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The Ohio River Basin Alliance. Who We Are and Where We’re Going Martin Hettel, Steering Committee Member. What is the Alliance?. Group of over 200 representatives from over 100 state, local and federal agencies, industry, academia and not-for-profit organizations.

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the ohio river basin alliance

The Ohio River Basin Alliance

Who We Are and Where We’re Going

Martin Hettel, Steering Committee Member

what is the alliance
What is the Alliance?

Group of over 200 representatives from over 100 state, local and federal agencies, industry, academia and not-for-profit organizations.

Our Vision is to support and implement integrated management of the Basin’s resources to achieve sustainable economic growth, ecological integrity and public safety.

Our Mission is to form a successful collaboration that will recommend strategies and coordinate actions to address complex water resource challenges and priorities with a unified voice.


Guiding Principles

Leverage existing authorities, resources and capabilities

Capitalize on existing collaborations

Do not impede or infringe on the mission of any organization

orba s 4 main goals are
ORBA’s 4 Main Goals Are…

Determine Basin Priorities

Collaborate on Issues

Inform the Ohio River Basin Congressional Caucus on Critical Issues

Develop Plans and Deliver Projects

goal 1 determining basin priorities
Goal 1: Determining Basin Priorities
  • The four working groups have been active both during and between ORBA conferences in determining their respective priorities
    • Enterprise & Infrastructure – Kari Mackenbach, Chair
    • Restoration & Protection – John Stark, Chair
    • Sustainable Growth & Competitiveness – Harry Stone, Chair
    • Water Management & Availability – John Hoopingarner, Chair
  • ALL stakeholders are encouraged to participate
goal 2 get stakeholders to discuss and collaborate on issues
Goal 2: Get Stakeholders to Discuss and Collaborate on Issues
  • Six Conferences since October 2009
  • Combined Attendance of 549
  • Over 100 Organizations have participated
      • Representing federal, regional, state, local & private organizations: USACE, USEPA, USGS, NSF, NOAA, NWS, USFWS, USDA, NPS, USMA, USCG, ORSANCO, TVA, TNC, ORBCRE, state agencies (15), conservation districts (4), universities (4), energy companies (4), and other organizations (9)
goal 3 informing the ohio river basin congressional caucus
Goal 3: Informing the Ohio River Basin Congressional Caucus
  • 6 Congressional Briefings since October 2009
    • August 2010, Charleston, WV
    • February 2011, Charleston, WV
    • March 2011, Washington, DC
    • April 2011, Washington, DC
    • September 2011 Huntington, WV
    • March 2012, Washington, DC
goal 4 developing delivering projects
Goal 4: Developing/Delivering Projects
  • December 2011 – TNC and USACE Great Lakes and Ohio River Division sign Agreement to share information on biological resources in the basin
  • January 2012 – ORBA members support the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership on the aquatic habitat assessment report
  • March 2012 – USGS/USACE/MWCD working together to install new stream gage on Ohio River at Marietta
  • April 2012 – ORBA/Marshall University receives $200k from Institute of Water Resources to conduct pilot study on how climate change will impact the Ohio River Basin

Ohio River Basin Alliance Structure

Working Groups

  • Water Availability & Management
    • John Hoopingarner, Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District
  • Restoration & Protection
    • John Stark, The Nature Conservancy
  • Sustainable Growth & Competitiveness
    • Dr. Harry Stone, Battelle
  • Enterprise & Infrastructure
    • Kari Mackenbach, URS Consultants, Inc.

Steering Committee

  • Carolyn Hefner, WVCA
  • Jessica Fox, EPRI
  • Marty Hettel, AEP
  • Kari Mackenbach, URS
  • Fred Nyhuis, Marathon
  • Jerry Shulte, ORSANCO
  • Dr. Charles Somerville, MU
  • Mike Steinmaus, AEEP
  • Jerry Sutphin, Historian
where we are going
Where we are going?
  • Purpose: Communicate on water resources in the Ohio River Basin by identifying main issues that resonate with the entire Alliance


  • ORBA has made progress in:
    • Determining basin priorities.
    • Gathering stakeholders for discussion & collaboration.
    • Information source for the ORB Congressional Caucus.
    • Developing and delivering projects.