SAN FRANCISCO - The senior military officer overseeing most of the nation’s civil works infrastructure received an overview of key San Francisco Bay navigation, restoration and water resource projects Jan. 17 during his first visit to the Corps’ San Francisco District since taking the helm as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, who also serves as the U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, visited the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito, was briefed on San Francisco Bay restoration projects and talked to most of the district’s 300 employees in town halls as he shared his four major priorities: Support the Warfighter; Transforming Civil Works; Respond to Disasters and Prepare for Tomorrow.
Discussing the district’s mission to remove debris for San Francisco Bay’s federal shipping channels, the general said, “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through our great San Francisco District, removes about 1,200 tons of debris from the bay annually, and this keeps shipping lanes safe and open, it helps commerce, keeps commuter ferries operational, and it is also going to help the 2013 America’s Cup.”
USACE owns and operates 702 dams, maintains 12,000 miles of waterways, operates and maintains 236 locks and 926 coastal, Great Lakes, and inland channels and harbors.
The oldest USACE district on the Pacific Coast, the San Francisco District removes debris, dredges channels and ports, restores wetlands with reuse dredge material and provides a $64 million boost to the local economy while improving the quality of life for 6.5 million people living in the district’s operating area, an area that comprises 900 miles of shoreline, three coastal watershed sub-regions, and the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast.
The Corps’ mission is to deliver vital engineering solutions to secure our nation, energize our economy, and reduce risk from disaster. The Corps remains committed to fiscal responsibility and environmental stewardship.
Lt. Gen. Bostick has the Corps’ responsibility and stewardship focused on Transforming Civil Works.
“We have a great organization, but there are some things we have to do differently in this environment,” he said. “We need to plan in a synchronized way working at all three Corps levels [national, regional and local districts]. The bottom line is we have to deliver.”
The Corps’ leader stated the organization’s future is in its people.
“In my mind, there is nothing more important than people,” he said. “We can have the best equipment, we can have the best plans, and we can have the best … you name it … but at the end of the day, we will never get away from needing outstanding people. We need to recruit them, we need to retain them, and we need to develop them. There is nothing more important in my mind than our people.”
Jessica Burton Evans, SPN Navigation Program manager, briefs Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers, on the district’s navigation missions while aboard the John A. B. Dillard, Jr., Jan. 17.