TV time for the inland waterways


While railroads and truckers have put their best face forward for years with television ads, the waterways industry is muscling into this media market with a new spot that began airing in the Washington, D.C., cable market in February.

Called “Keep America Moving,” the 30-second commercial highlights the value of the inland waterway system to jobs, the environment, energy efficiency and traffic congestion relief.

It is being funded by voluntary contributions from members of the Waterways Council Inc., an industry advocacy group, and will run for four months. WCI has also developed a similar three-minute video promoting waterways benefits.

The goal, explained Cornel Martin, WCI’s president, is to educate the public, with a focus on policymakers in Washington, about the importance of waterways to the economy. Martin said the barge industry has traditionally been “out of sight, out of mind or not well understood.” Education, he says, is the key to winning broader political support for important issues facing the industry, such as approving healthy budgets for navigation projects.

The American Waterways Operators, another industry group, is also airing radio spots in the D.C. market.

“It’s a small step,” Martin said at a press luncheon last week. “We’re trying to come up with innovative ways to get the message out.”

Check out the ad on YouTube: 
Or at the Waterways Council Web site: 





About the author

Pamela Glass

Pamela Glass is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for WorkBoat. She reports on the decisions and deliberations of congressional committees and federal agencies that affect the maritime industry, including the Coast Guard, U.S. Maritime Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Prior to coming to WorkBoat, she covered coastal, oceans and maritime industry news for 15 years for newspapers in coastal areas of Massachusetts and Michigan for Ottaway News Service, a division of the Dow Jones Company. She began her newspaper career at the New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times. A native of Massachusetts, she is a 1978 graduate of Wesleyan University (Conn.). She currently resides in Potomac, Md.

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