USACE Galveston District recognized with community relations top award

Published Feb. 19, 2016

GALVESTON, Texas (Feb. 19, 2016) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District was recognized with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Herbert A. Kassner Public Affairs Competition Award, Community Relations category, for its Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Program.

The public announcement of the USACE Dam Safety Program’s reclassification of the Addicks and Barker dams presented staff with the challenge of communicating the findings to inform 1.2 million residents in the nation’s fourth largest city of risks associated with living downstream of the dams, the $4,432,245 short-term interim risk reduction measures in store and the $75-100 million long-term construction plan to reinforce the nearly 70-year-old structures while maintaining the Corps’ reputation and relevancy as an organization that makes public safety a top priority and adds value to the nation.

“The Galveston District staff conducted an aggressive community relations campaign from 2009-2015 to aid the district, division, Corps and Army in achieving its goals to increase awareness of our nation’s aging infrastructure; convey to the public that the dams we own and operate are safe and convey that the risks to the public are minimized,” said Col. Richard Pannell, USACE Galveston District commander. “The six-year, multi-platform campaign successfully leveraged partnerships with key influencers to provide creative, low-cost and no-cost solutions to maximize outreach efforts and manage communication needs to a potential audience of more than one million.”

The annual journalism contest received 172 total entries.

The Kassner Awards recognize military and civilian employee print and broadcast practitioners for journalistic excellence in furthering the objectives of the Corps' communication program. All first place winners will advance to compete in the Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition (an Army-wide journalism competition program). First place winners of the Keith L. Ware competition compete in the Thomas Jefferson Journalism competition, which is the Department of Defense's highest accolade for military journalists and broadcasters.

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Release no. 16-003