UPDATE: The Lexington Herald is reporting that the committee will be co-chaired by independent Senator Bob Leeper of Paducah.
Frankfort – As a state legislator whose Western Kentucky district is within a short drive of four major rivers and two of the largest manmade lakes in the United States, Rep. Will Coursey has long understood the value of waterways to Kentucky.
Now, as co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Subcommittee on Kentucky Waterways, he will have the opportunity to lead the way in preserving, protecting and promoting one of the state’s most vital resources.
“No other state outside of Alaska has more miles of creeks and rivers than we do,” said Rep. Coursey. “They have guided our history and have long played a critical role in our economy. My goal is to see how we can build on those gains.”
Rep. Coursey was the driving force behind the newly created committee, after suggesting to House Speaker Greg Stumbo that it would be a natural addition to the legislature’s Transportation Committee. Speaker Stumbo and Senate President David Williams authorized the committee earlier this month.
“I really appreciate the passion Will brings to this issue, and I know that he will do a great job as its chairman,” Speaker Stumbo said. “His background makes him an ideal choice.”
Rep. Coursey said the committee will look at a wide variety of topics in the months ahead. Those include ways to limit water pollution; homeland-security measures at our river ports; adventure tourism; increasing barge traffic; and matters tied to hunting and fishing.
“I imagine we will also be in contact with similar committees in other states,” Rep. Coursey said. “We may be able to build on their successes here, and at the same time perhaps coordinate efforts as well.”
The subcommittee will hold its inaugural meeting later this summer.