black river

finchlake2000 / flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Financial problems are making upkeep difficult on the Ouachita –Black River system.

Tracy Hilburn, Operations Superintendent of the Tensas Basin Levee District says the system has $30,000,000 in outstanding work that could determine the amount of commercial river traffic that uses the Ouachita River.

Hilburn says if the river traffic doesn’t pick up the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could walk away from the project. 

Patrick Lewis / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The Ouachita River system is in a perilous situation. The lack of commercial barge traffic on the river may mean reduced federal funds for dredging and repairs to locks and dams. This lack of upkeep has forced some shippers off the river and if total commercial tonnage doesn’t pick up the river could return to a natural state.

Randy Denmon of Ouachita River Valley Association (ORVA) will be a panelist at KEDM’s Policy and a Pint: Ouachita Runs Dry. We will discuss the dangers of a declining river system.

Cory Crowe / KEDM

90.3 KEDM Public Radio hosts Policy and a Pint: Ouachita Runs Dry-The Decline of a River System on Tuesday April 11 at 6 p.m. Topics to be discussed include river health, drinking water, economic impact, agricultural impact, industry and recreational use of the Ouachita River.