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Arkansas River Revival runs Oct. 20-29 | Business

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Arkansas River Revival runs Oct. 20-29
Arkansas River Revival runs Oct. 20-29

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon dedicated the Arkansas River Navigation System, which was, at the time, the largest civil works project ever undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Named for its principal advocates, Senator John L. McClellan (Arkansas) and Senator Robert Kerr (Oklahoma), today the system is responsible for nearly $2 billion in trade transportation in Arkansas annually. In addition, the river provides a wealth of unique recreational and outdoor activities for Arkansas communities and families, as well as visitors to The Natural State.

To highlight the need for further economic development, the Arkansas River Connections is hosting the “Arkansas River Revival,” a 10-day flotilla event along the Arkansas River, October 20-29, 2011. Seventeen privately owned yachts, houseboats and cruisers comprise the flotilla, which will depart North Little Rock and travel the length of the system, from southeast Arkansas to Fort Smith and Van Buren, stopping in 12 cities along the way.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Inspection Barge and the U.S. Coast Guard will participate in key legs of the flotilla’s trip. Members of the media, the state’s congressional delegation, business and civic organizations and others, will be on the ground at events and on board the vessels, garnering a bird’s-eye view of the river’s natural beauty and learning of its untapped revenue potential.

Founded in 2003, the Arkansas River Connections is a non-profit association organized by like-minded citizens to promote activity and tourism attractions along the Arkansas River throughout the state while also endorsing the conservation, recreational, historical and cultural amenities. Through the flotilla’s trip, the organization seeks to promote the following economic development goals:

Deepening the river’s channel from nine feet to 12 feet to enhance shipping volume

  • Increasing barge traffic
  • Furthering water-based recreational activities, such as boating and fishing
  • Re-developing and improving ports
  • Enhancing and creating new recreational facilities along the river
  • Supporting local marinas and city festivals and events

To accomplish its public awareness goals, the flotilla will participate in community-wide events in each of the 12 cities in which it stops. Open to the media, the events will provide an opportunity for attendees to hear from special guests and learn more about the river’s potential to provide a better and brighter economic future for each community and the state as a whole. Food and festivities will also be provided.

For more information on the Arkansas River Revival, please contact Kyle Proctor at Kyle.Proctor@cjrw.com or Gabe Holmstrom Gabe.Holmstrom@cjrw.com.