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Posted 6/19/2017

Release no. 17-019

Jeff Hawk
412-713-4626 (cell)
412-395-7503 (fax)
1000 Liberty Avenue, 22nd Floor

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District announces two water safety events -- the Fixed Crest Dam Safety Summit and the Paddle Safety Lock Through. These events are designed to promote fixed-crest dam safety and safe navigation of the waterways by recreational users.

Eleven of the Pittsburgh District’s 23 navigation facilities on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers have fixed-crest dams. A fixed-crest dam is a concrete wall across the river which keeps the channel deep enough for navigation. These dams have no gates or service bridges above them and are very difficult to see in the river from watercraft.

Paddle Safety Lock Though Event, June 21st

Who: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District, Venture Outdoors/Kayak Pittsburgh and other waterways partners.

What: Kayak Pittsburgh will lead a group of paddlers to Allegheny River Lock and Dam 2 near Highland Park Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pa. The kayakers will launch from the Aspinwall Riverfront Park and paddle across the river and downstream to the Army Corps’ lock. Army Corps lock operators will instruct the paddlers on the proper procedures for locking through. The group will lock downstream and then lock through upstream and return to the launch site at the riverfront park.

Where: Aspinwall Riverfront Park, 285 River Ave, Aspinwall, PA 15215

When: 12:30 – 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 21

Why: The Army Corps, Kayak Pittsburgh and other participating waterways partners hope to raise awareness of the hazards presented by fixed-crest dams and how to safely navigate around Army Corps lock and dam facilities. The event will also promote the fixed-crest dam

safety summit scheduled for June 23 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Aspinwall Riverfront Park. (See below for more information)

Media: This is an avail for the media and not a public event. Media may join kayakers at the riverfront park at 12:30 and at the lock to photo and video kayakers as they approach and lock through the facility. Interviews from Army Corps, Venture Outdoor and other waterways partners will be available.

Weather: In the case of severe weather or dangerous river conditions, the Army Corps will announce cancellation or postponement of the event 24 hours prior.

Fixed-Crest Dam Safety Summit, June 23

Who: The Army Corps in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Venture Outdoors, Port of Pittsburgh Commission, Aspinwall Riverfront Park and other waterways partners.

What: A summit focused on building a shared and sustained fixed-crest dam safety campaign through a coalition of public, private and non-profit waterways users.

When: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Friday, June 23

Where: Aspinwall Riverfront Park, 285 River Ave, Aspinwall, PA 15215

Why: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners are seeking to raise awareness of water safety concerning the area’s locks and dams, especially in relation to navigation facilities with fixed-crest dams. The goal of the coalition is to develop a sustained and shared fixed-crest dam safety campaign, and to gather ideas, identify actions and gain commitments for implementing safety initiatives. Boaters, paddlers and the fishing community need to understand the hazards associated with inland navigation facilities to avoid hazards and stay safe on the water.

Format: The event is open to the public. The format will be a series of presentations by waterways agencies and organizations followed by working group sessions. These sessions will focus on four topics: education and awareness; physical components at navigation facilities and other areas; enforcement; and, coordination and collaboration.

Weather: Rain or shine unless there is a threat of severe weather. Notice of cancellation will be provided 24 hours prior to the event.

Contact: Public Affairs Office at 412-395-7500 or Email: CELRP-PA@usace.army.mil

Pittsburgh Dirstrict recreational boaters river traffic water safety water safety awareness event