It’s Time to Bring Back Earmarks 

It’s Time to Bring Back Earmarks  by Howard Marlowe    It has been nearly eight years since Congress gave away control over spending.  Next January when the new House of Representatives meets to adopt its rules, it can correct that mistake by striking its “temporary” ban on congressionally-directed-funding, or earmarks.  Since 2008, Congress has only once passed a few funding bills on time, and the Congressional Civility…

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Back to the Future

History is about the present.  Think about it.  People had to live their lives centuries ago just like you do today.  Food, shelter, and safety were their concerns, as well as yours.   In the early 1800’s, they didn’t have all the comforts of daily life we take for granted today.  For example, transportation from one place to another was literally…

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The Story of Valley Park – and Why it Matters to You

Valley Park, MO – September 6, 2018 The decision process for water infrastructure projects is always driven by property values and economic return that a project will bring. That is why a single levee system was built between the Meramec river and Valley Park, MO, a city of only 3,200 people, rather than implementing over…

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Trump’s Bad Idea for the Corps

The headlines for June 21, 2018 weren’t much different from most over the past 18 months.  Immigration dominated the headlines, with the major story being the presidential decision to end the forced separation of immigrants crossing into the U.S.  It was also the day the Trump administration announced its plan for a major reorganization of parts of the Federal…

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What We Can Do to Alleviate the Shortage of Sand

Many of you have been to the beach this summer while others of you have worked in your offices.  Your play places and workplaces have one thing in common:  sand.  Last October, we highlighted the critical issue of the dwindling world supply of sand.  Recently, I’ve seen several articles on the subject, including this one…

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Sea Level Rise, or Fall?

Two men argue over sea level rise, one from Alaska, one from Alabama. The man from Alaska claims the sea level is falling while the man from Alabama claims the sea is rising. Both are correct. Many physical influences determine local sea level fluctuation. It’s a surprise to most that the surface of the ocean…

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Those Notorious March Nor’easters

The following blog post was written by Dr. Thomas Herrington, UCI Associate Director, who generously let me share his thoughts with WaterLog readers:   Back-to-back nor’easters between March 1 and 8 had many residents along the Mid-Atlantic seaboard dreading the next high tide cycle. High astronomical tides combined with the powerful cyclone that developed off…

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Let’s Get Rid of All Earmarks

I’ll bet you thought earmarks were already a thing of the past.  WRONG Most people say that the President’s budget is dead on arrival.  WRONG While Congress prohibited itself from congressionally-directed spending (aka earmarks) in 2011, they didn’t stop the President from earmarking.  I’m not talking about funding this program and not funding that one. …

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Trump’s Infrastructure Plan, and How it Could Affect You

On December 7th, the White House announced that it will release its long-awaited plan for a national infrastructure overhaul in early January.  To be clear, the plan is not a complete bill, but instead will provide a 70-page framework from which Congress can build actual legislation.  With details still to be made public, here’s what…

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Is the Planet Running out of Sand?

When you think of Earth’s dwindling supply of natural resources, a few things immediately spring to mind.  Clean air and water top the list when it comes to what we want to preserve for future generations.  There is little disagreement that forests and endangered species of animals must be protected, and then of course there’s sand… Wait, sand? …

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Perspectives on the Storms & What Happens Next

We will be recovering from Harvey and Irma for a surprisingly long time because of the size of these major storms.  They are reminders of our continued vulnerability to the ravages of strong winds and high waves, but they are also tokens of the progress we have made in developing more resilient coastal communities.  I…

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Corps Funding Bill Collides with the Wall

It seemed like a good idea to the House leadership.  Instead of shooting to get all 12 appropriations bills passed by the August recess, take the four most likely to pass, give the package a name, and go home to cheers.  Except, once again the leadership is falling all over itself trying to shoot itself…

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Alert: Water Resources Get Major Attention in DC This Week!!

Image source:  The Library of Congress Post by Howard Marlowe The photo’s a little fuzzy, but if you click on it you’ll see clearly that it’s Eleanor Roosevelt, the first presidential spouse to testify before Congress, in 1940.  Perhaps Melania Trump will show off her best fashion in a similar setting soon! It’s a big…

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This is Trump’s Infrastructure Week and It’s a Flop

By Howard Marlowe Normally, I’m not that negative.  I mean, over-the-top headlines get readers, but this one is meant to reflect my utter disappointment.  The system of representative democracy our Founders established is one that works.  I’ve seen firsthand what can be done when local and state elected officials organize to fight back against government…

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Will we have to cancel beach volleyball by 2020?

By Howard Marlowe Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer, and for Americans from all 50 states as well as the territories, that means going to the beach.  I’ll bet that more than a few of you reading this post are at the beach right now or just came back.   A few years…

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Trump Infrastructure Plan: To be or not to be?

This is the fourth in what we plan as a series of posts on what the Administration and Congress may do to address the nation’s ailing infrastructure. By Howard Marlowe This has been an amazing 100 days.  You can feel a slight breath of relief in DC right now because Congress has joined in the…

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An Open Letter to Mick Mulvaney, Director, OMB

By Howard Marlowe Dear Director Mulvaney, Congratulations on your appointment as Director of the White House Office of Budget and Management. You have been given a unique opportunity to have a voice in our nation’s fiscal management and steer our country’s financial priorities in a positive direction. As you begin your tenure at the helm…

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Coastal Advocacy in the Time of Trump

This is the third in what we plan as a series of posts on what the Administration and Congress may do to address the nation’s ailing infrastructure. By Howard Marlowe I recently spoke to the members of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) at its conference. It has been just over 20 years…

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Real action on infrastructure still waiting to be seen

This is the second in what we plan as a series of posts on what the Administration and Congress may do to address the nation’s ailing infrastructure. By Howard Marlowe Over the last week, we have seen a sudden spurt of activity in Congress on infrastructure. On February 1st, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee…

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Early cracks in Trump’s infrastructure plan

This is the first in what we plan as a series of posts on what the Administration and Congress may do to address the nation’s ailing infrastructure. By Howard Marlowe Earlier this week, a list of priority infrastructure projects of the Trump administration surfaced on the Internet. While the authenticity of the list is unclear,…

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Why Congress Must Pass WRDA Legislation Now

By Howard Marlowe As Congress comes back after weeks of electioneering, the political landscape in Washington is on the cusp of changing dramatically.  With a Republican President on January 20th and a Republican-controlled Congress on January 3rd, you would think that the lame-duck Republican-controlled Congress would prefer to put everything on hold until next year…

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Trump Won: What Does This Mean For WRDA?

By Howard Marlowe Well, to say this one was a shocker is an understatement.  The newly-elected President doesn’t take office until January 20th, and this Congress doesn’t officially expire until January 3rd.  So, for the moment, we’re looking at the same President and the same composition of Congress that has been in place for the…

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What Lies Ahead in 2017 for Water Resources?

By Howard Marlowe With the recent Senate passage of its version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, and possible House passage before the end of the year (if not by the end of this month) it’s a good time to look at what lies ahead in 2017. To do that, however, we…

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