The Commission heard several presentations on the importance of the Arkansas River as a key tributary of the Mississippi River.
Montine McNulty presented to the Commission. "The Arkansas River, I think, is the number one resource that Arkansas has for economic development both for recreation and transportation. It’s really an asset that needs to be further developed."
Colonel Courtney Paul, Director of the Little Rock District of the U.S. Corps of Engineers said, "You're speechless because it is absolutely a treasure. What's amazing is if you compare it to some of the other rivers in the country, no where do we have this balance of commerce. The 3.7 billion dollars worth of commerce, at the same time you've got such a natural, unspoiled beauty along the river just waiting to be enjoyed by whoever wants to get out on the river."
The presentations covered a wide range of topics from more boat docks, deeper water channels and even recreational activities on the Arkansas River.
McNulty said, "I don't think we embrace it, as a state, like we should."
The presentations in front of the Mississippi River Commission were key because the Commission will compile a report and in September and present it in front of Congress. If Arkansas politicians find it important, they could push to get Arkansas River funding in the President's next spending bill.
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