PHOENIX – Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general, attended the Feb. 15 public meeting of the USACE Environmental Advisory Board and visited the USACE Los Angeles District Arizona/Nevada Area Office to meet with local team members.
“My visit here had two main components,” Bostick said. “One, I met with the EAB. They do great work for the Corps of Engineers and for the nation by providing sound guidance in how we can be better stewards of the environment and of the taxpayers’ dollars. Two, I wanted to make sure I took the time to meet the great folks in the office here.”
The EAB meeting took place at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Phoenix. The board members gave Bostick their findings from the previous meeting and discussed their opinions of the projects in the Phoenix area.
“It was a very instructive two days,” said Dr. James Kundell, professor emeritus and retired director of the Environmental Policy Program at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Government. Kundell is the EAB Chairperson. “Seeing the Tres Rios project was very important and seeing the projects at Luke Air Force Base was a new experience for us. I know Corps Districts are very different from each other and that when we were coming, we should prepare for this to be different from any other District we had been to before.”
Kundell and the members of the EAB discussed the importance of the aquatic ecosystem restoration projects they toured and heaped praise upon Col. Mark Toy, the LA District commander, and members of his staff for their hospitality. Following the meeting, Bostick toured the Arizona/Nevada Area Office and spoke with District employees there.
“This office is considered the model for how we can update the structure of Corps offices so we can make better use of our resources and so we can be as successful as you are here in Arizona," said Bostick. “I was delighted to meet with the EAB and hear how glad they were to have seen the projects here. The EAB members were over-the-moon in their praise of the Arizona team’s work and their support during the visit.”
Bostick had planned to spend the last few hours of his time in Phoenix at the Tres Rios Ecosystem Restoration Project; however, a previous engagement curtailed that plan. He does have high hopes for the future, though.
“I’ve got to find a way to come back here to see that project,” he said. “Each of the board members had a lot to say about it and I have already heard so much. I’m sorry there’s not enough time for me to get out there.”