March 2013

Congressmen William Enyart and Rodney Davis Visit America’s Central Port

Congressman Davis and Enyart at America's Central PortResponding to Southern Illinois’ extreme weather conditions – from this past year’s record drought to potential flooding this spring- the two Congressmen came to America’s Central Port to outline their bipartisan proposal to improve Mississippi River navigation.

During this discussion, Davis and Enyart highlighted how their legislation, The Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act would bolster efforts to maintain commercial river traffic during droughts and floods. They are committed to continuing efforts to protect and expand Mississippi River commerce and expand Southern Illinois preparedness to deal with extreme water levels.

The Mississippi River is a jewel of the Midwest and a true economic engine for the entire country,” said Davis. “Through the years we’ve seen what happens when we are faced with natural disasters and commerce stops on the river, it costs this area billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. I’m pleased to work with Congressman Enyart to pursue bipartisan solutions that will ensure we are better prepared in the future to minimize the impacts of droughts and floods and keep the Mississippi River open for business.”

Commerce on the Mississippi is imperative to the health and economic security of Southern Illinois,” said Enyart. “When I led response efforts as Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard to the 2011 floods, I witnessed the destruction of Southern Illinois’ families’ homes and livelihoods, and I know the challenges we face responding to extreme weather conditions. In this new role, I’m glad to be working with Congressman Davis and Senator Durbin on common-sense steps we can take to ensure that we invest in the Mississippi River and protect good jobs.”

“Any legislation to provide consistency and surety in the navigation system is welcome news—it’s time to take a comprehensive look, including the introduction of new technologies, at the management of the Mississippi River navigation system in light of the changing weather extremes we have been experiencing,” said Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director of America’s Central Port. “Much of the management of the system now is based upon what we knew when the locks and dams were built in the 30’s and 40’s. This is a great step in improving that system.”

Officials at the Port support broader efforts to protect industry and commerce on the Mississippi River. Davis and Enyart are working on developing solutions to ensure that Southern Illinois industry, America’s Central Port, and the Army Corps of Engineers can respond quickly to extreme weather events. Senator Durbin introduced the Senate version of the bill. The Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act would:

– Authorize a Greater Mississippi River Basin Extreme Weather Management Study – The legislation would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study of how to better coordinate management of the entire Mississippi River Basin – the third largest watershed in the world – during periods of extreme weather. The study would include recommendations on how to improve the management of the Basin for navigation and flood risk management, taking into account the effect the management of the entire Basin has on the Mississippi River.

– Improve Tools Used for Mississippi River Forecasting – In the recent low water levels, some manual river gauges (often painted lines on bridges) were rendered useless making surveying and dredging more difficult. This bill would add additional automated gauges and increase the use of other forecasting tools. Through better and more reliable information, industry in Southern Illinois and all up and down the Mississippi River will be able to make more informed business decisions;

– Expand Flexibility for Army Corps of Engineers: Current law prevents the Corps from responding to traffic and navigation issues outside of the authorized channel in low water situations. The legislation would grant greater authority to the Corps to provide sufficient depths in fleeting areas and maintain access to docks, loading facilities, and other critical infrastructure; and

– Create an Environmental Pilot Program: This bill will create a pilot program to enable the Corps to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat in the middle Mississippi River as they conduct navigation projects

Volunteers Needed for the 5th Annual Confluence Trash Bash on March 23

Volunteers are needed for the Fifth Annual Confluence Trash Bash on Saturday, March 23, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Make a difference in our communities by cleaning up our neighborhoods, rivers, and streams!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

8:30 (registration)
9AM – 12:00 PM (clean up)

Meet at the Waffle House Parking Lot by 9:00am
3244 West Chain of Rocks Road
Granite City, IL 62040
Lunch & Celebration to Follow


After picking up litter, volunteers can return to their starting location or join a larger group at the Old Chain or Rocks Bridge for an appreciation lunch and a chance to celebrate! Prizes will be given for interesting trash finds.

Register online for this event at:

Many sites are family friendly and volunteering is also a great opportunity for scouts to earn badges and students to earn community service hours. Lunch is provided, and prizes are awarded for best trash finds. Volunteers will receive a t-shirt for participating.

Volunteers must complete a waiver to participate. Please print out the waiver and bring it with you by going to:

Free Solar Symposium for Community Policy Makers – April 3

A free, collaborative symposium highlighting the solar energy opportunities available to governmental agencies, educational and healthcare institutions, and non-profits will be held at Southwestern Illinois College’s Sam Wolf Granite City campus on April 3rd, 2013.


Southwestern Illinois CollegeSolar Symposium for Community Policy Makers

April 3, 2013 9am-11:30am
SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus
History Room
4950 Maryville Rd.
Granite City, 62040 (map)


The Sam Wolf Granite City Campus is located one mile south of Interstate 270 at the intersection of Maryville Road and Highway 203 on the north side of Granite City.

The symposium will cover positive examples of how the investment of solar energy can:

  • Maximize funding opportunities
  • Save your community thousands of future dollars
  • Promote clean air and waterways
  • Enhance and improve your property
  • Improve the health of your community
  • And decrease your community’s GHG and carbon footprint

[icon_link url= color=gray type=icon_paper]Download Printable Brochure (PDF)[/icon_link]

This is a FREE event but registration is required to Virginia at / (618)462.6802 or Andrea at / (618)781.6868

Sustainability 101: Lunch and Learn at SWIC – April 2

A Lunch and Learn program, “A Greener You – A Greener World,” will be held at Southwestern Illinois College’s Belleville Campus on April 2nd during the lunch hour. Bring your own lunch. Drinks will be provided.

Southwestern Illinois CollegeSustainability 101: Your Actions Make a Difference!




Tuesday, April 2 from noon to 1:00 p.m.

Southwestern Illinois College
Belleville Campus
Main Complex Garden Room


Discover the positive impacts some common green practices have on Earth’s living systems, including:

  • Recycling
  • Energy efficiency
  • Nontoxic home cleaning
  • Gardening

This interactive program, presented by Jean Ponzi, green resources manager for Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center, will empower people to educate others about how to grow greener. Ponzi, a communications specialist for EarthWays Center, is an environmental educator, writer and the host of “Earthworms” on 88.1 FM, KDHX radio.

EarthWays Center, the sustainability division of Missouri Botanical Garden, promotes sustainability through environmental education in the St. Louis region.

[icon_link url= color=gray type=icon_paper]Download Printable Brochure (PDF)[/icon_link]

Learn more at and

Free Energy Management & Efficiency Trainings from IGEN – Spring 2013

With support from the Illinois Department of Commerce  and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) is offering a unique educational opportunity to learn about energy efficiency and green practices. This program, hosted by Illinois community colleges throughout the state, is designed to promote measurable energy demand reduction through education and training. Learn From National Experts:

  • Produce measurable electricity and gas savings—and save money at the same time
  • Create a culture of energy awareness by making energy efficiency a top-level priority
  • Raise the level of energy efficiency literacy

Upcoming local courses at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, IL are listed below.  Courses available at other Illinois sites can be found on the IGEN website.


Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing 3-Course Series
Training offered by Met Demand

NOTE: You may register to attend any or all of the three trainings.

  • “Effective Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices” on March 20 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  • “Introduction to Maintenance Planning and Scheduling” on April 19 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  • “Introduction to Preventive and Predictive Maintenance” on May 16 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

More information


GPRO Fundamentals of Building Green
Training offered by the U.S Green Building Council – Illinois Chapter

Those who complete the four-hour training may choose to sit for the optional certification test offered at the end of the training ($75.00).

  • April 12 (8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

More information


All trainings are offered at no charge, but space is limited and advance registration is required. For more information and to register, visit the IGEN website at:

Tri-Cities Sustainable Development Planning Meeting – Now March 7

America’s Central Port invites you to join East-West Gateway Council of Governments, FOCUS St. Louis, and 10 other regional partners for the third public meeting of the St. Louis Regional Plan for Sustainable Development’s Tri-Cities Community Planning Area (CPA).

  • In Round 1: You identified critical issues facing our community.
  • In Round 2: You identified revitalization, flooding and transit priorities.
  • In Round 3:You can provide feedback on examples created specifically for our community.

Come join us in this continuing effort to create a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development!

The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 7, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (rescheduled) at the Madison Fire House located at 1800 Third Street, Madison, IL 62060 (map).  Doors will open at 6:15 p.m.

We moved the CPA meeting to the Madison-Venice communities to give those areas an opportunity to seek out more participation. Everyone is welcome to attend — even if you were unable to attend the first two meetings.

For more information, visit the St. Louis Regional Sustainable Communities website.

[frame_box][icon_link url=”” color=”gray” type=”icon_paper”]Printable Brochure (PDF)[/icon_link][/frame_box]