Navigation is one of the Corps' oldest missions. We are mandated by Congress to keep the Mississippi River open for commercial navigation by obtaining and maintaining a 9-foot-deep and 300-foot-wide channel. We also have channel maintenance responsibility on the White River from mile 198 to 255.
About 175 million tons of cargo are transported by barge through the Memphis District's reach (355 miles) of the river each year. Because of the savings involved with barging bulk goods, a reliable commercial navigation channel in the river saves the Nation over a billion dollars each year in fuel and shipping costs.
Also part of our navigation responsibilities, we are responsible for maintenance dredging of ten harbors on the Mississippi River. These harbors serve as vital links to rail and highway transportation systems in the region, helping to deliver products and commodities to and from global markets.
These harbors include:
- Elvis Stahr Harbor - Hickman, Kentucky
- Osceola Harbor - Arkansas
- Wolf River Harbor - Tennessee
- New Madrid County Harbor - Missouri
- New Madrid City Harbor - Missouri
- Helena Harbor - Phillips County, Arkansas
- Memphis Harbor - McKellar Lake, Tennessee
- Caruthersville Harbor - Missouri
- Helena Harbor - Arkansas
- Northwest Tennessee Harbor - Tiptonville, Tennessee