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Headwaters Update US Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, Vol. 5, Issue 1, Fall/Winter 2013-14


District thaws from severe temperatures

Headwaters Update is a quarterly publication of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District. It is produced for electronic distribution by the Public Affairs Office. Views and opinions expressed in the Headwaters Update are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Submissions may be sent to CELRP-PA@ usace. for consideration in upcoming editions. Stories submitted should be in a Word document format. All photographs should include a caption and be high resolution (at least 4x6 inches and 300 dpi). US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Col. Bernard R. Lindstrom District Commander Public Affairs Chief Jeff Hawk Editor Carol Davis Layout & Design Dan Jones Public Affairs Office 412-395-7500

On the Cover A Tow boat navigates throught he heavy ice on the Ohio River near Emsworth Lock and Dam. (Photo by Don Zeiler, Emsworth Lock and Dam)


Let’s meet and have some fun By Ima “Flo” Rivers Most days, I just drift along following the curves and bends I created after centuries of traveling the same path. Now that the sun is coming out more, my personality will change from cold and icy to more fluid and lively. I have always attracted, even fascinated you. In the early days, you would sit on the banks watching me. You came to me for food, enjoyment and relaxations. Occasionally, on warm summer days, you would join me and drift along on rubber tubes or wooden crafts. Life was good, easy even fairly safe. I was happy; some might say bubbly. Now days you bring high speed motor crafts and unfortunately alcohol to me. Are you crazy? Do you know the only time you should mix me with alcohol should be in a glass when you don’t have to drive? After all, I’m water or to be exact -- I’m a river. High-speed, watercrafts, alcohol and me can never co-exist; it’s a recipe for disaster for you, and restless days and nights for me. In 2011, the Coast Guard reported nearly 4,600 boating accidents with more than 750 fatalities nationwide. Do you know how sad and guilty that makes me feel? I’m a fresh water river, but I have become salty from my own tears when one of you dies in me. In 70 percent of all fatal boating accidents, the victims drowned. The worst thing is 84 percent of you that died weren’t wearing a life jacket. Believe me I understand, it’s not exactly a fashion statement, but it is called a life jacket for a reason; think about it. Don’t get me wrong--I enjoy your company. Most of you come out for a wonderful visit and good family fun. It’s my pleasure to have you hang out,

In this Issue

but when you bring alcohol it changes the game. The Coast Guard says alcohol use is the leading contributing factor to boating fatalities. When alcohol is in use, you drive too fast, and can miss the warning signs. Just like I have changed the curves and the paths I follow, engineers have changed me. I don’t mind. Some of these changes have helped keep me from coming into your houses or backyards. Others have improved local commerce, and therefore, improved the economy. But it’s these changes that sometimes cause my visitors to lose their lives. Now, the engineers that added locks and dams to me also added safety devices around these additions. Big signs, bright lights and floating buoys should warn you to changes in my patterns. If you’re drinking or driving your boat too fast, you could miss these warning signs and make me sad. I’m an old river. I’m here for you. When I’m happy, I sparkle a little brighter in the sun. I know you’ve seen me on a good day when I’ve been described as effervescent, but on days that when one of you dies in me -- the bubble is gone. So, my request is completely selfish. It’s all about me. I want to be happy. I want to stay a fresh-water river and not be tainted by my own tears. I don’t like the taste of my salty tears. Can you be more careful for my sake? Wear a life jacket, slow down on those motor crafts, and never mix water and alcohol. Let’s meet on sunny days and have fun. Be safe and visit me often. See you soon. Ima Rivers is the alter ego of Carol Davis, PA specialist,

Page 4 - District participates in 2014 Pittsburgh Boatshow Page 8 - Tygart Lake, WVDNR partner to test walleye Page 12 - Berlin Lake receives Water Safety Award Page 19 - Water testing at Shenango Lake

Oh deer!

Doe rescued from East Branch spillway

By Mike Setlock, East Branch Dam A female whitetail deer was discovered at the bottom of the emergency spillway at East Branch Clarion River Lake near the end of December 2013. The deer had unfortunately fallen into the spillway, but luckily was not injured in the fall. A project staff member notified the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), and a plan was developed to capture and release the deer. The deer was given alfalfa hay and pellets to ensure it was well nourished while it waited for rescue. The plan was to push the animal into a net held by two volunteers. After it was captured, the deer was tranquilized to help calm it during this stressful ordeal. The deer was pulled up the spillway wall while still in the net, then once on level ground, given a reversal drug

Once the deer was spotted in the spillway, employees worked to ensure the deer was removed safely.

to counteract the tranquilizer and released. The rescue would not have been possible without the help of PGC

Wildlife Conservation Officer, Doty McDowell and two St. Marys, Pennsylvania volunteers, and East Branch project staff.

East Branch Project and PGC personnel along with volunteers drive the deer into the net. After being removed from the spillway, the deer seemed unharmed.


District drops anchor at boat show By Joshua W. Bridge, Natural Resources

Recenly the Pittsburgh District had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 Pittsburgh Boat show at the Monroeville Convention Center, Monroeville, Pennsylvania. The district’s booth and featured Lock and Dam model was one of the most popular displays at the show. Attendees from every state and river system that the Pittsburgh District serves, stopped at the display. Each had a wide range of questions and informational requests including the process for locking through, Corps boating policies and requirements, lock closures, boating and recre-

Ranger Julie Stone, Michael J. Kirwan Dam, talks to visitors during the 2014 Pittsburgh Boat Show. Corps representatives stressed the importance of water safety.

ation opportunities, water trails, camping, navigation and facility maps. The PA Fish and Boat Commission and US Coast Guard Auxiliary visited the booth to address questions and discuss partnering opportunities and joint effort cooperation. Ranger staff participated in a PA Fish and Boat children’s lifejacket give-away sponsored by Cabela’s. District rangers and waterway conservation officers instructed parents and children on how to properly fit lifejackets to child participants. The event was a key outreach opportunity to promote water safety at our locks and lakes, as well as the recreation and navigational services that the district offers.

For fun children’s activities that teach water safety, visit: 4

Special thanks for support goes to Lt. Col. Chris Riemer and Rich Lockwood; Natural Resources Management for event coordination; Operational Managers (Northern and Southern Area Offices, L&Ds) Resource Managers and Lockmasters for staff and resources, Alan Suder (Pt. Marion), Don Hawthorne (Pt. Marion), Mike Clark (Pt. Marion), Dillon Mohr (Morgantown), Robert Anderson (Morgantown), Kenneth Hebert (Opekiska), Rick Mack (Crooked Creek), Luke Houston (Tionesta), Eric Schreckengost (Mosquito), Julie Stone (MJ Kirwan), Mark Keppler (Conemaugh) and Josh Keppler (Bobber).

Data loggers upgrade begins at East Branch By Art Myers, East Branch Dam

In March, a process began that will upgrade the 47 data loggers to function automatic and wireless. The readings will be sent directly to the Resident Office which is located at East Branch Lake. These readings will provide real time measurements and be monitored at all times now and during upcoming cutoff wall construction. Data loggers were installed to automatically read about half of the existing instrumentation in as part of the Interim Risk Reduction Measures at East Branch Lake. In 2012, as part of the Interim Risk Reduction Measures at East Branch Lake, data loggers were installed to automatically read about half of the existing instrumentation. Data loggers consist of vibrating wire pressure transducers and corresponding data loggers. These devices were installed on 47 existing open standpipe piezometers

situated at various locations on the downstream side of the dam and along both abutments of the dam. Protective enclosures and conduit were installed to store and protect the dataloggers, surge suppressors, and all corresponding wiring. In addition, two vibrating wire pressure transducers and data loggers, used as barometers, were installed at two separate locations. They were lowered 10 feet into an existing 1.5-inch diameter piezometer standpipe for protection from weather and localized pressure variants. Lightning protection and grounding rods were installed to protect the instruments and installations from transient voltage and electric surges. Now, the 47 dataloggers are read using two tough notebooks once a month by district personnel. Of those data loggers, six are read daily by project staff. The information is recorded daily and once a week the readings are sent to District personnel.

East Branch Lake received new data loggers that will read and trasmit real-time information directly to the resident office. The data loggers are part of the current Interim Risk Reduction measures at the lake.

Pittsburgh, Buffalo Districts inspect Tionesta Dam Story and photo by Diane Czelusta, Pittsburgh District Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh and Buffalo districts, and the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division conducted a periodic inspection of Tionesta Dam as part of the Dam Safety Program.


District aims for EMAP certification Story and photo by Sheila Tunney, PAO

Pittsburgh District upped its emergency management ante as it underwent an Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) assessment at the district office recently. EMAP is “an independent non-profit organization,” and “a standard-based voluntary assessment and peer review accreditation process for government programs responsible for coordinating prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities for natural and human-caused disasters,” according to the EMAP web site ( The standards were developed in the 1990s by state and local government emergency management professionals who saw a need for standardization of best practices after analyzing responses to major disasters. “It’s basically the QMS (Quality Management System) for emergency management,” said Scott Gauvin, EMAP project specialistin-charge for Corps assessments, who is on hand as the assessment team leader here. His team includes six other assessors who hail from other Corps districts, state agencies and EMAP staff. Due to its mission of providing power teams for FEMA during disasters throughout the nation and U.S. territories, Gauvin said, it is especially beneficial for the Pittsburgh District to become EMAP certified. Nationally, the Corps has 23 of its emergency management (EM) offices or programs engaged in the


process, he said. State partners in Pittsburgh’s footprint who are accredited include the EM offices of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio, along with many other local EM offices. Acting District EM Chief C.J. Infantino led the charge to get the district accredited, as well as putting in the work to get the Corps’ approval. In 2009, he attended an EM Certification Program at George Washington University, where the class research project predicted EMAP would be a good fit for the Corps. Following a pitch to headquarters, he was assigned to participate in the USACE EMAP pilot program. As part of the pilot program, three USACE organizations were selected to complete the accreditation process: Huntington District, Los Angeles District and Lakes and Rivers Division. As a participant of this pilot program, Infantino was an observer at LRH, an assessor in SPL, and the accreditation manager at LRD. After this successful pilot program, EMAP was added to the Corps’ campaign plan. The Pittsburgh District will be the third Corps district to become accredited by EMAP (the first was LRH in 2012, followed by Wilmington District in May of 2013). “I initiated the district’s self assessment in February with planning over several months, and giving offices a detailed outline of what policies/procedures needed to be documented and how to do that,” said Infantino. “For some offices, policies for day-to-day tasks had to be created and documented so that if the whole section were unavailable, a new person could come in

and perform that office’s procedures.” By October, most divisions had come to Infantino with draft plans and procedures, which were worked and reworked until plans and procedures met the standards listed in the EMAP guidebook. Some also contacted other districts in their community of practice for guidance, Infantino said. “And we’re still reworking sections and adding them to our documentation,” he said. All 64 standards must be met in order for the district to be accredited. If all standards are not met at that time, a “conditional” accreditation can be granted for nine months, but a detailed scheduled of how it plans to meet standards is required. Accreditation is good for five years, and every year there is maintenance to keep current with EMAP standards, which by charter, are updated every three years. “The Corps was the first federal agency as a whole to commit to accreditation for its EM mission. We see this as a great investment for the people within our district and the nation, as well as being a great model for other federal agencies with emergency management responsibilities,” Infantino said. Currently, the only other federal agency to pursue accreditation is the Centers for Disease Control, where Infantino was assigned duties as a team assessor. They too have earned accreditation under the EMAP program. An EMAP comittee is currently reviewing the district’s submission and will provide a certification ruling in May

Rock stars: Shenango improves fish habitats By Kyle Kraynak, Shenango Lake

Through a cost sharing program, the Army Corps of Engineers staff at Shenango Lake along with staff from Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission Division of Habitat Management completed a two-day habitat improvement project in February. Both agencies supplied materials, man power, and expertise to accomplish this task. The project focused on constructing rock stars and rock rubble humps along two areas of the shoreline that are accessible for both bank and boat anglers. Rock star and rock rubble hump structures provide forage type habitats for a variety of

Workers construct fish habitats at Shenango Lake.

invertebrates, crustaceans, and baitfish. These habitats act as fish attractors for walleye, black bass, and pan fish. PA Fish & Boat Commission Division of Habitat Management Ben Page said, “These are some of the largest rock star structures we have ever built in the state and I look forward to seeing how they produce. It’s something I would bring my children out to fish off of.” Traditionally, rubble humps are placed on flats or shoals in reservoirs. The best method for placement is during annual drawdown periods with heavy machinery. Shenango Lake winter drawdown is approximately eight-feet below normal summer pool conditions, and the habitats were constructed by the skillful maintenance staff from Shenango Lake operating heavy mechanized equipment. A total of 10 rock stars and 12 rubble humps were constructed. Shenango Lake was constructed nearly 50 years ago. At the time of construction the majority of the forested river delta was logged and the trees removed. Much of the natural habitat that would have been available for future fisheries was removed as a liability issue. The debris would have clogged the gates of the dam and posed a hazard to boaters. Reservoirs are often compared to a “bathtub” as the sides and bottom are muddy flats with no habitat for fish to utilize, in essence an aquatic desert.

Walking in a winter wonderland Like many places in the north-east, and mid-west, East Branch Dam saw winter weather in the form of a light dusting of snow, Dec. 10. (Photo by by Diane Fisher, East Branch Dam)


Nothing but net

Tygart Lake rangers, WVDNR collect walleye for testing By Christine Renzoni, Tygart Lake Last fall, Tygart Lake rangers and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources gill netted for one of Tygart Lake’s most sought after fish, the walleye. Twenty-four gill nets of different mesh sizes had been placed in the lake the day before and left overnight to catch walleye hunting in the shallower shoreline waters after dark. The nets were pulled in the morning and any walleye in them were collected for further testing. All other fish that had been caught in the nets were released back into the lake. Once all of the nets were emptied, the walleye were brought to a field processing station where they were measured, weighed, sexed, and then had their otoliths


Tygart Lake Rangers and the West Virginia DNR gill netted for walleye. The fish were weighed, measured and relesed.

removed. An otolith is a small bone found in the inner ear of the fish. An otolith adds growth rings as a fish grows, similar to counting rings on a tree,

the age of the fish can be determined by looking at the growth rings in the otolith. The data collected from the walleye will be

used by West Virginia Department of Natural Resources to make management decisions for the walleye in Tygart Lake.

East Branch Dam Project evaluated By Kim Warner, East Branch

Employees from the division and headquarters offices performed a Programmatic Design and Construction Evaluation (DCE) of the East Branch Dam Safety Modification Project last fall. The visit focused on cutoff walls as one of the most common remedial measures within the Dam Safety Modification program, with an eye toward continued reviews. Areas of emphasis for the visit were Mega Project/Program Management; Scope and Configuration Management; and, Technical and Acquisition Management.

(Left to right) Jeff Fritz, James Harbert, Dave Carlson, Jim Moore, Sarah Missenda, Andy Harkness, Mike Rattay, Mike Setlock and Dennis Zeveney at the East Branch Dam overlook.

The first day was spent in the district office while the second day included a site visit to East Branch Dam in Wilcox, PA, a project currently sched-

uled for contract award in 2014. This evaluation is one of many steps in ensuring the East Branch Dam project is completed as cost and time effec-

tively as possible. Upon completion of the dam safety project the District will once again have a safe and beneficial gem in its infrastructure.

Chillin’ at Emsworth When temperatures drop into the subzero range, a little ice is expected, but at Emsworth Lock and Dam on the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, ice and cold temperatures made commercial navigation a little cooler than usual. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Don Zeiler) See more pictures at com/photos/pittsburghcorps/


Freezing temps form unique sight at Conemaugh

By Mark Keppler, Conemaugh Lake Freezing temperatures and dipping water have formed some interesting ice features which look similar to stalagmites, on the floor of the 1907 railroad tunnel located at Conemaugh Dam. Ice gradually builds upward from the floor as a deposit from ground water seeping through and dripping from the tunnel’s roof. During construction of the dam this tunnel and the 1864 tunnel had to be plugged with a 20-ft plug to allow the dam to be filled. The tunnels are a popular site for many visitors and the 1907 railroad grade has been incorporated into the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy bike trail.

Bob Price

Harsh temperatures caused stalagmites to form in an abandoned railroad tunnel at Conemaugh lake.

Tionesta Lake rangers monitor ice conditions on Allegheny By Jason Bowers Photo by Jason Bowers and Luke Huston

jams that had been common in the area. Another permanent ice control structure was constructed on Oil Creek in 1989. The Ice In the early Control Structure is five 1980s, the Oil City feet high, 351 feet long, region in Pennsylvaand includes a 45-footnia experienced two wide leaf gate which alice jam floods with lows for the passage of damages totaling sediment and fish. The more than $9 milproject cost more than lion. $2 million, and is now The events ocowned and maintained curred when the ice The US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District designed and constructbroke up and flowed ed two Ice control structures at the Oil Creek and Allegheny River confluence. by the city. Since the Allegheny River Ice down Oil Creek and jammed against thick ice deposits at the Oil Creek and Boom and Oil Creek Ice Control Structure were put into use, no damaging ice jams have occurred in Oil Allegheny River confluence. City. To help deter any similar incidents, the US Army Tionesta Lake staff monitors the ice flow twice a Corps of Engineers designed and built two ice conweek and reports its findings to the Pittsburgh Distrol structures in the area. The first structure, costing trict’s Water Management Branch to ensure the ice $900,000, was the Oil City ice boom which has been control structures remain effective. effective in preventing the buildup of damaging ice


Outta’ sight

District recognizes PA Land Surveyor’s Week By Maj. Laura Schroeder, Pittsburgh District As part of Penssylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s proclamation of Land Surveyors Week, March 16-22, 2014, and on behalf of the Engineering & Construction Division and the Real Estate Division, the LRP Geospatial Section recognized Pittsburgh District’s three professional land surveyors, Bob Price, Jeff Jalbrzikowski and Jeffrey Horneman. Recently, Jalbrzikowski and Price supported the district by sighting out the locations for the monolith support struts needed for the upcoming dewatering project at the Monongahela River Locks and Dam #3 in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. Horneman works in the Real Estate Division, and is currently working on pipeline out grants, encroachment, and real estate base mapping.

Bob Price sights out a location at a lock and dam. Prince is one of three professional land surveyors working at the Pittsburgh District.

Kirwan undergoes periodic assessment By Mark Jones, Pittsburgh District A periodic assessment was conducted for Michael J. Kirwan Dam, Feb. 18-28, as part the USACE Dam Safety Program designed to ensure the safety and reliability of the district’s projects. The periodic assessment program involved an in-depth evaluation of the project features such as design information, construction and maintenance records, and risk related factors.

Prior to the office review, flood modeling and economics are also developed. Then, the assessment required a two week office review of all available design, construction, and historical information. The assessment evaluated the project vulnerabilities and associated risks. It identified the need for further evaluation studies, and prioritized any data collection, analyses, and study needs. Additionally, the assessment identified operations and main-

tenance, monitoring, emergency action plan, training and other recurrent needs; it also and provided a better understanding of vulnerabilities and a basis for future dam safety inspections and activities. Participants included discipline representatives from Dam Safety, Electrical, Geological, Geotechnical, Hydraulics & Hydrology, Mechanical, Operations and Project staff, and Structural, with the effort facilitated by the Risk Management Center.


Leading the way District employees begin Leadership Development Class

By Elaine Lisk, Pittsburgh District Congratulations to the District’s Leadership Development Class of 2014 for kicking off its first training session at the District Office in January. During the nine-month training program, LDP2 students are given the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills by increasing their knowledge of team building,

communications, self awareness and leadership style. Additionally, students work on a class project that utilizes the skills they learn during the class. Pictured above in the front row are Laura MacKenzie (instructor), Autumn Rodden (EC-W), Kristen Hoesch (EC-NC), Patty Schwirian

(OC), Donna Yon (CT-C), Elaine Lisk (cadre), and Dianne Kolodziejski (cadre). In the back row are Dr. Dan Jensen (instructor), Don Boles (OP-FS), Bob Isler (OP-SC), Chris Dening (EC-CO), Ian Vega (EC-NT), Waylon Reigle (OP-NB), and Eric Schreckengost (OP-NM).

Distrct EEO spreads suicide prevention message By Patrick Kopriva, EEO In March, Robert Turner and Patrick Kopriva from the EEO Office presented Suicide Prevention

training to staffs from Mahoning, Crooked Creek, Loyalhanna and Conemaugh flood control projects. The training emphasized that no matter what your position or role,

every civilian, contractor, and family member has a responsibility to pay attention to and care for those with whom we work. Co-workers or supervisors, you need to respond appropriately to the issues that can have a significant impact on the health of the organization. Mr. Turner and Mr. Kopriva shared key identifying signs and provided resources to assist those who are helping others or who may need help themselves. They shared personal stories that added to their well-received presentation. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are emotions that some may display and can be proactively addressed to help prevent a loss of life tragedy.

District EEO Robert Turner talks with lake staff about the warning signs of suicide.


District Biologist earns fisheries professional certification By Thomas Maier, Pittsburgh District Tom Maier, a biologist in Pittsburgh District’s Planning & Environmental Branch, was recently granted status as a Certified Fisheries Professional (CFP) by the American Fisheries Society (AFS). The AFS has advanced the conservation of fisheries and aquatic resources around the world for more than a century. With almost 10,000 members, the society promotes educational, scientific, and technological development of all facets of fisheries science and management. CFP certification must be renewed every 5 years. For more information on the AFS Professional Certification Program, see:

Conemaugh Lake celebrates National Public Lands Day

Snowy owl spotted at Mosquito Creek Lake Article by Eric Schreckengost, Mosquito Creek Lake, Photo by Don Keffer, Lake Volunteer

In support of National Public Lands Day, Conemaugh River Lake park rangers, Mark Keppler and Angie Zanin, assisted volunteers designing and constructing bird feeders made from recycled materials. The day was designed to teach participants the importance of giving back to the environment and the value of public lands.

Recently snowy owl sightings have been creating quite the buzz around Mosquito Lake. The owl was being spotted around the wildlife refuge at the northern end of the lake until a volunteer spotted it on the southern end in the state park marina. The snowy owl is the largest owl species by weight, makes the Arctic Circle its summer home, and during the winter, it is found across much of the United States as far south as Oklahoma. Even though it can be found this far south, the snowy owl is considered a “life bird” on the list for many birders in the region because it is extremely rare to spot one.


Rare owl spotted at Mosquito Creek Lake By Eric Schreckengost, Mosquito Park Ranger Photo by John Kolodziejski, Shenango Resource Manager Mosquito Creek Lake has had recent sighting of the Snowy Owl, but another rarely seen bird has been sighted nestled in thick brush. The Long-eared Owl is naturally occurring in this region during winter months; however, they are very secretive, and rarely seen. The owl gets its name from the large ear tufts which look similar to the “horn” tufts on the Great Horned Owl. Unlike the Snowy, the Longeared Owl prefers to rest during the day and hunt at night. Among avid birdwatcher, it’s considered an exciting find. Many birders will travel long distances to add the Long-eared Owl to their “Life Bird List”. Even the photographer of this owl crossed the Ohio border to get this picture thanks to a tip from Dianne Kolodziejski, the resource manager at Mosquito Lake.

635th Quartermaster soldier receives Army commendation medal at Shenango Lake By Rich Egger, Shenango Lake Sgt. 1st Class Brian Serafin, a Shenango maintenance mechanic and reserve Soldier with the 635th Quartermaster Company, received an Army Commendation Medal from the Secretary of the Army during a dam tour last fall. Lt. Col. John Burke of the 635th presented the award for meritorious service while serving as the senior maintenance noncommissioned officer from April 2008 to September 2010. Serafin was invaluable to the unit’s mission in maintaining the Army’s Inland Petroleum Distribution System. Additionally, he served four rotations in Okinawa and mainland Japan to support Operation Habu Sakusen. Serafin served 20 years with the 347th prior to joining the 635th.


Reservists visit, train at Shenango By Rich Egger, Shenango Lake This past fall, the 635th Quartermaster Company of the Army Reserves, Farrell, Pa. toured Shenango Dam to learn about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ missions, history and role in flood damage reduction. The Soldiers set up a land navigation course in the Mahoney Recreation Area designed to sharpen their navigation skills by locating 12 stations in a wooded area using a map and compass.

Think before you sink! Wear your life jacket 15

Berlin Lake receives LRD Water Safety Award

The Berlin Lake Natural Resources Staff (Rangers: Kat Fatula, Matthew Pook, Stephen Rutkowski, Michael Berry, Cara Calai, Rachael Probst, Ryan Krall and Robert Rohrer) were awarded the 2013 LRD Water Safety Award (Team Category) for their partnering efforts to increase water safety awareness. In 2013, Park rangers at Berlin Lake, Ohio began issuing “citations” to children 12 and under. These citations are issued to children “caught” on or near the water wearing their life jackets. The citation entitles the child caught wearing their life jacket to a free small cone at Blosser’s Dairy Drive Inn, a local Corps part-

The Berlin Lake staff receives the 2013 Lakes and Rivers Division Water Safety Team Award from District Commander Col. Bernard Lindstrom.

ner. The initiative shown by these individuals in implementing the “Water Safety Ticket” program

for children demonstrated a great commitment to the Corps efforts to provide a safe and enjoyable rec-

reation experience. The actions of Berlin Lake Natural Resources Staff reflect great credit upon

Berlin Lake maintenance mechanic leader receives Commanders Coin

During a visit to Berlin Lake, Colonel Bernard Lindstrom awarded Waylon Reigle, Maintenance Mechanic Leader, a Commander’s Coin. Waylon is an excellent leader that demonstrates the skills and abilities to adjust to various tasks, communicates the objective, and works with the maintenance team to get the job done. Communications is one of his stronger attributes to which he has proven to be of sound judgment resulting in efficiencies and effectiveness not only of the team but meeting the Corps mission. His proactive approach in suggesting new and innovative ways of how we can serve our customer has impacted the Corps favorably. His display of confidence comes from being knowledgeable, seeking information, keeping informed, finding better and safer ways of doing business with less, and building the team. Waylon possesses a motivational trait that all under his leadership respect and embrace resulting in a cohesive and Army Strong team.


Shenango River Watchers get down and dirty By Kyle Kraynak, Shenango Lake

More than 55 volunteers helped clean the Shenango River watershed. The SRW website states its mission is to restore and protect the environmental, scenic, and recreational attributes of the Shenango River Watershed.

More than 55 volunteers participated in a cleanup day organized by the Shenango River Watchers at Shenango Lake, March 22. The group picked up seven truckloads of trash. The garbage was sorted so that plastics and metals could be recycled, and the trash was disposed in dumpsters at the Maintenance and Ranger Station buildings at Shenango Lake. The group cleaned up multiple recreation areas along the lake’s shoreline. The Shenango River Watchers partnered with various other groups to help organize an event called Fire Water held throughout the summer in downtown Sharon, Pennsylvania that incorporates the Shenango River. SRW was a key partner in opening the entire Shenango River to kayak and canoe recreational opportunities. Through several state grants, the group cleared more than 20 miles of the Shenango River corridor that made it more accessible for river recreation opportunities. Their effort to accomplish this makes it possible to float the length of the river from Pymatuning State Park to Shenango Lake. For more information about the Shenango River Watchers visit: For information about Fire Water events visit


Toman receives award for Sandy efforts Story & Photo by Brian Luprek, Youghiogheny Lake Paul Toman, Conemaugh/Loyalhanna Lakes Resource Manager, received a “You Made a World of Difference Award” at the Southern Area Managers Meeting in December, from Operations Chief Rich Lockwood. The award was given to Toman for executing his duties during an exceptionally difficult time and situation. His dedication to duty and commitment to equitable treatment is a model that all Corps supervisors should aspire to, Lockwood said. During this time Toman also deployed to USACE’s New York City headquarters office, providing expert analysis and direction to emergency managers and Corps leadership during Hurricane Sandy Recovery efforts.

STEM program promotes curiosity, inginuity By Jeff Jalbrzikowski and Mark Jones, Pittsburgh District

Jeff Jalbrzikowski, a district surveyor, and Mark Jones, Engineering and Construction chief, supported the Carnegie Science Center’s Chevron Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) Education and Career Development as judges for the 75th Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at Heinz Field. Approximately 1,100 students from more than 100 schools in Pennsylvania and Maryland competed for scholarships and prizes at the March 28 event. “The ingenuity, curiosity and engineering approach to problem solving demonstrated by the students was very impressive” Jones said while closing up the experience. Jalbrzikowski’s served as an Affiliated Sponsor Judge, that selected which student in the Intermediate Division should be awarded a certificate and cash prize from the U.S. Metric Association. Among the many well laid out presentations, one student who stood out. When asked why she conducted all her measurements in centimeters she replied, “Because the metric system is so much easier to use.” Since enthusiasm was one of the requirements from the Metric Association, this enthusiastic statement weighed heavily on


Jeff Jalbrzikowski and Mark Jones participated in the 75th Annual Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair at the Carnegie Science Center.

Jalbrzikowski’s decision. The event provided the district the opportunity to support the USACE Campaign Goal for STEM. Additionally, it provided Jalbrzikowski and Jones a chance to interact with students and inform them of the Corps’ impact on the region and career opportunities. The district’s STEM Outreach program connects district employees with local students. Volunteers encourage students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Water survey conducted at Shenango

By Christina Barker and Carl Nim, Photos by Christina Barker

U.S. natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale region has grown rapidly in recent years.The area immediately adjacent to Shenango Lake is populated three shale gas well sites. On Dec. 11, 2013, The Pittsburgh District conducted a water quality survey at Shenango Lake on streams and tributaries downstream from these well sites. The Shenango Lake staff, including Manager John Kolodziejski and Rangers Jason Cote and Christina Barker escorted District Biologists Rose Reilly, Carl Nim, and Autumn Rodden to the well and sampling sites. “Chloride and specific conductivity levels were higher downstream of the twocompleted wells than in other areas, and turbidity levels were higher downstream of the well that is under construction on Pew Road. However, chloride levels were also elevated in the unnamed Pymatuning Creek arm of the lake downstream, which was surprising.� said Reilly. The water samples were sent

to the laboratory for further analysis. To understand the potential impacts of shale gas development on water quality before and after a shale gas well is installed, district biologists decided to deploy a continuous recording data logger downstream from a proposed shale gas well location. Biologist Carl Nim had worked with PEWARS staff to design and fabricate a platform and Carl Nim participates in a water quality survey at Shenango Lake housing for the and the surrounding streams and tributaries. Nim, Rose Reilly and data logger, Autumn Rodden (left) collect samples during the water survey. also known as ature, water level, and conductivity. the deployment Conductivity data, if elevated, may assembly. Carl and the Shenango indicate unusual amounts of metstaff installed the data logger in an als and salts, that can be associated unnamed Pymatuning Creek Arm of the lake, the hydraulic fracturing process. Water quality surveys will then be downconducted on an as-needed basis. stream of a proposed By deploying the data logger prior to the developed well site, a basewell site. line of data can be established, so The rangone can see what happens with the ers will water quality during the construccollect the tion, completion, and operation of data on a a shale gas well. This collaboration monthly of work completed by Pittsburgh basis and e-mail it to District biologists, field project staff, and PEWARS employees is the bioloan excellent example of teamwork gists. The data and one of many efforts made tologger col- wards sustaining Shenango Lake’s natural resources. lects data on temper-


USACE Command Sergeant Major visits Pittsburgh USACE Command Sergeant Major, Karl Groninger, visited Pittsburgh District, March 27-28. CSM Groninger spent the better part of two days at the Pittsburgh District meeting with waged-grade employees and park rangers at Montgomery Lock and Dam, Major Maintenance Warehouse and Repair Facility or PEWARS, Dive trailer and Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), and Pike Island Lock and Dam. The purpose of the trip was to get to know the employees and hear what they had to say about safety and training. CSM Groninger is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 11th Command Sergeant Major. By Carol Davis, PAO, photo by Sean McCann, ACE-IT

Sunrise at Shenango An amazing array of fiery colors awaited visitors in the early hours at Shenango River Lake in Hermitage, Pennsylvania Jan. 13. Shenango Lake is one of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. It provides flood protection for the Shenango River Valley as well as for the Beaver and upper Ohio Rivers. Since its completion in 1965, Shenango has prevented more than $175 million in flood damage. There is more than 15,000 acres of project land for wildlife purposes, including a waterfowl propagation area. By John Kolodziejski, Shenango Lake


Fall winter 2013 headwaters  

Headwaters Update is a quarterly publication of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District. It is produced for electronic distrib...

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