AIWA holds its annual meeting next week

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The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association will examine the importance of the ICW Nov. 19-20 at its annual meeting in Savannah, Ga.

The meeting, at the Hyatt Regency hotel, will also celebrate the association's 10 years of advocacy for this historic and critical transportation artery.

Stretching more than 1,200 miles from Norfolk, Va., to Miami, the ICW has been called "the boater's Route 66," but it is also a vital commercial transportation route that could be much better utilized to move cargo along the Eastern Seaboard and relieve highway congestion, according to the AIWA

"With the economic downturn forcing many states to forgo highway maintenance and repairs, truck-based transportation becomes less appealing. The ICW is ready to step in to get some of these cargoes off the road and move them more efficiently on the water," AIWA vice chairman and BoatU.S. assistant vice president of government affairs Ryck Lydecker said in a statement.

The keynote speakers are Terrence C. "Rock" Salt, deputy assistant secretary of the Army, and Brigadier Gen. Todd T. Semonite, commander of the South Atlantic Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is charged with maintaining the waterway.

A highlight of this year's event is a student essay and photo contest sponsored by the association in cooperation with the Savannah College of Art and Design. Entries will be on display and winners recognized Nov. 19 at an evening reception.

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