in mechanized and combat heavy engineer units in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, including command of the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, Bravo Company, 9th Engineer Battalion during Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia; Executive Officer of Headquarters Company, 43rd Engineer Battalion during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia; and Platoon Leader, Alpha Company, 317th Engineer Battalion during Operations Desert Shield and Storm in the Middle East. 

Colonel Olsen is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and holds a Master of Science Degree in civil and infrastructure engineering from George Mason University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and a Master of Arts Degree in business management from Webster University. 

His awards include: the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and various other personal and unit commendations. Additionally, he was the 2003 recipient of the Secretary of the Army’s Frank Pace Award for innovation and the 2011 recipient of the Commandant’s Award for Distinction in Research at the U.S. Army War College.

He is married to LTC Cynthia Olsen of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps; they have three children:  David, Gabriel, and Rebecca.

Repairs complete, South Mills lock set to reopen March 1915 Maret 2012 0:1003/14/2012 - SOUTH MILLS, N.C. — After nearly three months of rehabilitation work on two 23-ton gates at the historic Dismal Swamp Canal's South Mills lock in South Mills, N.C., the canal lock is set to reopen to boater traffic March 19.

The refurbished gates, part of eight sets of lock gates throughout the Dismal Swamp and Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal waterways, are managed and operated by the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Each set of gates along the two canals are reconditioned on a rotational schedule every five years.

U.S. Facilities, Inc., based in Chesapeake, Va., is the district's longtime contractor for annual maintenance and upkeep of both canal waterways. David Spataro, U.S. Facilities project manager, said the South Mills gate repairs included replacing leaking rubber seals, adding a fresh coat of anti-corrosive paint, spot-welding, replacing wooden timbers and cleaning valve stems.

"This rehabilitation work has historically extended the serviceability of each set of gates for up to 15 years," Spataro said.

Some finishing touches will be performed this week prior to reopening, said Joel Scussel, canal operations manager for the Norfolk District. Electric wiring is being reconnected to the motor that opens and closes the valves, and catwalks and railings removed in preparation for the repairs are being re-attached.

The Corps will also clear out the canal of tree limbs before boaters pass through.

Donna Stewart, director of the Dismal Swamp Canal Visitor Center in N.C., said the timing for reopening the lock will be perfect for recreational boaters on their seasonal migration north.

"It's worked out extremely well because we haven't missed many boaters at all during the lock closure," Stewart said. "Usually, boaters begin their trek from points south as the weather warms in March, and their numbers continue to build through May."

The Dismal Swamp and Albemarle and Chesapeake Canals form the historic Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, which provides pleasure boaters and commercial shippers with a protected inland channel between Norfolk, Va., and Miami, Fla.

The Dismal Swamp Canal is the oldest continually operating manmade canal in the United States.

Deep Creek Bridge to be closed March 16 for maintenance13 Maret 2012 2:5003/12/2012 - CHESAPEAKE, VA — The Deep Creek Bridge will be closed March 16 from midnight to 5 a.m. for scheduled repairs and maintenance. The repairs include welding the transfer plate between the bridge and the roadway.  Although the transfer plate is not a structural member of the bridge, it must be welded to prevent possible damage to the bridge and vehicle tires crossing the bridge.

Motorists can expect lengthy delays during this time; therefore, the following alternate route is provided:

Vehicles traveling south on George Washington Highway in Deep Creek should take I-64 West to Dominion Boulevard and then South on Moses Grandy Trail back to George Washington Highway. 

Vehicles traveling south on Cedar Road/Moses Grandy Trail or north on George Washington Highway, and need to cross the Deep Creek Bridge, should take Dominion Boulevard to I-64 East to George Washington Highway.

Repairs will not affect vessels traveling the Dismal Swamp Canal.

For more information, call the Norfolk District public affairs office at 757-201-7606 or 757-510-6398.
FNOD Restoration Advisory Board meets March 123 Februari 2012 6:2002/22/2012 - SUFFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host its first 2012 quarterly meeting of the Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot, or FNOD, Restoration Advisory Board Thursday, March 1, from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Courtyard Marriott located at 8060 Harbour View Boulevard in Suffolk, Va.
   
Current areas of interest being discussed by USACE include the following:

 James River beachfront sediment sampling
 Horseshoe Pond Feasibility Study
 Preliminary assessment of FNOD
 Arsenic investigation in groundwater
 Site management plan


The quarterly Restoration Advisory Board, or RAB, meetings serve as a public forum for discussing US Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, remediation progress at the 975-acre former depot, located near the former Tidewater Community College Portsmouth campus. At the meetings FNOD RAB members provide input on proposed work plans and restoration efforts to an interagency project team consisting of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency. Community members are also encouraged to attend and ask questions during the meeting.

In 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, placed FNOD on its National Priorities List. In 1997, the FNOD RAB was established. It is the main forum for the public to provide input to project team members of USACE on cleanup plans and efforts at the site. The RAB is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, including members of the community, local businesses, local and state officials, a Tidewater Community College Real Estate Foundation representative, property owners, and interagency project team members from USACE, VDEQ and the EPA.
 
All FNOD quarterly meetings and applications for RAB membership are open to the public. Adriane James is the Norfolk District projects branch environmental section chief and RAB government co-chair, (757) 201-7701. Sher Zaman of the USACE Baltimore District provides overall project and funding oversight and can be reached at (410) 962-3134, or by email: Sher.Zaman@usace.army.mil. Daily FNOD activities are managed by Jeff Zoeckler of the USACE Norfolk District. He can be reached at (757) 201-7726.
President's fiscal year 2013 budget for USACE Civil Works released14 Februari 2012 2:0002/13/2012 - WASHINGTON — The President's Budget for fiscal year 2013 includes $4.731 billion in discretionary funding for the Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"The fiscal 2013 Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the administration's priorities through targeted investments in the nation's infrastructure that fund the development, management, restoration, and protection of the nation's water, wetlands, and related resources, said Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works.

"The budget also reflects the tough choices necessary to put the country on a fiscally sustainable path," said Darcy.

The Army civil works budget funds the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of projects, and focuses on the highest performing projects and programs within three main Civil Works mission areas: commercial navigation, flood risk management, and aquatic ecosystem restoration.

It also funds programs that contribute to the protection of the nation's waters and wetlands; the generation of low-cost renewable hydropower; the restoration of certain sites contaminated as a result of the nation's early atomic weapons development program; and emergency preparedness and training to respond to natural disasters.

"This is a performance-based budget that funds the construction of projects that reduce risk to public safety, provide significant environmental restoration benefits, or provide significant economic returns on the nation's investment.  America is a maritime nation, and this budget invests in navigation improvements that enable efficient use of waterborne transportation, a key component in global trade," said Darcy.  "The 2012 Civil Works program is a continuing, fiscally prudent investment in the nation's water resources infrastructure and in the restoration of its aquatic ecosystems." 

This budget includes $26,623,000 for the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of Norfolk District projects in the three main civil works mission areas: navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction and environmental restoration.

Proposed funding for Norfolk District projects includes:

Environmental Restoration

Lynnhaven River Basin, $300,000
Upper Rappahannock River Basin, $50,000
Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery, $2,500,000


Navigation

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway-Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal, $2,260,000
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Dismal Swamp Canal, $1,110,000
Chincoteague Inlet, $329,000
Hampton Roads Drift Removal, $1,682,000
James River Channel, $3,948,000
Lynnhaven Inlet, $100,000
Norfolk Harbor, $10,077,000
Rudee Inlet, $100,000
Prevention of Deposits, $75,000
Project Condition Surveys, $1,293,000
Water and Environmental Certifications, $110,000


Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction

Willoughby Spit and Vicinity, $225,000
Gathright Dam and Lake Moomaw, $2,203,000
Inspection of Completed Works, $261,000


New federal funding in the Civil Works budget consists of $3.744 billion from the general fund, $848 million from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, $95 million from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, and $44 million from Special Recreation User Fees.

The FY13 funding will be distributed among the appropriation accounts:

$2.398 billion for Operation and Maintenance
$1.471 billion for Construction
$234 million for Mississippi River and Tributaries
$205 million for the Regulatory Program
$182 million for Expenses
$104 million for the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program
$102 million for Investigations
$30 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies
$5 million for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works


The FY13 Civil Works program is also provided $552 million in funding from three additional sources bringing the FY13 total program funding to $5.283 billion.  This includes approximately $450 million in cost-sharing contributions from non-federal partners. Additionally, $21 million in Federal Permanent Appropriations will be available to USACE in FY13, and $81 million will be available from the Coastal Wetlands Restoration Trust Fund for the work of several of the federal agencies including USACE, overseen by an interagency federal-state task force led by USACE.

The FY13 budget supports the modernization of federal water resources infrastructure processes to address 21st century water resources needs through policies and procedures that govern federal water resources development and strategies for both managing the nation's aging infrastructure and restoring aquatic ecosystem functions affected by past investments. 

The administration is considering additional proposals to advance efforts already underway and to build the foundation of a comprehensive strategy for investing in the nation's water infrastructure.  In considering and developing these new policies, procedures, and strategies, the administration will continue to engage and collaborate with the many stakeholders whose interests are tied to our nation's water infrastructure, including state, local, and tribal governments, as well as the Congress.

The FY13 budget includes $1.747 billion for the study, design, construction, operation and maintenance of inland and coastal navigation projects.  It funds capital investments on the inland waterways based on the estimated revenues to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, while proposing a new user fee to increase revenue to this trust fund to enable a significant increase in funding for such investments in the future. 

The FY13 O&M program is funded at $2.532 billion, including $134 million in the Mississippi River and Tributaries, or MR&T, account.  The budget emphasizes performance of existing projects by focusing on the those coastal harbors and inland waterways with the most commercial traffic as well as safety improvements at federal dams and levees based on the risk and consequence of a failure. The budget also funds maintenance work at harbors that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence, or public transportation benefits.

The FY13 construction program is funded at $1.570 billion, including $99 million in the MR&T account.  The construction program uses objective, performance-based guidelines to allocate funding toward the highest performing economic, environmental, and public safety investments.  The aquatic ecosystem restoration program, whose priorities are informed by interagency collaboration and planning, emphasizes funding to restore several large ecosystems: the California Bay Delta, Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf Coast.

USACE will continue to work with other federal, state and local agencies, using the best available science and adaptive management, to protect and restore these ecosystems.  Environmental sustainability of these ecosystems also helps to support positive economic growth in the surrounding communities.

The budget funds 101 construction projects, consisting of 11 dam safety assurance, seepage control, and static instability correction projects; 24 projects ranked on the basis of life-saving benefits (including three completions); four additional project completions; three new starts; and 59 other continuing projects.

By program area, the 101 funded construction projects consist of 57 Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction projects (including one new start and five budgeted for completion), 23 Commercial Navigation projects (including 11 continuing mitigation items and six dredged material placement areas, one budgeted for completion), 19 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration projects (including four projects to meet requirements of Biological Opinions and two new starts), and mitigation associated with two Hydropower projects (one budgeted for completion).

Among the ongoing construction projects in the FY13 budget, the highest funded projects are: Herbert Hoover Dike, FL, seepage control ($153 million); the South Florida ecosystem restoration program, which includes the Everglades ($153 million); Olmsted Locks and Dam, IL & KY ($144 million); Columbia River Fish Mitigation, WA, OR & ID ($98 million); Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Recovery, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND & SD ($90 million); American River Watershed (Folsom Dam Mod), CA ($87 million); Wolf Creek Dam, Lake Cumberland, KY, seepage control ($85 million); Center Hill Lake, TN ($75 million); and New York and New Jersey Harbor, NY & NJ ($68 million).

The seven construction projects funded for completion in the FY13 budget are: Columbia River Treaty Fishing Access Sites, OR& WA; Lock and Dam 27, Mississippi River, IL; Portugues and Bucana Rivers, PR; Sims Bayou, Houston, TX; St. Louis Flood Protection, MO; SW Valley Flood Damage Reduction, Albuquerque, NM; and Wolf Creek Dam, Lake Cumberland, KY.

The FY13 construction program includes three high-priority new construction starts: Hamilton City, CA ($7.5 million); Louisiana Coastal Area, Ecosystem Restoration, LA ($16.8 million); and Lower Colorado River Basin (Wharton/Onion), TX ($2 million).

The FY13 budget includes funding for the initial construction of projects to reduce storm damage along the coast and the periodic renourishment of such projects.  The FY13 program supports nine such projects of which two are initial construction and seven are periodic renourishment.

Recreation is funded at $252 million in FY13, with $241 million in the O&M account and $11 million in the MR&T account.  USACE is the nation's largest provider of federal recreation opportunities, and its recreation areas contribute to the success of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative.

The FY13 Regulatory Program is funded at $205 million.  With these funds, USACE will improve protection of the nation's waters and wetlands and provide greater efficiency of permit processing.

The FY13 FUSRAP program is funded at $104 million to continue remedial activities at 22 sites contaminated as a result of the nation's early atomic weapons development program.

The FY13 Investigations account is funded at $102 million to fund studies to determine the need, engineering feasibility, and economic, environmental and social return of potential solutions for water- and land-related resource problems.  The budget will fund the completion of 21 studies and includes six new studies: Cano Martin Pena, PR; the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Study, DE, MD, PA, VA; Englebright and Daguerre-

Point Dams (Yuba River) Fish Passage, CA; Houston Ship Channel, TX; the Louisiana Coastal Area Comprehensive Study; and the nationwide Water Resources Priorities Study, a high-priority evaluation of the nation's vulnerability to inland and coastal flooding and of the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of existing programs and strategies.

Emergency Management is funded at $36 million in FY13, with $30 million in the FCCE account for preparedness and training to respond to floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, and $6 million in the O&M account.  The FCCE funding includes $2.5 million to support continued USACE participation in the development of Silver Jackets interagency teams in every state to provide unified federal assistance in implementing flood risk management solutions.

USACE will also participate with other land management agencies in the Veterans Job Corps program to put veterans to work on conservation and restoration of natural resources, recreation, and related infrastructure on federal, state, Tribal and local public lands.  The $1 billion program is proposed over 5 years through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will coordinate the effort.

The FY13 Civil Works budget press book will be available on the Web at 1:30 p.m. eastern, February 13, at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx, under the heading Program Budget: Press Books. 

Elizabeth River deepening project eases Navy's aircraft carrier movement09 Februari 2012 6:3002/08/2012 - NORFOLK, Va. — U.S. Army engineering know-how and resolute determination by the U.S. Navy fueled the completion of Elizabeth River dredging operations ahead of schedule and several million dollars below budget.

The multi-million dollar Navy Channel Deepening project deepened portions of the Elizabeth River from Lambert's Point in Norfolk, Va., to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.

The dredging reduced the risk of the Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carriers damaging their ballast water intakes, as well as grounding and possible hull damage, said Raad Humadi, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic project manager. Those carriers and other naval ships are located at the largest naval complex in the world: Naval Station Norfolk, which is located in the Sewell's Point area of Norfolk.

The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed and managed the dredging project. The two-phase project deepened the river from 40 to 50 feet, at a 600-foot-wide portion of the federal navigation channel from Lambert's Point to the Navy Deperming Station. Another 4.5-mile, 600-foot-wide portion of the channel from the deperming station to the naval shipyard was deepened from 40 to 47 feet.

The Deperming station performs a procedure called degaussing, which erases the permanent magnetism from ships and submarines to camouflage them against magnetic detection vessels and enemy marine mines.

"This project completion allows us to meet the current requirements for ships entering and exiting the Lambert's Point Deperming Station," Humadi said. "The other reach of the project allows carriers safe transit to and from Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs and overhauls."

The genesis of this project began in 2006, when the commanders of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and Norfolk District met to discuss the feasibility of the Navy Channel Deepening project. Later that year, Norfolk District became a cooperating agency with the Navy on a required environmental impact statement and explored authority to resource and maintain the dredging project upon its completion.

In 2008, Norfolk District agreed to provide project design and construction management support. After approving the district's project management plan in July, the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic provided funding and project design began. Construction began on April 15, 2011. The Corps' contractor, Norfolk Dredging Company from Chesapeake, Va., completed the project. The approximately three million cubic yards of dredged material was pumped into the district's Craney Island Dredge Material Management Area in Portsmouth.

Robert N. Pretlow Jr., district project manager for the Navy Channel Deepening project, is no stranger to managing important dredging operations. In April 2003, Pretlow managed the deepening of the inbound element of the Federal Navigation Channel into Norfolk Harbor – it proved crucial for the Port of Virginia to maintain competitive advantage and meet the needs of the growing fleet of super container ships calling at the port.

"The Navy Channel Deepening project provided an excellent opportunity for the district to once again demonstrate its expertise and experience in designing and implementing navigation projects of major importance to our customer, the local port community, the Commonwealth and the nation," Pretlow said. "Our success was the direct result of teamwork and cooperation – both essential characteristics of a highly professional and dedicated project delivery team; a motivated and cooperative Navy customer; and a very diligent and responsive contractor."  

The final cost of the project was $25 million and was completed Dec. 31, 2011.
On Flickr: Currituck completes dredging federal channel of Rudee Inlet08 Februari 2012 23:30On YouTube!: South Mills Lock gates get lifted for rehab17 Januari 2012 22:05Hampton, Corps renourish Buckroe05 Januari 2012 23:1001/05/2012 - HAMPTON, Va. — More than 18,000 cubic yards of sand is being delivered to Buckroe Beach as part of a beach nourishment project on the federal hurricane and storm damage reduction project located here. 

The sand, trucked in from Smithfield, Va., will keep a 50-foot-wide beach design berm at 6.5 feet above sea level and protect homes and public infrastructure from receiving significant damage from flooding during coastal storms. 

"The project was set up to be a storm damage reduction project, and as such, is an integral part of floodplain management for the Buckroe Beach area," said Gayle Hicks, a senior civil engineer with the City of Hampton.

Tom Lochen, the Norfolk District's project manager, said this round of nourishment also marks the final time the Corps will be financially participating in a beach nourishment project for Buckroe as part of the project.

"There is a federal spending limit of $3 million which will be achieved during this cycle," Lochen said. "After this, the City of Hampton will have sole responsibility for handling the costs and maintenance of the project into the future." 

The federal limit includes the initial study, design, construction and maintenance renourishment of the beach, which was initially completed in 2005.

The project was renourished last year with 15,000 cubic yards of sand during an emergency replenishment after a powerful Nor'easter blew through the area, ripping up the shoreline. The emergency nourishment received 100 percent federal funding through Public Law 84-99, Rehabilitation Assistance for Hurricane/Shore Protection Projects and did not count against the $3 million cap set by congress.

The city has also worked to increase the amount of time between needed replenishments for Buckroe.

"The city has funded and constructed three near shore stone breakwaters to stabilize the beach," Hicks said. "Monitoring will continue on a yearly basis, and the Corps will continue to receive that data."

The breakwaters help slow wave action and allows sand to settle out with a goal of adding to the amount of sand on the beach helping to offset  beach erosion. 

The construction contract cost for the current round of nourishment is $920,000, which is split 50-50 between the City of Hampton and the federal government.

Dump trucks are operating in the area from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and using a route determined by the City of Hampton.

Construction at the site is expected to last until mid-January.
Chincoteague fishermen to receive early Christmas present17 Desember 2011 2:4512/16/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — Fishermen operating out of Chincoteague, Va., are going to find it easier to navigate in and out of the harbor thanks to a two day visit by the Corps dredge Currituck on Dec. 18 and 19.

The dredge is on its way to Oregon Inlet N.C. from Philadelphia, Pa., and will remove dangerous shoals from the channel.

 "We were receiving reports from the fishing community in Chincoteague that they could only get in and out during high tide," said Kristen Mazur, the Norfolk District project manager overseeing Chincoteague federal navigation channel project. "The fishermen were reporting that the conditions of the channel were becoming worse and they were even having some trouble getting through at high tide."

Armed with that information, Mazur called on the crew of the Currituck, who were wrapping up with some work for Philadelphia District, to see if they could spare a couple of days to dredge some of the more critical areas of the inlet.

"They are scheduled to dredge a larger portion of the channel in January, but we wanted to see if they could hit some areas that were of particular concern for the watermen," Mazur said.

The Chincoteague inlet federal navigation project is an operations and maintenance project, which supports the largest commercial port on the Eastern Shore handling more than 3,000 vessels a year. The project provides the primary access from the Atlantic Ocean to a critical harbor of refuge at Chincoteague and other Federal Navigation projects in area.  U.S. Coast Guard Station and U.S. Coast Guard Group Eastern Shore are also located on the project.

New York lends helping hand to Norfolk in pilot program09 Desember 2011 3:40On YouTube!: Arlington breaks ground on largest Columbarium yet09 Desember 2011 3:38On YouTube!: District celebrates the end of BRAC09 Desember 2011 3:35Final 2011 FNOD Restoration Advisory Board meets Dec. 129 Nopember 2011 3:0011/28/2011 - SUFFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host its final 2011 quarterly meeting of the Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot, or FNOD, Restoration Advisory Board Thursday, Dec. 1 from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Courtyard Marriott located at 8060 Harbour View Boulevard in Suffolk, Va.
   
Meeting topics will include status reports on the following:

 James River beachfront sediment sampling
 TCC Lake consensus statement
 Geophysics date update
 Background study update


The quarterly Restoration Advisory Board, or RAB, meetings serve as a public forum for discussing US Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, remediation progress at the 975-acre former depot, located near the former Tidewater Community College Portsmouth campus. At the meetings FNOD RAB members provide input on proposed work plans and restoration efforts to an interagency project team consisting of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency. Community members are also encouraged to attend and ask questions during the meeting.

In 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, placed FNOD on its National Priorities List. In 1997, the FNOD RAB was established. It is the main forum for the public to provide input to project team members of USACE on cleanup plans and efforts at the site. The RAB is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, including members of the community, local businesses, local and state officials, Tidewater Community College, TCC Real Estate Foundation, Inc., and FNOD interagency project team members from USACE, VDEQ and the EPA.

All FNOD quarterly meetings and applications for RAB membership are open to the public. Adriane James is the Norfolk District projects branch environmental section chief and RAB government co-chair, (757) 201-7701. Sher Zaman of the USACE Baltimore District provides overall project and funding oversight and can be reached at (410) 962-3134, or by email: Sher.Zaman@usace.army.mil.  Daily FNOD activities are managed by Jeff Zoeckler of the USACE Norfolk District. He can be reached at (757) 201-7726.
Fort Hamilton Inn goes Express after privatization22 Nopember 2011 2:2011/21/2011 - FORT HAMILTON, NY — Its old jingle contains the words "number one in people pleasing," and under the InterContinental Hotels Group, Holiday Inn Express has come to Fort Hamilton to ensure that jingle meshes with the Army's commitment of taking care of Soldiers and their families and improving their quality of life.
   
    Fort Hamilton opened its doors of the new Holiday Inn Express, formerly the Hamilton Inn, during a ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 16.   It's part of an ongoing partnership with Lend Lease and IHG to manage and privatize lodges and hotels Army-wide under the Army's Privatization of Army Lodging program.  The lease for which is administered by the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' real estate office.   
Ownership and management of the hotel actually began Aug. 12 when employees are no longer working for the Army but now IHG under PAL. With the ceremony, Fort Hamilton has the distinction of being the first installation to open a branded Holiday Inn Express hotel within three months of being under the PAL program. 
   
"It's really a project of sustainability to return and reinvest money back into the installation so that you'll always have a hotel that will look like this 20 years from now or longer," said Arthur Holst, IHG Army hotels vice president of operations.
   
    "In addition to that," added Gretchen Turpen, Lend Lease development manager, "it's important to know that it is a long-term, 50-year commitment under the PAL program to ensure prompt upgrades, maintenance and ongoing sustainment of the hotel facility. This is a financial responsibility the Army no longer has to be concerned about."
   
    All 46 rooms have been upgraded and the hotel now boasts two distinguished visitor quarters. The one-bedroom suites have full kitchenettes and all rooms received new bedroom sets, linens and flat screen televisions, among other enhancements. In addition to the hotel's free, hot daily breakfast and weekly barbeque socials, the hotel added a 24-hour convenience mart, business center, a courtesy shuttle, on-line reservations system, safety improvements and more.
   
    "The entire guest experience is focused on good customer service," Holst noted. "We can build great looking hotels, but that's not the right way to get satisfaction. Service and product are two sides of the same coin where there can't be one without the other. So as far as branding is concerned, when customers arrive at Fort Hamilton, with the Holiday Inn Express, they expect a Holiday Inn Express experience with the same, consistent level of service they would receive anywhere else in New York City."
    
     "For Soldiers on official duty, statements of non-availability are no longer needed," said Denise Sutton, the hotel manager. "We have to earn their trust, because we are now competing with hotels in the city for their business."
     
    The hotel charges 75 percent of the per diem rate or less for official travelers, which Holst said is still a discounted rate and, on the average, cheaper than their competitors beyond the gate.
    
    "However," he added, "we still must deliver great service and earn their trust to keep them as customers, because Soldiers and their families are still our priority." 

On Flickr: Results are in for repairs to the Tomb of the Unknowns28 Oktober 2011 3:25On Flickr: Eustis Marshalling area being upgraded26 Oktober 2011 3:25Big beach saves city big bucks08 Oktober 2011 1:2010/07/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Virginia Beach Hurricane Protection System prevented an estimated $104 million in damages for residents and businesses located along the City Of Virginia Beach's oceanfront during Hurricane Irene.

Even though Irene pushed water up to the seawall, it never went over, keeping the most damaging part of a hurricane, the storm surge, from reaching the buildings.  

The project stretches six miles along the oceanfront and includes a minimum 100-foot wide, 8.5 foot high beach berm that gentle slopes to the water. It also includes a four-mile long concrete seas wall and a two-mile long sand dune system to protect the infrastructure located behind them.  

Jennifer Armstrong, the Norfolk District's project manager for the protection system, says the recent amount of savings reinforces the need for a big beach.

"Since the project has been in place, the system has continually saved the tax payers of Virginia Beach millions of dollars in rebuilding costs from damages that would have occurred if the project wasn't in place," Armstrong said.

Using a formula that takes into account the height of the water during the storm and determines how far inland the water would surge if no project was in place, economists can determine damage amounts in terms of costs to the community.

Later this year, the Corps and the city are planning to begin a five-month, $12 million beach renourishment project to bring the level of protection back to its prescribed levels.

"Over the past decade the beach sand, designed to act as a sacrificial buffer, has slightly eroded away, so we want to go back and put sand back in place to keep the area protected," Armstrong said. "If you look at the initial $140 million to construct the system nearly a decade ago, the project has more than paid for itself."

The replenishment is scheduled to begin in December and last throughout the winter to minimize the potential for dredging  work to harm sea turtles.

When complete, the beach will be back at its full protection levels for the next coastal storm event.

2005 BRAC: Norfolk District's $2.3 billion 'child' raised on time, on target22 September 2011 3:2009/21/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — The ancient African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," proved to be the guiding principle that enabled the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to complete its portion of the Army's largest-ever organizational transformation – Base Realignment and Closure 2005. 

BRAC was borne from the more than $2.3 billion congressional authorization that tasked Norfolk District to manage the design and construction of 43 military projects throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia – and all in just four years. Norfolk District's "village" response was an "all hands on deck" team strategy that embraced the professional talents and communication skills of project customers, key stakeholders and district assets to ensure each project's success.

"Our success is a testament to the outstanding partnership we've enjoyed at every level of this massive and complex multi-year mission," said Col. Andrew Backus, Norfolk District commander. "Well-deserved congratulations go out to all of our customers, the district's executive leadership, BRAC program managers, project managers and engineers, quality assurance representatives, contracting, real estate and other vital administrative support teammates -- and all the design and construction contractors, large and small."

The Defense Department introduced BRAC in 1988 to reorganize base structure to effectively support the armed forces, increase operational readiness and support new ways of doing business to meet future security needs and global threats.

Norfolk District's BRAC mission was born in October 2007, when the North Atlantic Division headquarters received $7.5 billion in Army BRAC program funds. Of that amount, Norfolk District received the second largest in the division.

The challenge for the Norfolk District was to complete all the projects using an accelerated construction timeline to meet the congressionally-mandated Sept. 15, 2011 deadline.

To deliver their BRAC bundle of joy, Norfolk District began by hiring more than 100 short-term contractors – project managers, quality assurance inspectors, project engineers, and administrative support staff – to augment its permanent staff and help deliver the BRAC projects.

Norfolk District then established a BRAC area office at Fort Lee, Va., to exclusively manage the majority of its BRAC mission: 35 projects valued at $1.14 billion. At Fort Belvoir, Va., Norfolk District teamed with the Fort Belvoir BRAC Integration office to manage the design and construction of the $1.03 billion Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. And at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. (formerly Fort Eustis), a district project team managed seven BRAC projects totaling $135.4 million, including the new $104 million Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters. The new headquarters was made necessary by the BRAC decision to close Fort Monroe, Va., on Sept. 15.

Just as a child multiplies responsibilities for a parent, Norfolk District experienced a threefold increase in its workload during the four-year mission.

To meet the BRAC deadline, the district's contracting office administered BRAC contracts using two innovative contract award processes. First, the district made one qualified contractor responsible for the design and construction of each project within the BRAC program. Second, it used Integrated/Design/Bid/Build procurement, contracting with different companies for the design and for the construction of the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. This process provided increased project constructability, accurate cost/schedule impacts of design decisions and improved design coordination.

According to Fort Lee BRAC officials, the mission there is equated to a 25-year construction program executed in just four years. And the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital was constructed in only four years, using an evidence-based design process to make decisions based on the best available research. It takes 10 years to construct the average military hospital, Fort Belvoir hospital officials said.

"It was so rewarding to get all the projects awarded within the accelerated BRAC timeline and to meet our Sept. 15, 2011 mission deadline," said Debora Gray, contracting chief for Norfolk District's military branch. "Wow, what a journey! It was at times very challenging, but full of fun and satisfaction just knowing that our deserving service members and their families would enjoy first-class military facilities for decades to come."

The Norfolk District family wanted their products to be more than a "chip off the old block" – they wanted to leave a legacy.

"There are numerous ways to measure the return on this (BRAC) investment, but the most important is the quality of training provided the sons and daughters who serve their country," said Maj. Gen. James L. Hodge, Fort Lee's Combined Arms Support Command and Sustainment Center of Excellence commanding general."

The Norfolk District "BRAC child" had an environment-friendly posture instilled in it: the finest state-of-the-art construction technology, such as reflective paving and roofing materials that reflect the sun and decrease heat build-up and energy use. And the latest in sustainable green initiatives, like collecting rainwater and storing it in underground cisterns to provide 91 percent of water for landscaping.

All BRAC projects were constructed to meet the Defense Department's Leadership in Energy Design standards. Many projects achieved or are pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council's silver rating standards or better.

The $7.38 million Air Force/Navy Dining Facility at Fort Lee achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Green Building Certification Institute. To date, the multi-service dining facility is the only DoD military construction project completed by a service disabled veteran small business to attain a LEED Gold certification.

The Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, which opened Aug. 31 and had its first arrival as Bethany Beauchan was born at 4:33 p.m., achieved LEED Silver certification. With the wealth of innovative green initiatives adopted during the design and construction of the hospital, like patient-controlled environments and natural lighting and views of nature to reduce stress, hospital officials are eagerly pursuing LEED Gold certification.

The Norfolk District also earned several national accolades for excellence in design-build construction and project management, and the district's Small Business program secured $152 million in BRAC small business contracts over the last four years. This achievement allowed the district to annually exceed and lead sister districts in Corps-mandated small business goals.

Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham, former Fort Lee garrison commander from 2005-2008, likened the community approach to nurturing every BRAC project from inception to completion as a "journey" not a "destination."

"In almost every forum I spoke," she said, "I would say that BRAC is not a destination; it's a journey and we're building relationships along the way. Our community leaders and partners have continually been an integral part of this journey in every way — all along the way. Truly, all of the men and women who planned for and executed the thousands of actions required to bring about BRAC success deserve our profound debt of gratitude in building the brick and mortar required to train warriors and grow leaders…for generations to come."

It took all of Norfolk District – a 500-plus employee-village – to raise their BRAC "child" by the Sept. 15, 2011 deadline. BRAC was on time and on target – and will continue to grow as a positive benefit to America and its service members for generations to come.
Gathright Dam 'test pulse' to increase Jackson River water flow22 September 2011 1:4009/21/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — State and federal agencies will use Gathright Dam near Covington, Va., to simulate a storm event on the Jackson River Sept. 28.

The test pulse, conducted by the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, will begin at approximately 6 a.m. and peak at 3,500 cubic feet per second.  

The agencies advise people to be aware of the river fluctuations that will be caused by the test pulse. The pulse is expected to raise the water level downstream in the Jackson River by up to five feet in some sections and up to three feet in the upper James River, but will remain several feet below flood stage. In some areas, the rate of the river rise may exceed two feet per hour.

The river is normally at a constant height and flow during this time of year.

Gathright Dam will gradually increase water releases from 240 cfs to a maximum of 3,500 cfs by 9 a.m. The maximum surge will last two hours, and at 11 a.m. releases will begin to gradually decrease, and return to 240 cfs by 2 p.m.

The controlled release will test whether the pulses effectively remove algae and improve water quality by simulating natural storm events that occur during the late summer and early fall. This natural variability is reduced by the operation of Gathright Dam.

A 3,000-cfs test pulse in August 2010 showed that the pulse raised dissolved oxygen levels in the river, scoured excess oxygen-consuming algae and "slightly improved" aquatic habitat of the Jackson River below Covington.

The pulses are part of a continuing Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study at the dam. The study will determine whether a change to current low-flow augmentation operations at the dam can improve the overall water quality and ecological resources in the lower Jackson River without affecting the existing fisheries in Lake Moomaw and the trout fishery below the dam.
Audio Slideshow: Preserving a national treasure: Tomb of the Unknowns16 September 2011 23:50On YouTube: Team preserves Tomb of the Unknowns14 September 2011 4:30Great Bridge Lock reopens after repairs complete03 September 2011 2:3009/02/2011 - CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The Great Bridge Lock reopened today to vessels traversing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway via the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal now that repairs are complete to the locks.

High water and debris damaged the swing arm of the structure during Hurricane Irene, causing the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use a limited locking scheduled.

Repairs, which began on Monday, took several days to complete and involved removing pieces of the lock gate arms that have been in place since the mid-1930's.   

The locks at Great Bridge resume their normal operational schedule of on demand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The Dismal Swamp Canal remains closed to vessel traffic due to trees knocked down during Hurricane Irene blocking the waterway.

For information about the status of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal as well as the Dismal Swamp Canal, call (757) 201-7500 and select option 3. Information is also available online at www.nao.usace.army.mil or on the District's Facebook and Twitter sites www.facebook.com/NAOonFB or www.twitter.com/norfolkdistrict.

Boaters underway can reach bridge and lock operators on marine radio channel 13. 
Irene displays need for big beach, dunes and seawall03 September 2011 0:2009/02/2011 - VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — As the wind and surf lashed against the oceanfront, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and City of Virginia Beach built hurricane protection project held back the rough seas from damaging homes, businesses and infrastructure, saving millions of dollars in clean up costs.

The Virginia Beach Hurricane Protection Project Completed in 2002has protected Virginia Beach's oceanfront from coastal storms including hurricanes and countless nor'easters, including Hurricane Isabelle in 2003, when it saved the city an estimated $82 million in damage repairs.

Jerry Swean, a geologist with the Norfolk District, kept a watchful eye on the project during the storm, and said you can see the differences between pre-protection project and post protection project.

"In 1998 we had a nor'easter come through that had a similarly high tide as Irene. The story back then was much different then today: homes were damaged and water was washing across the roadways," Swean said.

The Corps and the City of Virginia Beach are getting ready to replenish the beaches along the City's 11 miles of coastline to ensure the protection level is where it needs to be.

Jennifer Armstrong, a project manager who oversees the oceanfront project for the Corps, in order for the system to be successful, it needs to have both a large beach and seawall/dune system in place.

"The higher and wider beach works in tandem with the concrete seawall and dune system by acting as a sacrificial erosion buffer and dissipating the wave energy," said Armstrong. "Erosion of the beach sand during storm events like Irene is not only expected, but is a critical feature of the system."

According to Phil Roehrs, a coastal engineer with the City of Virginia Beach, keeping the protection project at a high level of readiness saves taxpayer money.

"If you look at the aspect of lowering the payouts the federal government would make as the underwriter of the National Flood Insurance Program the project has more than paid for itself in savings to taxpayers," Roehrs said.  "The other thing you don't see is a huge cadre of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees, or other emergency workers streaming into the area because the oceanfront wasn't heavily damaged. The need for that level of response isn't needed, thanks in part to having the protection system."

The oceanfront project received some erosion during Hurricane Irene, but Armstrong says the upcoming work has already accounted for it and no additional costs to taxpayers will occur as a result. 

"The project is designed to require periodic re-nourishment to replace the natural and storm-event erosion and to take into account the possibility of such storms during each cycle," Armstrong said. "Plans to re-nourish the six-mile stretch of Virginia Beach oceanfront were underway prior to Irene and are scheduled for construction later this year."
With continued construction occurring to the beaches along Virginia Beach's coastline, the city says it highlights how a good relationship between federal and local officials benefits its local citizens.

"We can't be more ecstatic about our relationship with the Corps of Engineers when it comes to providing coastal protection for our citizens," Roehrs said. "The proof is in the pudding: just look at how well our projects have stood up to the storms over the past decade."
On Flickr: Debris removal crew picks up after Irene03 September 2011 0:10Craney Island mosquito spraying today31 Agustus 2011 21:4008/31/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the
City of Portsmouth will conduct a joint aerial treatment with mosquito larvicide this week at the Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area and wetlands in Portsmouth, Va.

Crabbe Aviation L.L.C. will treat 250 acres at CIDMMA and 50 acres of wetlands in Portsmouth Wednesday, August 31, weather permitting.

All areas scheduled for treatment are located in north Churchland over Federal and city property. 

The treatment consists of a granular mosquito larvicide product that specifically targets developing mosquito larvae. The larvicide poses no threat to humans or animals. The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft similar to aircraft used for crop dusting. 

If conditions don't allow spraying August 31, the inclement weather date is Thursday, September 1.

Call the Portsmouth's Mosquito Hotline at 393-8666 for more details about the spray operations.

Hurricane Irene damages Great Bridge Lock30 Agustus 2011 1:3508/29/2011 - CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The Great Bridge Lock on the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal is temporarily closed due to a broken swing arm caused by water and debris pushed against it during Hurricane Irene.

Crews are repairing the lock with a spare arm and expect to have the structure operational by Wednesday.

It's the first time the structure has been damaged during a storm event said Joel Scussel, Norfolk District project manager for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

"The gate has been there during Hurricanes Floyd and Isabelle and has never sustained this type of damage. The only thing we have had was some water get into the electrical systems during a nor'easter but nothing mechanical like this," said Scussel

With the Dismal Swamp Canal originally closed due to the wildfires, boaters traveling the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway will have to wait it out until the necessary repairs can be made.

"This is a priority, we need to get this up and operational to get boat traffic flowing again," said Scussel

The district performed one locking prior to shutting the lock down for repairs, allowing Corps debris removal vessels and NOAA research vessels that sought shelter upstream to  move into the Elizabeth River to assist in port cleanup efforts. 

For information about the status of the Albemarle and Chesapeake as well as the Dismal Swamp Canal, call (757) 201-7500 and select option 3. Information is also available online at www.nao.usace.army.mil or on the District's Facebook and Twitter sites www.facebook.com/NAOonFB or www.twitter.com/norfolkdistrict.
Restoration project team to update public on Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot cleanup29 Agustus 2011 23:4008/29/2011 - SUFFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites the public to its quarterly meeting of the Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot Restoration Advisory Board on Sept. 1, from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., at the Comfort Suites, 5409 Plummer Boulevard, off Highway 17 in Suffolk, Va.

This RAB public meeting serves as the main forum for public discussion of Corps remediation progress at the 975-acre former ordnance depot. FNOD was placed on the EPA's National Priorities List in 1999.

Meeting topics will include status reports on the following:

Site update
James River beach sediment sampling
Geophysics data update
Completed area of concern site inspection reports


The FNOD RAB was established in 1997, as the main forum for community citizens to directly provide input on the cleanup effort at the formerly used defense site. Project team members available at each RAB meeting include: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA.

The restoration advisory board is also comprised of community members, local business representatives, local and state officials, and the Tidewater Community College Real Estate Foundation, Inc.

Additional project information: http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Library/Factsheets/FNOD/
On Flickr: All aboard the Tide...25 Agustus 2011 23:30Gathright Dam test pulse improves Jackson River's water quality20 Agustus 2011 2:2008/19/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — A surge of water released from Gathright Dam, simulating a storm event on the Jackson River, did exactly what the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hoped it would: improve the river's water quality.

The results of the August 2010 surge, or test pulse, recently released by the DEQ, indicate the pulse raised dissolved oxygen levels in the river, scoured excess oxygen-consuming algae and "slightly improved" the aquatic habitat Jackson River below Covington.

"We are monitoring the Jackson River before and during test pulses to establish current baseline water quality conditions," said Jason Hill, an environmental scientist with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. "We will be using this baseline data to track any environmental changes that result from these simulated storm events."

The Department of Environmental Quality requested the test pulse from Norfolk District, which owns and operates the Gathright Dam. The dam, located on the Jackson River, creates Lake Moomaw.

The eight-hour test pulse peaked at 3,000 cubic feet per second for two hours.

"The dam operators did a great job mimicking a natural storm event," said Larry Ives, Norfolk District civil engineer.

The results of the test pulse are being used in an ongoing feasibility study at the dam. The study will determine whether a change to current low-flow augmentation operations at the dam can improve the overall water quality and ecological resources in the lower Jackson River without affecting the existing fisheries in Lake Moomaw and the trout fishery below the dam.

Another pulse is scheduled for late September.  The feasibility report will be completed in 2012.  
Dismal Swamp Canal closed indefinitely12 Agustus 2011 2:1008/11/2011 - CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Wildfires in the Dismal Swamp have closed the Dismal Swamp Canal, the nation's oldest continually operating canal, to boat traffic.
   
The closure, which is temporary, allows firefighters to have continuous unimpeded access into the fire zone from route 17.
 
"We received a request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation to see if we could close the canal so firefighters wouldn't have to wait for potential bridge openings near the fire, we didn't see any major issues with the request so we went ahead and closed the canal to assist them in any way we could," said Joel Scussel, the Dismal Swamp Canal project manager.
 
The restriction will be lifted when the fire is contained and smoke levels diminish for safe navigation.
Boaters are advised to use the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal which remains open and operational. Addition information about the canal closure can be obtained by calling 757 201-7500 and pressing option 3.     

Weather, wildfires delay mosquito spraying10 Agustus 2011 2:4008/09/2011 - PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Due to smoke from nearby wildfires and possible adverse weather conditions, Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Portsmouth have rescheduled aerial mosquito spraying for Thursday.

Spraying will be conducted over the Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area, adjacent city properties and the Churchland area here.

Crabbe Aviation L.L.C., will conduct low-flying operations spraying for adult mosquitoes in areas north of Route 164 from 4 to 9 p.m. The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft similar to planes used for crop dusting.

Beekeepers are asked to keep their bees covered during the spraying operations and anyone with known allergic reactions is advised to stay indoors.

If adverse conditions don't allow spraying on Thursday, the spraying will be rescheduled for Friday.

Call the Portsmouth's Mosquito Hotline at 393-8666 for more details about the spray operations.

Fire forces closure of access to Lake Drummond09 Agustus 2011 1:4008/08/2011 - CHESAPEAKE, Va. — A 1,000 acre wildfire has closed the Lake Drummond Reservation and boat trolley, located between Lake Drummond and the Dismal Swamp Canal.

According to the National Wildlife Service, lightning sparked a wildfire on August 4, which has been increasing in size and is moving towards the reservation.  

"Though no structures or personnel are in immediate danger we felt it prudent to close the area to visitors as a just in case," said Joel Scussel, the Dismal Swamp Canal project manager.  

The area will remain closed until the threat of fire has passed. 

The reservation contains buildings and control structures for the weirs utilized to control water flow from Lake Drummond to the Dismal Swamp Canal. It offers citizens an opportunity to experience primitive camping, picnicking as well transfer small watercraft from the canal to Lake Drummond via a trolley system.    

More information about the fire and closures throughout the Dismal Swamp can be found at www.fws.gov/northeast/greatdismalswamp. Individuals seeking more information about the reservation closure can contact the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at (757) 201-7606 or by email at cenao-pa@usace.army.mil

Corps schedules mosquito spraying for Craney Island, adjacent areas06 Agustus 2011 3:1508/05/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the City of Portsmouth will conduct joint aerial mosquito spraying Tuesday at Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area, adjacent city properties and the Churchland area in Portsmouth, Va. 

Crabbe Aviation L.L.C. will conduct low-flying operations as it sprays for adult mosquitoes in areas north of Rte-164 from 4 to 9 p.m.  The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft similar to aircraft used for crop dusting.

Beekeepers are asked to keep their bees covered during the spraying operations in their particular area and anyone with known allergic reactions is advised to stay indoors.

If conditions don't allow spraying Tuesday, the inclement weather date is Wednesday.

Call the Portsmouth's Mosquito Hotline at 393-8666 for more details about the spray operations.

Joplin Tornado Response: Attitude is everything for deployed bride-to-be19 Juli 2011 4:1507/18/2011 - JOPLIN, Mo. — With her wedding just two months away, Nikki Ange isn't
obsessing over invitations and guest lists like some might expect. Instead,
the 25-year-old environmental scientist with the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers is helping the city recover from one of the nation's deadliest
tornadoes.

And, like all of the Corps employees here from around the country, she
volunteered for the work.

It's been unlike anything she's ever experienced.

When Ange arrived, almost a month after the deadly May 22 storm, she was
awed by the destruction left in its wake - more than 6,900 homes destroyed
and another 875 damaged, about 500 commercial properties, a hospital and
most of the city schools left in shambles.

"I was kinda like the gawking bystander; I just wanted to take it all in,"
Ange said.

But Ange had no time to gawk.

That week, the Corps ramped up its efforts to remove an estimated 1.87
million cubic yards of debris from the streets and residential properties of
Joplin. Signs posted around the Corps' Recovery Field Office reminded
employees of the monumental task ahead of them: just a million cubic yards
of debris could cover the Kansas City Chiefs' home field at nearby Arrowhead
Stadium - to a height of 510 feet.

The Corps set a goal of having the job done in 67 days. Ange arrived on day
21.

"The first day was hectic," she said. "I was running around between crews
and trying to learn everything, trying to learn where streets were because
there were no street signs or landmarks except the debris piles, which were
always changing. There was still a lot of work out there."

After a week serving as a quality assurance specialist - ensuring
contractors removed debris properly and safely - supervisors gave her a new
assignment: assessing private properties before debris crews arrive. She
took to it immediately, said Garrett Wickham, a volunteer from the Corps'
Portland District and team lead for the assessments.

The assessments begin when a property owner or, in some cases, city
officials sign a Right of Entry, or ROE, a document allowing the Corps to
enter the property and remove debris. Then, Corps teams locate the property,
mark the property lines and address, sketch and photograph the property, and
note and flag debris types and piles, utilities and hazards. With this
documentation done, Corps quality assurance specialists and contractors can
locate and clear the property quickly and safely.

Ange enjoys the work - it's not that different from the day-to-day work she
does in Virginia for the Corps' Norfolk District. As an environmental
scientist in the district's regulatory branch, the Old Dominion University
graduate is often outdoors gathering information for pending permit
applications or for the enforcement of actions taken without a permit. It's
work she described with a smile as "like crime scene investigation - for the
environment."

The assessment work requires a lot of movement throughout the 6-mile-long,
one-mile-wide debris area, requires a lot of responsibility, a lot of
independence, Wickham explained.

Ange was a natural for the work.

"You're on your own out there and given enough responsibility to make
decisions," Wickham said. "I don't have to worry about her. I can send her
off with a stack of ROEs [assessments] and instructions to call if there are
any issues."

The work Ange and others do for the assessments is a critical element of the
Corps' debris removal process, said Ron McDonald, a volunteer from the
Portland District who serves as a quality assurance supervisor.

"Without an accurate assessment, we'd have teams going out there that are
really unprepared for what's on the property, McDonald said. "It's actually
a very good process."

The importance of the process isn't lost on Ange, who identified the need
for and developed a step-by-step assessment checklist for new Corps
volunteers to use after the current team departs.  While she was completing
that task, she also developed job aids for incoming quality assurance
specialists and took on the job of training new arrivals chosen for
assessment work. Wickham said he loves her reliability.

"The great thing about Nikki is that you can tell sometimes that she's not
excited about doing something, but she never complains," he said. "She just
smiles and does it."

That kind of positive attitude is crucial for mission success, said Traci
Davis, a volunteer from the Corps' Kansas City District who serves as a
quality assurance supervisor.

"The whole operation feeds off of attitude," she said. "If we have a
positive attitude, the contractors and the people we encounter will have a
positive attitude. We'll get things done."

And the Corps is getting things done. Just two days before Ange's scheduled
return home to Chesapeake, Va., Col. Dan Patton, the Joplin Recovery Field
Office commander, reported to city and federal officials that 65.1 percent
of the debris had been removed from city streets and properties.

"It's definitely changed a lot since I got here," Ange said. "There was a
lot more debris along the right of ways and tons of houses were still
standing - not completely intact, but standing. Now they are leveled out and
lots are cleared."

Ange has also changed. 

Walking through the debris and seeing the items lost by people and families
- important documents, valuables, children's toys - has given her a new
perspective.

"It's motivated me to be more prepared for something like this," she said.
"It's going to be one of my priorities when I get home."

After the wedding.
Employee gives in to his 'addiction'24 Juni 2011 4:50Fort Belvoir Community Hospital ready to soar14 Juni 2011 0:40Corps schedules mosquito spraying for Craney Island10 Juni 2011 22:2006/10/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will
conduct an aerial spraying of mosquito larvicide Monday at the Craney Island
Dredged Material Management Area in Portsmouth, Va.

All areas scheduled for treatment are located on federal property in the
Churchland area of Portsmouth.

Crabbe Aviation L.L.C. will treat 500 acres at with a liquid mosquito
larvicide product that specifically targets developing mosquito larvae. The
larvicide poses no threat to humans or animals.

The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft similar to
aircraft used for crop dusting.

If conditions don't allow spraying Monday, the inclement weather date is
Tuesday, June 14.
Army Corps employees pitch in to clean the Chesapeake Bay08 Juni 2011 1:5006/04/2011 - PORTSMOUTH, Va. — More than 31 employees and family members from the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, participated in this year's Clean the Bay Day, removing 104 bags of trash totaling 2,392 pounds, and about 1,450 pounds of "non-bagged or bulky" items.

Clean the Bay Day is a statewide initiative organized by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, in conjunction with municipalities, businesses and government agencies working together to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Every year since 1989, thousands of citizens throughout the Commonwealth have dedicated their time to clear litter from waterways.

This year, more than 6,200 volunteers statewide removed approximately 200,000 pounds of debris from 500 miles of streams and shorelines along the bay, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Last year, 7,430 volunteers removed 217,641 pounds of debris at 245 sites along 419 miles of the Chesapeake Bay.

Norfolk District employees volunteered three hours of their time Saturday morning to remove debris from the shorelines of the Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area, or CIDMMA, which is operated and maintained by the district. CIDMMA is a 2,500-acre confined dredged material disposal site on the north side of Portsmouth, Va. It serves as an economical and environmentally sustainable repository for material dredged within the federal waterways of the Hampton Roads harbor.

"We had a fantastic turn-out, and it says a lot when people travel from as far as their home in Williamsburg to participate," said Kristen Donofrio, biological scientist here and zone captain for the district's team of volunteers.

Although Clean the Bay Day is regionally managed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the event organization for the local area is done by Keep Norfolk Beautiful. "I think it's great for the Norfolk District that we have the opportunity to work with KNB since it helps promote our volunteer efforts and work in general throughout the community," Donofrio said.

This year, the Corps partnered with volunteers from the Society of American Military Engineers of Hampton Roads.

According to data collection sheets provided to Donofrio, more than 3,800 pounds of trash was removed from CIDMMA's shorelines, a majority of which included plastic bottles and Styrofoam from buoys, cups, or other containers and nautical debris.

Some unusual items found by district employees included a chair, life jacket, My Little Pony toy, lip gloss, cooler tops, plastic parts from syringes, mini-fridge, six-foot snake skin, pair of pants, remote control from a crane lift and a pair of sneakers.
Corps, Portsmouth schedule mosquito spraying03 Juni 2011 5:0006/02/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the
City of Portsmouth will conduct joint aerial mosquito spraying Monday at
federal properties on Craney Island, adjacent city properties and the
Churchland area in Portsmouth, Va. 

Crabbe Aviation L.L.C. will conduct aerial spraying between 4 and 8 p.m.
Monday, June 6, weather permitting. 

Aerial spraying will occur in areas north of Rte-164.

The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft to spray
Trumpet EC, a formulation of Dibrom to target flying adult mosquitoes.  The
plane will be conducting low-flying spray operations in the area.

People with known allergic reactions are advised to stay indoors. Beekeepers
who reside in the spray area are asked to keep their bees covered during the
spraying operations.

If conditions don't allow spraying June 6, the inclement weather date is
Tuesday, June 7.

For more information about the spraying operations, call the Portsmouth
Mosquito Hotline at 393-8666.
On Flickr: Radford Army Ammo Plant celebrates its new Fire and Emergency Services Center02 Juni 2011 23:00Restoration project team to update public on Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot cleanup02 Juni 2011 22:2006/02/2011 - SUFFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites the public to its quarterly meeting of the Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot Restoration Advisory Board tonight, June 2, from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., at its new location, the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 8060 Harbour View Boulevard in Suffolk, Va.

This RAB public meeting serves as the main forum for public discussion of Corps remediation progress at the 975-acre former ordnance depot. FNOD was placed on the EPA's National Priorities List in 1999.
Meeting topics will include status reports on the following:

Review of Land Use Control Interim Plans
Project Management Website/GIS initiatives
Discussion on perchlorate, radiological information and munitions that have been discovered at FNOD
Track G Magazine Line (Area of Concern 10) analytical report
Public Affairs Working Group update


The FNOD RAB was established in 1997, as the main forum for community citizens to directly provide input on the cleanup effort at the formerly used defense site. Project team members available at each RAB meeting include: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA.

The restoration advisory board is also comprised of community members, local business representatives, local and state officials and the Tidewater Community College Real Estate Foundation, Inc.

Additional project information: http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Library/Factsheets/FNOD/
OnFlickr: TRADOC celebrates its new home at Joint Base Langley-Eustis26 Mei 2011 21:42On YouTube!: Get a peak at TRADOC's new digs26 Mei 2011 21:41On Flickr: Corps projects makes river safer for U.S. Navy26 Mei 2011 21:40Craney Island mosquito spraying scheduled24 Mei 2011 21:1005/24/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the City of Portsmouth will conduct joint aerial mosquito spraying this week at Federal properties on Craney Island as well as adjacent City properties and the Churchland area in Portsmouth, Va.  Aerial spraying will occur in areas north of Rte-164.

Crabbe Aviation L.L.C. will conduct aerial spraying between the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday May 26th, weather permitting.  The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft to spray Trumpet EC, a formulation of Dibrom to target flying adult mosquitoes.  The plane will be conducting low-flying spray operations in the area.

Beekeepers are asked to keep their bees covered during the spraying operations in their particular area and anyone with known allergic reactions is advised to stay indoors.

If conditions don't allow spraying on May 26, the inclement weather date is Friday, May 27th.

Call the Portsmouth's Mosquito Hotline at 393-8666 for more details about the spray operations.
Corps efforts ensure Army Ordnance Corps receives world-class training13 Mei 2011 22:3005/12/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — "Service to the Line, On the Line and On Time" has been the motto and battle cry of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps for nearly 200 years. Today, the Army Ordnance Corps continues to live out that motto while training soldiers, leaders and civilians in technical skills to support the Army by providing effective and efficient maintenance, munitions and explosive ordnance.

Their mission became easier May 5, thanks to the design and construction management expertise of Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Col. Clark W. LeMasters, Army chief of Ordnance and commandant of the Ordnance School at Fort Lee, Va., used a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony to praise the completion of five new high-tech buildings,  all part of the new Army Ordnance Center campus at Fort Lee.

The five new buildings were also memorialized during the ceremony in honor of five distinguished Ordnance Corps veterans. The building's names and functions are: Miley Hall, fire control department; Porter Hall, advance track department; Cohen Hall, armament and electronics maintenance department; Hatcher Hall, turret department; and Dickson Hall, advance wheel department.

Fort Lee will complete about $1.2 billion in construction projects later this year, totaling 56 new buildings, as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure authorization. Under BRAC, the Army Ordnance Center and School relocated from Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to Fort Lee.

The new state-of-the-art buildings are a marked improvement from those at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground, LeMasters said.

Norman Malbon, a civil engineer and member of the Norfolk District Engineering Branch, represented the district during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Malbon's team at Fort Lee developed the request for proposals that defined the general design-build requirements for constructing these facilities. He took the opportunity to tour the buildings prior to the ceremony.

"I was very impressed by the size, quality and functionality of the buildings," Malbon said. "All of the facilities were in operation and looked great, including the 400-person auditorium, the shooting range, the welding booths, the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank repair high bay areas and the classrooms."

The $800 million, five-building complex, is the latest edition to the Ordnance Center campus and instructors and students praise the complex for its hands-on, high-tech features. It includes multiple new audio visual capabilities and high-tech, energy-efficient and interactive training equipment, specific to each building's specialty.

"Each building's advanced automation, larger footprint and safer environment is tailor-made for enhanced and successful training," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Blucher, advanced wheel instructor for warrant officers. "When students arrive here, they soon realize they are definitely getting world-class training instruction."

The five-building complex also met the Army's Leadership in Energy Environmental Design, achieving a silver certification. Some of the building's notable "green initiatives" include:

Stormwater design that reduces particulate pollution and erosion
Reflective paving and roofing materials that reflect sun and decrease heat build-up and energy use
Non-emergency interior lights that automatically turn off during non-business hours and exterior lighting that reduces light pollution
Drought-resistant landscaping that eliminates the need for irrigation
Low-flow fixtures that reduce overall water consumption
Refrigerants for mechanical systems that reduce damage to the ozone layer and don't contribute to global warming
All appliances are ENERGY STAR® rated


According to LeMasters, after six years of planning, these buildings "are the future of the Army Ordnance Corps to pass through for years to come."
Corps, Portsmouth schedule mosquito spraying06 Mei 2011 4:1005/05/2011 - NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the
City of Portsmouth will conduct joint aerial mosquito spraying this week at
federal properties on Craney Island as well as adjacent city properties and
the Churchland area in Portsmouth, Va. 

Crabbe Aviation L.L.C. will conduct aerial spraying between the hours of 5
p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, weather permitting. 

Aerial spraying will occur in areas north of Route-164.

The contractor will use an Air Tractor, a fixed-wing aircraft to spray
Trumpet EC, a formulation of Dibrom to target flying adult mosquitoes.  The
plane will be conducting low-flying spray operations in the area.

Beekeepers are asked to keep their bees covered during the spraying
operations in their particular area and individuals with known allergic
reactions are advised to stay indoors.

If conditions do not allow for spraying on May 7, the inclement weather date
is Monday, May 9.

Updates for the aerial mosquito spraying will be available on the Portsmouth
Mosquito Control Hotline after 11 a.m. Friday, May 6. The hotline is
available at 393-8666, extension 7324.

America's Great Outdoors: Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works joins locals at Dismal Swamp event29 April 2011 7:3504/28/2011 – NORFOLK, Va. — When President Barack Obama launched America's Great Outdoors initiative he cited the nation's legacy of conservation and its passion for protecting its "most precious national treasures."

So, what better place to celebrate the spirit of America's Great Outdoors then at the nation's oldest continually operating canal?

That's exactly what Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy will do when she joins more than 300 people to participate in the City of Chesapeake's 8th Annual Paddle for the Border on the Dismal Swamp Canal Saturday.

Paddlers will launch from the Dismal Swamp State Park in South Mills, N.C., paddle 7.5 miles and end with a picnic at the Dismal Swamp boat ramp on Ballahack Road.

Though the canal will be full of canoes and kayakers, motorized boaters will still be able to access the waterway, but they may experience some delays while navigating the canal from 8:00 a.m. until approximately 1:00 p.m.

Law enforcement and public safety officials from North Carolina and Virginia will be on site during the event—both on the water and observing from the shore— to assist with any emergency situations that may arise.

Paddle for the Border is sponsored by the Dismal Swamp State Park, Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and City of Chesapeake Parks and Recreation Department.

President Obama's AGO initiative seeks to reinvigorate the nation's approach to reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the lands and waters that are used for farming, hunting, fishing and other recreational activities. It spreads the messages of conservation, protection, reconnection and stewardship of the outdoors.
On Flickr: Brig. Gen. Peter "Duke" DeLuca catches project sites aboard Work Vessel Harrell26 April 2011 1:45Norfolk District expands its footprint at Environment Virginia Symposium15 April 2011 4:5504/14/2011 – LEXINGTON, Va. — "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children."

This famous Native American proverb speaks volumes about the current state of our nation's complex environmental problems, which if left unresolved, threaten the future ability of our children to enjoy the wondrous natural beauty too often taken for granted.

That's why more than 50 environmental scientists and other staff of the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, attended the 22nd Annual Environment Virginia Symposium, held April 5-7 on the campus of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va.

With the symposium theme, "Sustainable Solutions for Uncertain Times," the Norfolk District team joined representatives of the private and public sectors as well as non-governmental organizations to exchange information, technology and ideas that will contribute to a prosperous economic and environmentally sustainable future.

"The symposium was a superb venue for our regulatory staff to meet one of its focus areas this year of increased transparency," said Michael Darrow, chief of Norfolk District's Water Resources Division. "Everyone took the opportunity to explain our Corps mission, capabilities and support to the Commonwealth of Virginia to our public and private counterparts, as well as to environmental consultants and interested public citizens."

The Environment Virginia Symposium is the brainchild of Ron Erchul, a former VMI professor and retired U.S. Navy captain, who, nearly a quarter century ago, received a grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment to conduct research on groundwater contamination in the Shenandoah Valley. As part of that grant, VMI held a conference to report the results of his research and to encourage others to join in the quest for solutions to complex environmental issues. Today's symposium is a continuation of partnering efforts for economic and environmental success in Virginia over the past 22 years. 

Mark Mansfield, chief of Planning and Policy for the WRD, served on the symposium program development committee and, using the concepts of the project management business process, developed a project management plan that integrated the contributions of several district members into this year's conference agenda.

Col. Andrew Backus, district commander, led a plenary session entitled "Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and the Watershed Implementation Plan"; Hal Wiggins, regulatory branch, provided a presentation, "Low Impact Development and Section 404 Clean Water Act Permitting"; and Jeanne Richardson, regulatory branch, moderated sessions on "In-Lieu Fee Mitigation:  New Initiatives and Frameworks" and "Case Studies of Mitigation Banking."

In his published message to symposium attendees, retired Army Gen. J. H. Binford Peay III, VMI superintendent, acknowledged their daily efforts and leadership on behalf of environmental sustainability, and cited a recent tragedy of global importance that make their cause more urgent.

"Fortunate to live in this beautiful Commonwealth, we are surrounded by abundant natural resources. Human ingenuity has allowed us to use these resources to advance the human condition, but we are mindful of the limits imposed by the forces of nature," Peay said. "As we meet, the people of Japan are coping with an environmental and human crisis that defies description. The world community has united to provide assistance. It is one of the greatest struggles ever witnessed between man and his environment. We pause to reflect on their situation, grateful for this opportunity to come together in search of meaningful and lasting solutions."

John Evans, environmental scientist and longtime district employee, attended the symposium for the first time with many of his regulatory colleagues. He said he was extremely impressed with the intense two-day symposium and that it was well organized and presented a diverse and informative environmental update.

"We really got the big picture on pollution and nutrient reduction efforts for the Chesapeake Bay," Evans said. "We explored other opportunities for low impact development with regards to stormwater management and met with other environmental firms to discuss the Corps' permit process."

The regulatory team talked with several small business firms and directed them to the district's small business office for contract opportunities. They also networked with other environmental agency staff, including the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"We were all interested in learning about some of the products and services available to make data collection less costly and more efficient; future energy sources; wetland and stream mitigation updates; and new perspectives on global warming, climate change and future population growth predictions," Evans said.

This year's symposium also featured a special session on social media that provided an overview of the tools available and how global corporations, like Coca Cola, Inc., as well as smaller Virginia organizations are communicating effectively in today's world.

Mark Haviland, public affairs chief for Norfolk District, presented, "What's Possible in the World of Social Media," to an overflow breakout session. His presentation covered social-media startup; using Norfolk District's award-winning social media sites as a model; online tools, such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, video and photo sharing; basic web research and internal investigation; and communication rules.

"Feedback has been nothing but positive, and we plan to continue this as an annual event," Darrow said.
Treasured maps, more at Norfolk District Library14 April 2011 23:5004/14/2011 – NORFOLK, Va. — Ask Lane Killam to take you to her favorite map in the Norfolk District library, she'll lead you down the row of towering metal drawers and stop at the last pillar of drawers on the right. 

After examining the labels, she'll roll open a drawer marked, "James River 1800-1887."
Inside is a cache of delicate, yellowed, hand-drawn linen maps dotted  with precision script and labeled with the graceful lines of flawless cursive and around the penned river banks, bushes and trees.

Killam, the lone Norfolk District librarian, said she couldn't narrow it down to one favorite as she pulled several maps from drawer and laid them out with the care of a conservator handling the Mona Lisa.

"These are fascinating," Killam said. "They're almost works of art."
These maps – a fraction of the thousands dormant in their metal berth – are just an entry in the index of the tens of thousands of goods the library's got.

This library, however, is a library with a theme. The latest New York Times bestseller probably won't make an appearance here among the maps, nautical charts, engineering reports and the thousands of books: books on math, hydrology, bridge building and even a dog-eared copy of "Killer Angels."

The Army Corps of Engineers specificity lends itself to a trove of long-forgotten treasure, as author Earl Swift found.

"It's great to go trolling in there – you can find fascinating things that will lead to more," he said. "You'll stumble on veins of forgotten history – it's pretty cool."

Swift, a Virginia-based journalist, used the library to research stories he wrote for newspapers and his book, Journey on the James: Three Weeks Through the Heart of Virginia.

"There are weird little documents there that you can't find anywhere else," he said.
Those kinds of documents helped Swift relocate prisoner-of-war camps where Nazis were held in southeast Virginia during World War II. He was able to get his bearings with landmarks that still existed.

"Thanks to the library, we had layouts," he said. "There were plans for guard towers … I was not expecting to find that and was completely floored to come across it."

Closer to home, Norfolk District employees find little gems that make their job easier.

George Janek frequently checks out the most recent issues wildlife periodicals, which have articles on stream restoration, threatened and endangered species, and wetland functions and values – the kind of information pertinent to an environmental scientist at Norfolk District. He's also used the library's topographic maps from the 1940s to determine jurisdiction over streams and wetlands.

Killam said that's the kind of primary-source material that is rarely found at other libraries.

Bo Taran, a supervisory civil engineer, uses the library as a starting point for new projects.

" … We can get a bird's eye view of how the new projects will impact the existing sightscapes and in many instances future development sightscapes," he said.  He also uses the library to find natural changes to waterways, streams, rivers and tributaries by comparing maps over a certain span of time.

The library is also furnished with materials for test-takers, professional development courses for ladder climbers, annual engineering reports dating back to 1867 for the history buffs and little things, like a slang dictionary for those who aren't hip to the lingo. 

Even with all the tangible finds in the library, Killam said there's more to find online through the USACE online library.

But for some, the library is a place to embrace peace and quiet or to use as a place to meet.
Killam says she's got something for everyone at the library and if you don't believe her, she'll help you find it – something she loves after working libraries for more than 35 years.

"My favorite part is helping people," she said. "I'm always trying to draw new people in."

In a one-person position, she whips up bibliographies, dashes off citations, arranges inter-library loans, takes suggestions, and answers questions – all in a day's work.

"It's just amazing what you can find in here," she said. "That's one thing about the library – when you need it, you need it."
The library is available to the public. If you are interested in visiting the Norfolk District USACE library, call 757-201-7562 to make an appointment.

River-deepening for aircraft carriers starts Friday14 April 2011 23:2004/13/2011 – NORFOLK, Va. — Dredging operations, deepening portions of the Elizabeth River from Lambert's Point to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., will begin Friday, April 15.  

The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the approximately $20 million project that will allow the Navy's nuclear powered aircraft carriers the ability to traverse from Norfolk Naval Station to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard safely at all times of the day.

"The dredging is necessary to eliminate the risk of the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers damaging their ballast water intakes, as well as grounding and possible hull damage." said Raad Humadi, project manager with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic
For three tenths of a mile, from Lamberts Point to the Navy Deperming Station, a 600-foot-wide portion of the federal navigation channel will be deepened from 40 feet to 50 feet. Another four-and-half-mile, 600-foot-wide portion of the channel from the deperming station to the naval shipyard will be deepened from 40 feet to 47 feet.

"This will allow us to meet the current requirements for ships entering and exiting into the Lambert's Point Deperming Station, allowing the carriers safe transit into and out of the Deperming Facility," said Humadi.  "The other reach of the project allows the carrier safe transit to and from Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs and overhauls."

The Corps' contractor, Norfolk Dredging Company from Chesapeake, Va., will start dredging operations at Lamberts Point and work their way to the naval shipyard over the next 18 months, removing approximately 3 million cubic yards of material. The dredged material will be pumped into the district's Craney Island Dredge Material Management Area in Portsmouth, Va. 
On the NAO Blog: Update from the 2011 Environment Virginia Symposium07 April 2011 2:50Corps dredging actions in inlet complete31 Maret 2011 2:2003/30/2011 - CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — Dredging of the Chincoteague Inlet federal navigation channel is complete for this year. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Dredge Currituck worked for 21 days to remove potentially hazardous shoals from the inlet bottom and now is underway to its next project. 

Over the course of the next two weeks Norfolk District survey vessels will use  SONAR to get a detailed look at the navigation channel to ensure the sandbars forming on the bottom have been removed.

"We have a pretty good idea that the Currituck got the problem areas removed, but we use the survey vessels as a confirmation; as well as we can determine exactly how much sand was removed and how deep the channel is after dredging ," said Gregg Williams, Norfolk District dredging project manager.

Depending on funding, the inlet portion of the channel is scheduled to be dredged again next year, ensuring the Chincoteague Inlet federal navigation channel will remain safe and open for commercial and recreational watercraft.

The Chincoteague Inlet is the gateway to the largest commercial port on the Eastern Shore, handling more than 3,000 vessels a year, including U.S. Coast Guard vessels. The annual project was approved in 1972 by the chief of engineers under the authority of Section 107 of the River and Harbor act of July 14, 1960.
On Facebook: Our dance card is filling up fast - check out our events calendar25 Maret 2011 5:06On Flickr: A tour of the Chicoteague Island drawbridge25 Maret 2011 5:04On Flickr: Working with NASA at their Wallops Island facility25 Maret 2011 5:02On YouTube!: Fishermen applaud Corps efforts to keep channel open25 Maret 2011 5:00Norfolk District storm drain protectors are farewell gift to Fort Monroe25 Maret 2011 2:3003/24/2011 - FORT MONROE, Va. — Norfolk District has some unfinished business with historic Fort Monroe.

The fort, erected in 1834 at Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Va., will be transferred to the Commonwealth of Virginia on Sept. 15, under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation. Before then, Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has work to complete that will benefit the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Norfolk District is partnering with the Commonwealth's Fort Monroe Authority to design and construct back flow preventers or flap gates for approximately 30 storm drain outfalls located throughout the property. Installation of these tidal check valves will prevent tidal intrusion onto the property and reduce pollutants and nutrients from entering the Chesapeake Bay.

The Water Resources Development Act lays the groundwork for the project and partnership.

"Protection is a big priority at Fort Monroe," said Bill Armbruster, executive director of the FMA. "Parts of Fort Monroe were substantially damaged by floodwaters from Hurricane Isabel in 2003. The Army Corps of Engineers built a new seawall at the post. The completion of this project has a high value to the future success of Fort Monroe at Old Point Comfort."

Fort Monroe is surrounded almost entirely by tidally-influenced waters of the Chesapeake Bay to the east, Hampton Roads harbor to the south, and Mill Creek to the west. Due to its low elevation, the fort is highly susceptible to flooding.

After Hurricane Isabel unfurled its fury on the fort in 2003, Norfolk District proposed the Fort Monroe Flood Proofing project in 2005, as part of a larger flood study of the fort.

Jennifer Armstrong, project manager and biologist at Norfolk District, is leading the flood proofing project. Armstrong recently returned to Norfolk District after serving more than two years with the New Orleans Hurricane Protection Office, where she managed the completion of several key post-Katrina flood protection projects.

"The study found that flooding events on Fort Monroe bring about two significant problems for the Chesapeake Bay," Armstrong said. "First, flood waters infiltrate the sanitary sewer system causing untreated sewage to be discharged into the Chesapeake Bay. The untreated materials contain large quantities of nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), suspended solids and fecal bacteria. Second, storm events result in the flooding of basements located on the fort, which can cause a myriad of problems. In the past, this water has been pumped directly into the Chesapeake Bay without treatment. This flood-proofing phase of the project will provide additional defense towards reducing flooding on the fort for up to a 40- to 50-year storm level." 

This project alone will not eliminate the threat of flooding caused by tidal surge and tropical storms, Armbruster said, but the Corps also identified additional seawall and breakwater protection projects in their 2005 study which have yet to be implemented.

A $20 million Fort Monroe Seawall Repair and Improvement Project had already begun in the winter of 2003, but it was suspended by the U.S. Army in July 2005, after Fort Monroe appeared on the BRAC list for closure. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reauthorized the project in November 2006, and the Norfolk District resumed construction of the seawall repair in March 2007.

Now completed, the new 9.5 foot seawall stands in front of the existing structure, which averaged 7.5 feet in elevation. The seawall project repaired deficiencies and improved flood protection for Fort Monroe from a 5-year level – a storm that has a 20 percent chance of occurring in any given year – to an approximate 25-year level, a storm with a four percent annual occurrence rate. The project included breakwaters and beach replenishment along the lower parts of the shoreline facing the Chesapeake Bay.

Over the years, Norfolk District has partnered with agencies like the Fort Monroe Authority to seek solutions and implement programs for restoring the health of the nation's largest estuary – the Chesapeake Bay.

Stretching across more than 64,000 square miles, the Chesapeake Bay watershed encompasses parts of six states along the U.S. East Coast. With its many tributaries, the Chesapeake Bay watershed endures an array of assaults from the air, water and land. Chemical contaminants, air pollution, landscape changes, erosion and over-harvesting of fish and shellfish also stress the Bay and its wildlife. The watershed's worst problem is nutrient pollution, which fuels the growth of algae blooms that degrade water quality and negatively impact aquatic life.

The Norfolk District has used the Section 510 Program of the Water Resources Development Act to enhance the living resources of the Chesapeake Bay through the reduction of sediment and dissolved nutrients and improvement of wastewater treatment facilities.
Women's history: a window into America's greatness11 Maret 2011 0:0003/10/2011 - NORFOLK — Women have long struggled to gain ground in a society largely dominated by men – their achievements were marginalized, credit for their work and discoveries went to their male colleagues.

Essentially, women were erased from history.

In the 1970's, that began to change as a movement to celebrate women's history gained momentum – a momentum we still feel each March, during National Women's History Month.

Regina Malveaux, J.D., newly appointed executive director of the YWCA South Hampton Roads, will join the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, on March 17 at 1:30 p.m., in the multipurpose room of Waterfield Building to celebrate Women's History Month and the economic, political and social achievements of American women – past, present and future.

"Each year that we recognize and participate in National Women's History Month, we pay tribute to the millions of women who sacrificed so much to help create a better society and world," said Gregory E. Headen, chief of Norfolk District's Equal Employment Office. "Their achievements serve as an enormous inspiration and road map for future generations."

"Our History is Our Strength," is the 2011 March National Women's History Month theme. Knowing women's stories provides essential role models for everyone, according to the National Women's History Project, and role models are genuinely needed to face the extraordinary changes and unrelenting challenges of the 21st century.

Malveaux, who resides in Norfolk, Va., has compiled a resume of career achievements, all while raising two college-age children, that would easily transform her from "ordinary" to "extraordinary."

Prior to taking the helm of the YWCA South Hampton Roads, Malveaux served as founding director of the Women's Legal Center in San Diego, Calif., and legal advocate for the YWCA San Diego.

Malveaux holds an undergraduate degree in Social Policy from San Diego State University and a law degree from Howard University School of Law. During law school, Malveaux served as both a White House and Congressional intern, for then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, then chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Malveaux has served on a number of boards aimed at advancing racial justice and economic empowerment, including the San Diego NAACP, Dress for Success and Second Chance. She is nationally recognized as a tenacious advocate for women, youth and children, and has received numerous national accolades, including "Emerging Leader" by the Children's Defense Fund and one of 10 National Head Start Policy Fellows during the Clinton administration.

President Barack Obama, in his 2011 proclamation honoring National Women's History Month, also praised the extraordinary accomplishments of women in shaping the course of our nation's history, and issued a challenge:

"Today, women have reached heights their mothers and grandmothers might only have imagined. Women now comprise nearly half of our workforce and the majority of students in our colleges and universities," he said.  "They scale the skies as astronauts, expand our economy as entrepreneurs and business leaders, and serve our country at the highest levels of government and our Armed Forces. In honor of the pioneering women who came before us, and in recognition of those who will come after us, this month, we recommit to erasing the remaining inequities facing women in our day."
Meet the man behind Norfolk District's small-business section10 Maret 2011 2:50
                Video, QuickTime Movie - 13 Mb
                Vietnam soldier paves way for vets in business10 Maret 2011 2:3003/09/2011 - Jack Beecher is a man of his word.

His office might indicate something like that: neatly arranged awards and shiny plaques that line his office walls praise his work with small businesses in tall, etched letters. Another decoration for his efforts, a ceremonial sword, guards the front of his desk. He keeps three smooth black stones that say "respect," "trust" and "integrity" on a table in his office – they're a few basic tenets of how Beecher does business. The Web will tell you his expert testimony was shared with Congress and he's spoken at or attended more small business conferences than a contractor could throw a brick at.

As the chief of the Small Business Program Office, is he the best at what he does?  Maybe.  Kaney O'Neill thinks so.

O'Neill was a Navy airman apprentice when she fell and became a quadriplegic more than a decade ago.  As a service-disabled veteran, she owns a general contracting company in Washington, and she met Norfolk District's Beecher at a small business conference. Since then, Beecher has become an advocate for her, like he is for all service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

"When you're in a business like mine, it's difficult," O'Neill said. "Jack has been somebody who actively supports my business, and done everything in his power to help make me and my business successful."

Beecher is the magic man of opportunity for small businesses. At Norfolk District, his small business section connects work opportunities, mostly contracting, with small women-owned businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, and small businesses in historically underutilized zones, among others.  But Beecher is making waves in his efforts to help service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.


From beaches to business


Fresh out of the jungles of Pleiku, Vietnam, Beecher joined Norfolk District in 1970 as a surveying aid and four years later he became a general clerk in the contracting division, and he's since worked his way through the ranks.

Beecher said he's come a long way.

A beach-bum at heart, a young Beecher was content to surf the crisp Atlantic waves when he wasn't stocking shelves, sacking groceries or crashing at his parents' Portsmouth home. He was doing just that when an official-looking letter, signed by the president, found its way to Beecher in 1968: "You are hereby ordered to report for and submit to induction into the Armed Forces of the United States …"

"To be honest with you, at the time, I didn't care to be in the Army," Beecher said.

But Beecher now uses the connection he feels from his two years in the Army to help service-disabled veterans: Beecher is also an SDV, something he found out after his prostate cancer was linked to his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

"As a service disabled veteran, I have a personal perspective on trying to help those companies," he said. "Not a day goes by that I'm not dealing with a SDV."


Small business, big success


Beecher became the District's small business chief in 1998 and the program manager for the SDVOSB category about four years ago. As program manager, he said he had a valuable tool at his fingertips - an executive order directing federal agencies to award 3 percent of their contract budget to SDVOSB.

"The order was a really great incubator for vets who were interested in starting small businesses and working with the federal government," said David Spanka, president of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Council. 
However, Spanka said this order was weakened by its wording.

"The order simply established an agency goal," Spanka said. "A lot of government agencies don't meet that goal, but pat themselves on the back when the achieve 1 percent."

Spanka said agencies like the Veteran's Administration and Norfolk District have done well in meeting or exceeding the 3 percent mark. The District lands that recognition in part to the small business section's efforts: in Beecher's first year as program manager, the Corps increased its SDV awards from $217 million to $543 million as the small business section put SDVOSB in front of contract officers and decision makers at Norfolk District.  Beecher says the successes are a reflection of Corps employees and leadership – and each played a role in ensuring that every fiscal year since 2008, Norfolk District has exceeded the 3 percent goal. In fiscal year 2010, 15 percent of the contracting budget went to SDVOSBs.

While some SDVOSBs come to Beecher, others are found by Beecher. He looks for SDVOSB construction companies, and helps them navigate the federal marketplace as they seek opportunities to do business with Uncle Sam. He's found dozens of companies at conferences, in meetings, through databases and watched the businesses ride their success to become something larger.  

"I've actually seen some small businesses go from having companies that do $100,000 a year to well above $4 or $5 million a year," he said. The Corps awarded more than $2.2 billion dollars in contracts to SDVOSB over the last three years.

John Karafa's construction business was one such company. The company's maiden project was the Fort Lee dining facility in 2008.  It was also the seed project for the fledgling company, Leebcor. 

"We had a lot to lose or a lot to gain," Karafa said. "They say you're only as good as your last project and we wanted to put our best foot forward – and this wasn't an easy building."

The dining facility, which was a $6.8 million contract award, earned a LEED Gold rating in 2010 based on the company's work. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is a certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

"That project enabled us to launch a credible, quality-focused business," Karafa said. "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the [small business] program. I had this opportunity because of Jack."

Norfolk District has since awarded Karafa's company with a handful of multi-million dollar projects under the SDV set-aside.

The small business section also helped cast Jim Hart's construction business, Arriba Corporation, as another company that handles million-dollar contracts. Arriba started in 1998 with two employees and one contract. But that was before Jack Beecher and a contract for a job at Fort Eustis.

"Jack provided a lot of support," Hart said. "He's incredibly committed to small businesses."

Hart credits Beecher with strengthening SDVOSBs by advocating for them and getting companies in front of decision-makers.

"His voice was pretty loud," Hart said. "He rallied a lot of people to say, 'look, this makes sense.'"

In the meantime, Beecher continues to support SDVOSB, finding new businesses and keeping in touch with companies, like O'Neill's, that he's helped along the way.

"He's never stopped helping me," O'Neill said. "It says a lot about what kind of man he is and about his work effort – it's a beautiful thing."

Ailing infrastructure roused with experts, volunteers08 Maret 2011 2:3503/07/2011 - NORFOLK — Iraq's infrastructure experienced its fair share of misfortunes over the years, and it wears the scars of a dictator, war and looters in its pockmarked roads, failing power grids and dilapidated buildings.
In January 2004, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established a Gulf Region District in Iraq to coordinate infrastructure rebuilding efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Norfolk was among the first districts to respond with volunteers.

The Norfolk District plays a vital role rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure through overseas contingency operations, or OCO. Employees from Norfolk District, ranging from engineers, analysts, project managers, architects and support staff volunteer for deployments for six- and 12-month periods. They are improving ports, repairing more than 35 bridges, dredging, providing electricity, building the first-ever water treatment facility, rebuilding airports, police stations and housing throughout the country. It's just a handful of the more than 4,800 reconstruction projects the Gulf Region District has completed.

Walter Kloth, a 23-year-old geographic information system technician and youngest Norfolk District volunteer to deploy, spent six months in Iraq last year.

"Before leaving, I thought I would be surrounded by miles of desert, ducking into buildings to avoid the random sand storm … (I was) mentally preparing myself to work ten-plus-hour days, seven days a week," Kloth said. "It was nothing like I had envisioned."

The Virginia Beach native worked in the northern province of Kabul – a higher elevated region - grass, trees, terrain with goat herders and lots of rose bushes, he said. Kloth, along with the other volunteers, lived in a prefabricated metal container - roughly the size of an 8x36 box with air conditioning. In his spare time he played cards and watched movies on his personal laptop - an essential travel item that broke up the "Groundhog Day" feeling, he said.

His daily routine consisted of using GIS as integrated hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

"Simply put, GIS gives you a birds-eye view of the terrain to support construction, installation of pipes and other infrastructure elements. It provides an intricate part of the framework for planning," Kloth said. 

Kloth is just one of many who have helped breathe life into a damaged and disintegrating infrastructure. Upgraded warehouses, silos, and other facilities have been built and are re-employing more than 3,500 workers at Umm Qasr, Iraqi's main port. Other projects include dredging the port 33 feet deeper and removing unexploded ordnance and other sunken obstacles. By early June 2009, the channel was deep enough to allow ships carrying 15,000 metric tons of food to unload.

"It's important and satisfying to know we are making a difference in the lives of people … and that goes far beyond building infrastructure to sharing knowledge of engineering, construction management, and business practices. The Corps team continues to make a lasting impact," said Maj. David A. Fedroff, Norfolk District deputy commander and the district's OCO program manager. 

To date, more than 100 Norfolk District employees have deployed to Iraq and/or Afghanistan since 2004.

Norfolk District has a little more than400 people, and about two percent of the team deploys at any given time to support overseas contingency operations, said Jan VanHouten, an emergency management specialist and the coordinator for OCO.

"The Corps is one of the few organizations that have the capability to design and build the infrastructure of a country, and it started when we provided humanitarian assistance by building tent cities in the Balkans in the late nineties" VanHouten said."Our mission has definitely evolved and our successes and contribution in Iraq and Afghanistan are evidence of our ongoing efforts."

It's also an organization where employees like Kloth are committed to the mission.

"Most people ask me, 'Why would you want to go there and do what you do?' and I ask them, 'Why not?'" Kloth said.

The Gulf Region District team has completed $7.8 billion in reconstruction projects.  In addition to the more than 4,800 reconstruction projects completed, 261 projects are in progress and 27 projects are being planned, according to a 2009 GAO report.
Chincoteague dredging start delayed05 Maret 2011 2:4503/03/2011 - CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — Dredging of the Chincoteague Inlet federal navigation channel originally scheduled to start March 6 is delayed until March 9 due to dredging operations in North Carolina.

"The Coast Guard requested  the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Dredge Currituck  remove severely shoaled portions of  Oregon Inlet in North Carolina so they could execute their rescue missions before it moved on to its next job at Chincoteague, Va.," said Christopher Frabotta, dredging project manager with the Corps' Wilmington District.

Annual scheduled maintenance dredging of the Chincoteague Inlet federal navigation channel will remove about 100,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand keeping  it open and safe for commercial and recreational watercraft.

The dredge should not interfere with boaters navigating the channel. The Currituck, scheduled to be onsite for 21 days, will work around-the-clock to remove the potential hazards from the channel.

The sand the dredge collects from the project will be placed just offshore of NASA's Wallops Island facility.

The Chincoteague Inlet is the gateway to the largest commercial port on the Eastern Shore, handling more than 3,000 vessels a year, including U.S. Coast Guard vessels. The annual project was approved in 1972 by the chief of engineers under the authority of Section 107 of the River and Harbor act of July 14, 1960.
District, National Park Service preserves 'natural beauty' of historical park05 Maret 2011 2:3003/04/2011 - NORFOLK — Each year, more than three million people make the pilgrimage to Colonial National Historical Park to experience the well-preserved and iconic 18th century beginning and end of English Colonial America, and the birthplace of American democracy.

Over the years and behind the scenes, the National Park Service has teamed with Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to complete a variety of environmental repair and restoration projects to conserve Colonial's scenic beauty and natural and historic objects for the enjoyment and education of future generations.

Now they're teaming up to assemble a project delivery team through an interagency agreement to design and construct a combination of shoreline structures and marsh protection in four sections of the York River at the Colonial National Historical Park. It's where Mother Nature continues to exact a heavy toll on the bluffs and shoreline of the venerable York River.

"The National Park Service, including Colonial National Historical Park, has benefited from the expertise of the Norfolk District for many years," said Lilly Hardin, project manager for NPS' Denver Service Center. "Their level of support and understanding has ensured that the park's cultural and archeological resources will be protected for future generations. This latest project will ensure that the scenic beauty of the York River and the historic culture of Colonial Parkway will both be preserved."

Design and construction funding for the York River Shoreline Stabilization project totals $6.2 million, which includes $738,000 to perform specified emergency construction. For the remaining project, the team will initially complete a 30 percent design of the entire 4.1 mile shoreline repair, and then a 100 percent design for the emergency repair portions of the project.  

Norfolk District will provide construction contracting and management for the emergency construction under the current agreement.

Cara Sydnor, project manager and biologist at Norfolk District, is leading the restoration and repair project.  The Omaha, Neb. native has served seven years with Norfolk District and said she feels uniquely qualified to lead this restoration and repair project, which will begin later this year, because of her background in biology and love for the natural environment.

"My work in wetlands preservation, riverbank restoration and waterway management has helped me really understand the forces – artificial and natural – that degrade our nation's amazing natural beauty. Preserving a portion of that natural beauty, especially at Colonial National Historical Park, is a dream project for any biologist," Sydnor said.

The NPS has managed Colonial National Historical Park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, since the early 1930s. The park covers about 15 square miles and is centered on a peninsula between the York and James rivers, in southeastern Virginia. The park offers pilgrims a scenic 23-mile Colonial Parkway that meanders through the three points of Virginia's Historic Triangle: Jamestown, Yorktown Battlefield and the historic district of Colonial Williamsburg.

Norfolk District has completed a variety of preservation and restoration projects at the park.  Some of those projects have included the stabilization of key sections of the Jamestown Island shoreline; the rehabilitation of the centuries-old Wormley Pond Dam in Yorktown; and completed in 2007, the Emergency York River Shoreline Repair and Protection Project.

Restoration project team to update public on Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot cleanup02 Maret 2011 1:2003/01/2011 - SUFFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites the public to its initial 2011 quarterly meeting of the Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot Restoration Advisory Board on March 3, from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5921 Harbour View Boulevard in Suffolk, Va.

This RAB public meeting serves as the main forum for public discussion of Corps remediation progress at the 975-acre former ordnance depot. FNOD was placed on the EPA's National Priorities List in 1999.

Meeting topics will include status reports on the following:

 Project update
 Technical team update
 Public affairs community outreach


The FNOD RAB was established in 1997, as the main forum for community citizens to directly provide input on the cleanup effort at the formerly used defense site. Project team members available at each RAB meeting include: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA.

The restoration advisory board is also comprised of community members, local business representatives, local and state officials and the Tidewater Community College Real Estate Foundation, Inc.

Additional project information: http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Library/Factsheets/FNOD/
Corps keeps channel clear for vessels at Chincoteague02 Maret 2011 0:3002/23/2011 - CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin annual scheduled maintenance dredging of the Chincoteague Inlet federal navigation channel March 6 to keep the channel open and safe for commercial and recreational watercraft.

The Corps Dredge Currituck will remove about 100,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand that's creating shoals in the channel and could present a hazard to local commercial and recreational boaters.

The dredge should not interfere with boaters navigating the channel. The Currituck, scheduled to be onsite for 21 days, will work around-the-clock to remove the potential hazards from the channel.

"We work very closely with the local boating community to ensure our operations have little to no impact on their abilities to transit through the channel; however, boaters do need to be especially aware around the dredge and remain clear while they are working," said Gregg Williams, the Norfolk District project manager for the dredging.   

The sand the dredge collects from the project will be placed just offshore of NASA's Wallops Island facility.

The Chincoteague Inlet is the gateway to the largest commercial port on the Eastern Shore, handling more than 3,000 vessels a year, including U.S. Coast Guard vessels. The annual project was approved in 1972 by the chief of engineers under the authority of Section 107 of the River and Harbor act of July 14, 1960.
Engineers defend fort against time, tide25 Februari 2011 4:30
                Video, QuickTime Movie - 20 Mb
                The Battle of Fort Norfolk: Engineers keep nature from doing what England couldn't25 Februari 2011 4:2502/24/2011 - FORT NORFOLK, Va. — If Fort Norfolk's wall could speak, it might have just groaned after the December's nor'easter.

The more than 200-year-old fort stymied the British during the War of 1812 when it prevented a war fleet from capturing the USS Constellation. During the Civil War, the fort loaded the Confederate's ironclad, the CSS Virginia, with munitions before it rumbled with the Monitor. Over time, wind pushed on its tired wall, water bullied the bricks and portions of the wall's outer layer – the veneer – were starting to lean like the Tower of Pisa.

In short, Fort Norfolk's wall was showing its age.

And for the last standing harbor-front fort authorized by President George Washington, that means a facelift.

So on a recent February day, contractors put in the last few rows of bricks as the wind whipped off the Elizabeth River. Workers iced each red brick with mortar before carefully tapping them level on the wall as 400-pound white capstones lay a few yards away in the grass – as the originals, they would be replaced when the work was done.

Craig Jones, a project manager at Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is a liaison to the Norfolk Historical Society. He helped coordinate the repairs, as the district is responsible for keeping the fort, which is on its federal property, from crumbling into obscurity.

"We're trying to maintain the integrity of the wall," Jones said.

That's an uphill battle for a wall as old as Fort Norfolk's. The first bulwark was earthen with wooden supports. It wasn't until 1810, when war with England became inevitable, that it got the masonry-upgrade. Even then, the wall was a "dry stack:" bricks were laid without cement, without anything to bond the bricks together. It was a tactical advantage when it came to cannon-ball blasts against the wall: bricks in the wall would shift to absorb the impact.  A previous repair from 30 years ago had fixed the aging veneer, but hadn't tied it to the existing brick.

Contractor Mike Gianizero and his crew demolished part of the failing outer veneer before putting down a layer of modern brick that matched the look of the older masonry. He thinks that water was trapped behind the brick, and as the water froze and expanded over the years, it pushed the brick out.

That's one hypothesis.

Leonard Mule, structural section supervisor at Norfolk District, said it's possible that suction along the wall may have contributed to its failure, especially if there was already a weakness in the bulwark. The law of physics says when wind blows along a surface, it causes suction. It's the same high-pressure principle that keeps airplanes aloft.

No one will know for sure unless the historical society sends out an archeologist to oversee a renovation of the wall – an excavation that would lead to a full-blown archeological dig. But the wall repairs aren't that, so the major source of the wall's suffering remains a mystery for now.

What does a facelift like that cost these days?  About $43,000, according to Christian Brumm, a civil engineer supervisor at Norfolk District. That price tag is about five times the cost of a real facelift, but it's a real deal in terms of the square footage operated on: more than 600 square feet of veneer was replaced. That included soil anchors, a welded-wire mesh system for lateral stability and a whitewash.  The Corps footed the bill for the work, and had the blessing of the Norfolk Historical Society.

The repairs are on time for next year's 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

"It's critically important that we take care of [the wall] so that the rest of the country gets the benefit of this historic gem," said Louis Guy, former president of the Norfolk Historical Society and an expert on Fort Norfolk. "It's a vital element to the celebration next year."

This wasn't the first and it won't be the last time the wall – or the fort – goes under the hammer for work.  Because of its age, repairs like this are normal, Jones said.

Candy Michener's 'old school' approach key to Fort Lee BRAC success24 Februari 2011 1:2502/23/2011 - FORT LEE, Va. — If you've ever visited a military installation in Virginia, you might have walked by one of Candace "Candy" Michener's creations.

She's amassed a collection of "cradle to grave" design and construction projects over the course of a 26-plus year career as a project and resident engineer with Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Her repertoire includes soldier and airmen barracks, dining facilities, hospitals, dental clinics, gyms, family housing, child development centers, commissaries, indoor and outdoor training facilities and much more.

Despite her stockpile of experience, Michener admits she was nervous when the call came for her to join the staff of the Fort Lee Base Realignment and Closure Area Office, which was established to handle more than one billion dollars in new construction projects.

When President George W. Bush signed the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act in 2005, he set into motion a military construction transformation that would totally change the landscape of Fort Lee. By fall 2011, the Army installation near Richmond, Va., will have completed 35 BRAC infrastructure projects to accommodate more than 22,000 troops, installation employees and family members – nearly double its 2005 military population.

It wasn't the number of construction projects Michener and her team had to manage that gave her pause, but the swift pace of work involved in fulfilling the BRAC process by fall 2011, said Michener.

"We began BRAC 05 construction in fall 2007, using an accelerated construction timeline," Michener said. "To meet this timeline, our team has had to stay focused and disciplined every day – on each project – to ensure we successfully complete our BRAC mission by 2011."

To meet the looming 2011 deadline, Norfolk District used an innovative contract award process that sped up project delivery time by making one qualified contractor responsible for the project's design and construction, said Debora Gray, chief of Contracting Office's Military Branch.

Michener has completed five BRAC 05 military construction projects and is currently working her last three, with one being a consolidated troop medical/dental clinic, one of only a handful in the Army inventory. It's part of the BRAC Ordnance Center and School, which sits on 380 acres and resembles a college campus. Known as Fort Lee North, the campus is comprised of five barracks, 10 training bays and one of the largest dining facilities in the Army, and 4,500 advanced individual training students and their instructors. The state-of-the-art troop medical/dental facility is set for completion in May.

"This is really a neat project. It combines a wide variety of medical and dental services, including in-house medical laboratories and a dental fabrication unit, so the students can receive timely medical and dental treatment at just one medical facility," Michener said.

Greg Hegge, chief of Norfolk District's Fort Lee Projects Branch, had nothing but praise for the work accomplished by the Fort Lee BRAC Area team.

"So many factors contribute to the success of each construction project here, but it's the men and women in the field who are the true heroes of the battle," said Hegge. "Each day they work tirelessly, even through holidays, to administer these construction contracts. It is only through their dedicated efforts that we deliver these quality projects on time, within budget and environmentally sound and safe for soldiers and their families."

Michener came to Norfolk District after serving with the Corps' Huntington District for two-plus years, and as a resident engineer here, she supervises the project construction staff. Michener, a West Milford, W.Va. native, is also the go-to for technical advice regarding the project's design, construction, contract administration, and issuing of contract modifications.

Michener's recipe for project success is admittedly "old school," but she stressed the importance of always keeping it simple and never losing sight of the big picture.

"Take extra effort that the roof doesn't leak and the mechanical systems heat and cool properly, and that all the special systems the customer needs to operate and train are functional," Michener said. "Get that done on time and you should have a successful project."  
President's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Civil Works released15 Februari 2011 2:15
Contact:

Gene Pawlik 202-761-7690

Eugene.A.Pawlik@usace.army.mil

Doug Garman 202-761-1807

Doug.M.Garman@usace.army.mil

Pamela K. Spaugy 757-201-7059

Pamela.K.Spaugy@usace.army.mil

02/14/2011 - Washington — The President's Budget for fiscal year 2012 (FY12) includes $4.631 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, offset in part by a proposal to cancel $57 million of prior year funding, of which $35 million was provided through an emergency supplemental appropriation.

The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, said, "This year's Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the Administration's priorities through targeted investments in the nation's infrastructure that help restore the environment and revitalize the economy, while also reflecting the need to make the tough choices necessary to put the country on a fiscally sustainable path.

"This is a performance-based budget that funds the construction of projects that reduce risk to public safety, provide significant environmental restoration benefits, or provide significant economic returns on the nation's investment," said Darcy.
The Army Civil Works program additionally contributes to the protection of the nation's waters and wetlands; the restoration of certain sites contaminated as a result of the nation's early atomic weapons development program; and emergency preparedness and training to respond to natural disasters.

This budget includes $51,373,000 for the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of Norfolk District projects in the three main civil works mission areas: commercial navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction and aquatic ecosystem restoration.

Norfolk District projects include:

The Atlantic Coastal Waterway (operations, $1,742.000)
The Atlantic Coastal Waterway (operation of the Dismal Swamp Canal, $1,156,000)
Chincoteague Inlet (maintenance, $600,000)
Gathright Dam and Lake Moomaw (operations, $2,253,000)
Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Newport News Harbors/drift removal (maintenance, $1,048,000)
Hampton Roads/prevention of obstructive deposits (operations, $75,000)
Inspection of completed works (operations, $230,000)
James River Channel (operations, $175,000; maintenance, $4,188,000)
Chowan River ($124,000, reconnaissance)
Lynnhaven River Basin (preconstruction engineering and design, $300,000)
Norfolk Harbor and Channels, Craney Island (construction, $27,400,000)
Norfolk Harbor (operations, $526,000; maintenance, $10,524,000)
Project Condition Surveys (operations, $832,000)
Upper Rappahannock River Basin Comprehensive (feasibility, $200,000)


New federal funding in the Corps' Civil Works budget consists of $3.753 billion from the general fund, $758 million from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, $77 million from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, and $43 million from Special Recreation User Fees.

The FY12 funding will be distributed among the appropriation accounts as follows:

$2.314 billion for Operation and Maintenance
$1.48 billion for Construction
$210 million for Mississippi River and Tributaries
$196 million for the Regulatory Program
$185 million for Expenses
$109 million for the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program
$104 million for Investigations
$27 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies
$6 million for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works


Non-federal partners are expected to make approximately $540 million in cost-sharing contributions to the Rivers and Harbors Contributed Funds in FY12. Additionally, $15 million in Federal Permanent Appropriations will be available to USACE in FY12, and $85 million will be available from the Coastal Wetlands Restoration Trust Fund for the work of several of the Federal agencies including the Corps, overseen by an interagency Federal-State task force led by the Corps.

The FY12 Budget funds capital investments in the inland waterways based on the estimated revenues to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.  Among coastal navigation projects, the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) program gives priority to the harbors and channels with the most commercial traffic.  The Budget also funds maintenance work at harbors that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence, or public transportation benefits, although at a lower total level than in prior years.

In connection with the FY12 Budget, the Administration proposes changes in the way federal navigation activities are funded.  The Administration will work with Congress to reform the laws governing the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to support increased investments in safe, reliable, highly cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable inland waterways, while ensuring that commercial navigation users meet their share of the costs of activities financed from this trust fund.  The Budget proposes to increase revenues paid by commercial navigation users sufficiently to meet their share of the costs of activities financed from this trust fund in future years. In addition, legislation will be proposed to expand the authorized uses of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund so that its receipts are available to finance the federal share of efforts carried out by several agencies in support of commercial navigation through the nation's ports.

The FY12 O&M program is funded at $2.445 billion, including $131 million in the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) account.  The Budget emphasizes performance of existing projects by focusing on the maintenance of key commercial navigation, flood and storm damage reduction, and other facilities.

The FY12 construction program is funded at $1.558 billion, including $78 million in the MR&T account.  The construction program uses objective, performance-based guidelines to allocate funding toward the highest performing economic, environmental, and public safety investments.  The priorities of the Corps' aquatic ecosystem restoration program are coordinated with, and informed by, interagency collaboration to restore nationally significant ecosystems including the California Bay Delta, Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf Coast.

The Budget funds 92 construction projects, consisting of 10 dam safety assurance, seepage control, and static instability correction projects (includes one project completion); 20 projects ranked on the basis of life-saving benefits; two additional project completions; two new starts; and 58 other continuing projects.

By program area, the 92 funded construction projects consist of 55 Flood and Storm Damage Reduction projects (three budgeted for completion), 16 Commercial Navigation projects (including five continuing mitigation items and four dredged material placement areas), 19 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration projects (including three projects to meet Biological Opinions), and mitigation associated with two Hydropower projects.

Among the ongoing construction projects in the FY12 Budget are: the South Florida ecosystem restoration program, which includes the Everglades ($163 million); Olmsted Locks and Dam, IL & KY ($150 million); Wolf Creek Dam, Lake Cumberland, KY, seepage control ($132 million); Columbia River Fish Mitigation, WA, OR & ID ($128 million); Herbert Hoover Dike, FL, seepage control ($85 million); Center Hill Lake, TN ($79 million); Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Recovery, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND & SD ($73 million); Bluestone Lake, WV ($70 million); and New York and New Jersey Harbor, NY & NJ ($65 million) .
The three construction projects funded for completion in the FY12 Budget are: Crookston, MN ($1.25 million), Dover Dam, OH ($5 million), and Santa Paula Creek, CA ($2.1 million).

The FY12 construction program includes two high-priority new construction starts: Hamilton City, CA ($8 million), and Raritan to Sandy Hook (Port Monmouth), NJ ($3 million).

The FY12 Budget includes funding for both initial construction of projects to reduce storm damage along the coast and periodic renourishment of such projects.  The FY12 program supports 10 such projects, of which three are initial construction and seven are periodic renourishment.

The Budget funds activities for large-scale ecosystems including the California Bay Delta, Chesapeake Bay, Columbia River, Everglades, Great Lakes, Louisiana Coast, Missouri River, and Upper Mississippi River.  The Corps will continue to work with other federal, state and local agencies, using the best available science and adaptive management, to protect and restore these ecosystems.  Environmental sustainability of these ecosystems also helps to support positive economic growth in the surrounding communities.

The FY12 Budget provides $50 million ($46 million in O&M account and $4 million in Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (FCCE)) for a comprehensive levee safety initiative to help ensure that federal levees are safe and to assist non-federal parties to address safety issues with their levees.  The initiative includes funding for ongoing work on the National Levee Inventory Program as well as for the Silver Jackets interagency teams. 

The FY12 Regulatory Program is funded at $196 million.  With these funds, USACE will continue to protect the nation's waters and wetlands, improve compliance with and enforcement of wetlands regulations, and improve permitting processes.

The FY12 FUSRAP program is funded at $109 million to continue remedial activities at 22 sites.

The FY12 Investigations account is funded at $104 million.  The Budget includes four new studies: Englebright and Daguerre Point Dams (Yuba River) Fish Passage, CA; Cano Martin Pena, PR; the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan; and the Louisiana Coastal Area Comprehensive Study.   Funding is also included for the Water Resources Priorities Study, a high-priority evaluation of the nation's vulnerability to inland and coastal flooding and of the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of existing programs and strategies.

Emergency Management is funded at $34 million in FY12, with $27 million in the FCCE account for preparedness and training to respond to floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, and $7 million in the O&M account.  The FCCE funding includes Corps participation in an expansion of Silver Jackets interagency teams to every state to provide unified federal assistance in implementing flood risk management solutions.

Recreation is funded at $259 million in FY12, with $247 million in the O&M account and $12 million in the MR&T account.  USACE is the nation's largest provider of federal recreation opportunities, and its recreation areas contribute to the success of the Administration's Great Outdoors Initiative.
With help, urban cats keep digs at Fort Norfolk10 Februari 2011 23:5502/10/2011 - FORT NORFOLK, Va. — In 1923, historic Fort Norfolk became the home of Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which started out with 27 employees.

But those first employees were not alone.

Urban feral cats roamed the 19th century stronghold, one of the best preserved War of 1812-era military fortresses in the United States. And while no one knows their exact number, stories passed down by employees over the years put the numbers of feral cats as high as 100.

A few employees would volunteer their time and resources to feed and look out for the cats; some cats were adopted by employees. But there was no formal program to manage and control their population.

That changed in 1992 when the district formed an all-volunteer Feral Cat Management Program. At that time there were 62 feral cats, including a few strays.

The FCMP is a trap/neuter/return program (TNR).  Each cat is caught in a humane trap and taken to a veterinarian to be examined, neutered, inoculated and given any necessary treatment. The veterinarian clips or notches the cat's ear tip to indicate that the cat has been altered. The cat is then returned to Fort Norfolk to live its feral life.

The FCMP provides food, water and shelter as well as veterinary care, which includes all   necessary vaccinations and testing and treatment for feline diseases. Norfolk District's program is modeled after Alley Cat Allies' TNR Program, a nonprofit national network that links caretakers and helps educate the public on the humane management of feral cat populations.

The FCMP is funded through the district's Corps Cat Fund, which consists solely of volunteer donations. The program has all but eliminated the conception and birth of new kittens and over time has significantly reduced the cat population. The eight cats that remain in the program live in a safe, healthy environment.

"The cats here are an integral part of the urban wildlife scene at Fort Norfolk, and they are beneficial to the environment," said Lane Killam, one of the original Norfolk District FCMP caretakers. "Fort Norfolk is located on the Elizabeth River, and the feral cats help control the rodent population. They are generally leery of humans and non-aggressive."

The eight feral cats at Fort Norfolk, with names like Yoda, Mackie, M.J., Mr. Blackie, Maxie, Honey, Bear and Prissy, have become somewhat social with their FCMP caretakers.

"I grew up on a farm with cats in a very cat-loving family," said Betty Waring, who has fed the ferals here since the 1980s. "It has been one of my greatest pleasures to take care of these wonderful animals over the years. When I arrive at work each morning, the cats run to greet me with their tails up high. Their love is unconditional, which matches that of our great group of caretakers here."

Each feral cat has its own unique personality and some are real characters, Killam said.

In 2001, Mackie won the Alley Cat Allies' Photo Contest, and her likeness was featured on a syndicated cartoon strip. And Bubba, who recently died, had a video posted on YouTube, "It's All About Bubba," which was produced by FCMP caretaker John H. Newton.

Sometimes stray or abandoned cats show up at Fort Norfolk, like one that the FCMP group found and named Jimmy Kat. Longtime caretaker Anita Bradshaw said caretakers bring cats like Jimmy Kat to the veterinarian for a health check, and then find them a loving home.

The Norfolk District caregivers found a new home for Jimmy Kat a few weeks before Christmas.

 "I love each of these cats as though they were my own, and when we lose one, it hurts just as much," Bradshaw said. "I'm a true believer in our program. If a feral cat colony is managed correctly, the population can be controlled in a humane way."

Corps efforts offer new hope for oysters, environment09 Februari 2011 0:3502/08/2011 - The native American oyster – diseased, overfished and languishing in dismal water – couldn't ask for a better friend than David Schulte.

During the hot and humid summer months when sun bathers line the white sandy beaches and stroll along the Virginia Beach boardwalk, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers more than 20 years ago, Schulte douses himself with sunscreen, puts on his trademark straw hat, white cotton tank shirt and shorts, and spends the day going from oyster sanctuary to oyster sanctuary, measuring the size of oysters and gathering underwater imagery of the reefs built since 2004.  In the winter, as swirling winds and temperatures dip to 30-degrees, the Midland, Pa. native is bundled up and on the water checking the reefs and thinking of innovative ways to naturally enhance the population of oysters.

Schulte, a marine biologist at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is turning a barren portion of the Great Wicomico and Lynnhaven Rivers into blossoming oyster reefs, teeming with healthy oysters.

But the shuck doesn't stop there: he has set his sights on the Painkatank River and its potential to become the next Wicomico. 

The oyster population in the Chesapeake is estimated to be less than one percent of its size during the 19th century, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  Over time, overfishing, pollution, destruction of habitat and, most recently, disease ravaged the oyster population.

Oysters are a key species for the bay's health because they act as a filter, improving water quality.  Chesapeake's historic oyster population could filter the Bay's volume every three or four days. Today's oyster population would take more than a year to filter the same amount of water, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. 

The filtration process is significant to the water and aquatic life – it consumes algae, clarifies the water, helps bay grasses thrive and reduces shoreline loss.  Fish and crabs hide in the small crevices and holes created by the oysters and shells that make up the reef.

The Norfolk District became involved with native oyster restoration in 1999.  The first two projects, in the lower Rappahannock River and the Tangier Sound, were designed to help the commercial oyster fishery. The project's mediocre success required the Corps to go back to the drawing board. The Corps' new strategy became geared toward ecological restoration: developing self-sustaining oyster populations on restored reefs.

With that in mind, Schulte and the U.S. Army Corps Lynnhaven Oyster Restoration Project Team set out restore the reefs and built them to mimic the historical high reef structure from the 1800's, Schulte said.

The vertical design worked, Schulte said.  Previous reef construction required a thin shell layer a few inches thick on the bottom. The new blueprint called for a minimum reef height of 12 inches, simulating historic oyster reefs. The goal was to populate tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay with protected reefs. The hope then was for a process called recruitment.

During recruitment, oyster adults spawn on the reefs and release tiny larvae into the water. The larvae drift in the water for up to three weeks, looking for a new home. With the primitive eye and foot they develop near the end of their larval phase, they're looking for prime real estate: a hard object, preferably another oyster, to settle on. 

"Once they 'set' the baby oyster loses its foot and eye, never to move again, transforming into a tiny version of what we see on our plates when we order oysters on the half-shell," Schulte said. 

Creating larger oyster populations for water purification increases fishery stocks for watermen, which means more revenue for the approximately 1,800 full-time watermen left standing after the bay's decline. 

Ken Smith, president of the Virginia Waterman's Association, said deterioration of the Chesapeake Bay's health took its toll on watermen.  About 5,000 watermen used to work the bay, but when the tides changed, they were forced to find other work, said Smith.

"It was good living when I started, and in the mid 80's, that changed," he said. "I make half of what I used to bring home and the decline is a direct reflection of the health of the Chesapeake Bay … We stopped having fish in those areas; they were dead zones."

The Corps partnered with the VMRC and Virginia Institute of Marine Science to revive the fading oyster population and increase recruitment in Chesapeake Bay tributaries, and constructed the first Wicomico River reefs in 2004. Starting with the Wicomico reef habitat, Schulte and his team decided to focus on a tributary-by-tributary fashion, starting with small, tidally retentive systems most likely to provide oyster recruits for restored reef habitat.  One of the goals of the Great Wicomico River oyster restoration project was to increase local recruitment, and thus, the population.

In just a few years, the team's efforts paid off.  The adult oyster population on remnant habitats – former reef bases that were dormant and covered with silt and algae – were now home to baby oysters from protected reefs, and the oyster population had increased from 630,000 to 13.80 million by 2008. The adult oyster population on the restored habitat was 119.20 million in 2007 and was about the same in 2008 – in 2004, there was not a single mollusk on the habitat.

Schulte said the team was successful, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission moved some of the Great Wicomico recruits, or "seed" oysters, to areas for later harvest, while leaving the sanctuaries alone to produce still more recruits in the future.

"The restored reefs are now performing better than we could have hoped," Schulte said. "The tides have changed – both for watermen and the recruitment of oysters,"

Smith, the 40-year waterman who has worked the northern neck of the Wicomico, Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and tributaries,  believed that if the bay was clean, nature would take care of the rest. For Smith, seeing is believing.

"Now there is grass growing there that we haven't seen in years …" Smith said about Glee Point at the northern neck of the Wicomico. "Oysters are piling up on the rip-rap, pilings, rocks along the shoreline – I attribute it to the recruitment from the Corps' reefs."

During a recent trip to the Lynnhaven, Schulte measured oysters six- to eight-inches long on protected reefs. The average oyster ranges from three- to-four inches. Oysters on the restored reefs in the Great Wicomico are measuring up to six-inches and longer after six years of reef growth, Schulte said.  Disease killed some of the oysters, but many survived and new baby oysters, called "spat," have recruited to the reefs in large numbers. This should allow the reefs to continue to be a home for many millions of oysters, Schulte said.

"That's amazing and it shows us that it is only going to get better," he said.

The Corps protects thousands of oysters with aquaculture netting, which is part of an anti-predator experiment. These oysters and larger shell reefs built in 2007 and 2008 are thriving at several sites in the river.  Early monitoring is showing some of the restored reefs are on a track similar to the older Great Wicomico high-relief reefs.

The findings from Wicomico, which have been published recently in the journal Science, indicate that the restoration project resulted in a 57-fold increase in the Great Wicomico oyster population and is currently the largest restored oyster reef network in the world.  Adult oyster densities are averaging about 700 per square meter of reef, with about 300 young oysters, called "spat," adding up to about 1,000 oysters per square meter of high relief reefs. These densities have never before recorded in the modern-day Chesapeake Bay.  The oysters are all from wild recruitment, not planted "spat-on-shell." 

"This is the first time the Chesapeake Bay Program goal of a 10-fold increase in native oysters has been met in any location, and we exceeded it by almost six times," said Col. Andy Backus, commander of the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the project for the federal government. 

"I have seen first-hand the positive ecological impact this project has had. We hope to increase the existing Lynnhaven River from fifty to sixty acres of reefs to one hundred acres and do additional plantings of spat-on-shell baby oysters on some of the restored reefs," Backus said.

The Corps, Lynnhaven River Now and the City of Virginia Beach, with the endorsement of the Commonwealth of Virginia, were instrumental in  overlooking and continuing the efforts once the U.S. Army Corps Lynnhaven Oyster Restoration Project started, Schulte said.

Schulte and the U.S. Army Corps Lynnhaven Oyster Restoration Project Team received the Coastal America Partnership Award in 2009 for their innovative and successful ongoing efforts to restore and protect the coastal environment, specifically, the Native American Oyster, in the Lynnhaven River.

But this doesn't mean Schulte will spend a lot of time sitting idle - he can usually be found on the waters of the Great Wicomico, Lynnhaven and canvassing the Painkatank River as a potential site as research and solutions continue. 

Did you know?

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is approximately 64,000 square miles. The Lynnhaven basin is about 64 square miles and in many ways is a microcosm of the Chesapeake Bay.  The watershed is heavily urbanized, and much of the original forested areas and a sizeable portion of the wetlands, which once lined the river, is now lost. In the 1890's, James Baylor, who surveyed all of Virginia's oyster grounds, called Baylor Grounds,  delineated 986 acres of public oyster grounds in the Lynnhaven River, specifically in Broad Bay, Linkhorn Bay, Crystal Lake and Lynnhaven Bay.
By the mid-1970s the natural oyster reefs in the Lynnhaven River were essentially gone except for a few scattered patches, less than one acre in size.
All of the Lynnhaven River's waters were closed to shellfish harvest of any sort due to high bacteria levels in the water.  However, the Corps considered the river a good candidate site based on several factors: the history of high oyster recruitment in the river, its once-extensive oyster beds and the high-density remnant oyster population where the Corps found more than 1,000 oysters per square meter of stone rip-rap along shorelines.  The Corps estimated there were 10 million to 20 million oysters, scattered mostly on rip-rap and along marsh edges throughout the Lynnhaven River system, prior to the proposed Corps reefs.  Some of the adults were observed at 5 to 7 inches in length, which indicated the wild Lynnhaven oyster had significant resistance to the diseases MSX and Dermo. Both diseases typically kill native oysters when they are 1 to 2.5 inches in length. 
The Corps first proposed the Lynnhaven River as a potential restoration site in 2003 and planning began in 2004.  Several small reefs were built in the river prior to the planning, but due to their design and placement, had not done well.  By consulting with physical oceanographers and using a hydrodynamic model, the Corps determined that the design of the prior reefs caused them to trap excessive amounts of sediment and their locations were not ideal for receiving or providing oyster larvae.
The Corps used the hydrodynamic model to help place the Corps-built reefs in better locations.  The Corps also found and used historic information about Baylor Grounds in the Lynnhaven River. The information was lost for many years after the Commonwealth of Virginia removed all Baylor, or public, oyster grounds managed by the state and surrendered them to private industry.
The reefs were built in two stages during 2007 and 2008.  The City of Virginia Beach provided funding for spat on shell: a hatchery bred wild Lynnhaven strain oysters, "set" the resulting larvae on shells in the hatchery and then planted on several Corps-built reefs identified as being "source reefs." These reefs, once mature oysters are on them, will provide oyster larvae to most areas throughout the Lynnhaven River system. This spat on shell amounted to more than 5,000 bushels of baby oysters, numbering more than 10 million planted oysters on the corps "source" reefs.
Currently, 60 million to 90 million oysters live on Corps reefs.  Many of these survived disease and grew to a large size, especially the City of Virginia Beach spat on shell, some of which are up to 6 inches long now.  The Corps plans to construct more reefs and plant more spat on shell, increasing oyster recruitment throughout the river. The Corps is in the process of building about 40 more acres of reefs over the next few years and hopes to exceed 200 million oysters in the Lynnhaven River.

District aids Richmond's stormwater management project; improves health of Chesapeake Bay04 Februari 2011 1:2502/03/2011 - NORFOLK — When rain falls on Richmond, runoff is inevitable.

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