Waterways Association of Pittsburgh earns national recognition

Coast Guard 8th District News
PITTSBURGH – The Waterways Association of Pittsburgh has been chosen as the 2010 National Harbor Safety Committee of the Year. The award is sponsored by the Coast Guard Office of Marine Transportation Systems Management in Washington, D.C., with the winner being a consensus selection of National Harbor Safety Conference organizers. The award was presented at the 2011 National Harbor Safety Conference in Houston, June 7, 2011.

In the award presentation, the WAP was cited for its profound commitment to cooperation with maritime stakeholders to achieve significant improvements to safety in the Ohio River Valley. Their success included proactive safety measures including mariner training and education, leadership of the marine community response to the severe spring/winter high water and flooding, and a commitment to partnership and education with local communities and students.

The WAP serves as an industry stakeholder advisory board to the Captain of the Port, Pittsburgh, as well as to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port of Pittsburgh. It is the means for waterways users and the government to communicate and work towards the common goals of safety, superior professional training and economic development. Moreover, it provides a forum to facilitate discussion on lessons learned from marine casualties.

Mr. Dana Goward, Coast Guard Director of Marine Transportaion Systems Management presented the award to Eunice Ratcliff, Chair of the WAP Navigation Committee. In his remarks he noted that 2011 is the 200th anniversary of the first steamboat voyage on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, which opened the heartland of America to commercial navigation. That very first voyage began in Pittsburgh and recognizing the Waterways Association of Pittsburgh in this bicentennial year was a fitting and happy coincidence.

“The WAP has a rich history going back to the 19th century of representing waterways stakeholders in the area,” said Cmdr. Richard Timme, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh. “Their expertise, counsel and enthusiasm are crucial components of a highly functioning port district in this region of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Their efforts directly contribute to increased marine safety and security on our rivers.”

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