Red River Valley Association
The Red River Valley Association was founded in 1925 as a non-profit, member-supported organization. Its purpose is to advance the econonic development and well-being of the millions of citizens who reside in the area traversed by the Red River in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
Since its inception, the RRVA has been instrumental in working on the local, state and federal levels to support and advance a number of programs to develop the land and water resources of the Red River Valley for the beneficial use of all its residents. These programs include:
In May 1990, the Red River in southwest Arkansas and throughout much of its length in Louisiana experienced its highest flood stages since the devastating Red River floods of 1945 and 1957. Although a significant event, the May 1990 flooding was not as catastrophic as it would have been without the system of levees and flood control structures that had been undertaken in the decades since the RRVA began its efforts to tame the Red. Although some 700,000 acres were flooded with total damages estimated at $20.4 million, flood control works, including levees and upstream reservoirs, prevented the flooding of some 1.3 million additional acres thus averting an estimated $330 million in additional flood damage to agricultural and urban developments.
Construction of the Red River Navigation Project was authorized by Congress through the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1968. The project calls for a 200-foot wide by 9-foot deep navigation channel to be constructed from the Mississippi River to Shreveport-Bossier City, LA. A series of five Locks and Dams have been completed on this stretch: Lindy C. Boggs, L&D 1 (Markeville, LA); John H. Overton, L&D 2, (Alexandria, LA); L&D 3 (Colfax, LA); L&D 4 (Coushatta, LA); and Joe D. Waggonner, Jr., L&D 5, (Shreveport, LA). The Red River opened for commercial traffic on January 1, 1995. Completion of the Red River Waterway Project will significantly boost the river basin's economy and provide for area employment opportunities. Three public ports in Alexandria, Natchitoches and Shreveport are in various stages of operation. The RRVA supports studies to extend navigation past Shreveport/Bossier City.
Each year, the Red River erodes hundreds of acres of productive farmland throughout the RRVA's fourstate region. In addition, residential, commercial and industriaI facilities as well as major infrastructure improvements such as highways, railroad and power lines located near the Red River are threatened by bank caving. In the years since the RRVA began supporting bank stabilization programs, including the construction of revetments and channel realignments, the number of acres lost each year have been dramatically reduced. This continues to be a priority program.
The RRVA is concerned for the condition of our environment. All water resource projects must consider impacts an the natural environment. Projects we support, will adhere to appropriate regulations and laws as outlined by the National Environmenta1 Policy Act (NEPA) process.
Nearly 4,000 tons of natural salts, primarily sodium chloride, enter the upper reaches of the Red River each day, rendering downstream waters unusable for most purposes. For the past several decades the RRVA has encouraged Congress to appropriate funding to allow a Chloride Control program to be implemented on the Red River in western Oklahoma and Texas. One such project, on the South Fork of the Wichita River in King and Knox Counties, Texas, became operational in 1987. An independent panel of experts has since found that the project continues to perform beyond design expectations. The RRVA will continue to work for implementation Of the Chloride Control project in order to assure a usable water supply for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural uses for Basin residents.
Lake Texoma's Denison Dam, located on the Red River near Denison, TX, began generating electricity for the surrounding area in 1945 when the first of its two 35-MW hydroelectric turbines was placed into operation. Through 1989, the Corps of Engineers received revenues of over $60 million from the sale of power generated at Denison Dam. The RRVA also supports, where feasible, the generation of hydroelectric power on Locks and Dams located elsewhere on the Red River as well as the construction of salt gradient solar ponds and associated power generation equipment in conjunction with Chloride Control Projects in western Texas and oklahoma.
Innumerable lakes, ranging from small oxbow lakes to massive structures such as Lake Texoma in Texas and Oklahoma arethe direct result of the flood control, bank stabilization and nvaigation projects supported by the RRVA. Each year, millions of residents and visitors alike are able to enjoy recreational activities such as boating, fishing, picnicking, hiking and hunting thanks to the availability of these recreational facilities on the Red River.
Economic and Community Development
Whether it be the jobs created by construction projects throughout the Basin area ... greater assurance of flood protections ... access to a cleaner water supply ... or the availability of a multitude of quality recreational facilities, every citizen who resides in the Red River Basin benefits directly from RRVA supported projects. The RRVA supports and participates in economic development programs, organizations and initiatives.
Membership in the RRVA is open to any person, firm, corporation, public official or governmental body interested in the welfare and improvement of the Red River Valley. All members are encouraged to take an active interest and role in helping the RRVA be the best organization it can be. For more information, contact:
Red River Valley Association
629 Spring Street
P.O. Box 709
Shreveport, LA 71162-0709