What's Happening ON & IN the Water Matters


In Memphis, most of us stay on the land, except perhaps for a riverboat cruise or a paddle in the harbor. Historically we've been afraid of the Mississippi River. That's understandable. The River is big and powerful, and, at Memphis water quality is not safe for swimming or for eating the fish we catch.

But that can and is changing. Races like the Canoe & Kayak Race and Dragon Boat Race are getting more people out on the water. Groups including the River Warriors are tackling the trash. There's a plan to repair and encourage people to use the Cobblestone Landing, and recently, now that the Wolf River Greenway has reached its confluence with the Mississippi, there's talk about looking into whether it'd be a good idea to reconnect Wolf River to Wolf River Harbor.


A picnic on one the pristine sandbars nearby and an afternoon swim can forever transform even the staunchest landlubber into a river steward for life. As Joe Royer, a longtime advocate for the River and recreation on it, says: people in the Rockies didn't level the mountains; they learned to ski and not only had fun but developed a huge new revenue source as they did it.

Click "read more" for a quick look at what's happening ON & IN the water in Chattanooga, Columbus, New York, and downriver at Clarksdale, MS. --
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Harahan - Important Role Then & Now

This is the fascinating history of Harahan Bridge and the role it played in Memphis and U.S. history.

Big River Crossing - Big News



A huge hit! Big River Crossing opened Sat., Oct. 22, 2016. It's the transformation of the historic Harahan Bridge that adds a bike and pedestrian crossing from TN to AR across the Mississippi River at Memphis.

The brainchild of Charles McVean, Big River Crossing is "nearly a mile long, the longest public, pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi." Harahan Bridge was built as a railroad bridge with "wagon ways" on each side, boardwalks for wagons and automobiles.

It's the boardwalk on the north side that is becoming the new pedestrian/bike pathway. Big River Crossing is a major component in what's being called the green renaissance in the Memphis, and it brings that green vision downtown to our riverfront.

At a cost of $17.5M, Big River Crossing is part of the larger 10 mile "Main to Main" $43M connector project between Main Street in Memphis and Broadway Ave. in downtown West Memphis. It has led to the creation of a 1,700 acre Delta Regional Park adjacent to the Bridge in AR that includes a seven-mile trail system and to the Big River Parkway Levee trail (73-miles) funded and under construction in Eastern Arkansas.

Update on Memphis Industrial Port

Wayne Risher, for the Commercial Appeal, takes a brief look at the condition of Memphis's Industrial Port -- the need for an update and its cost.
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Memphis in May on the River


Beale Street Music Festival on the River in Tom Lee Park!
Apr. 29 - May 1
Click HERE for line-up, ticket information, and more. 

10 City Parks Changed America

Do you realize that Memphis has an almost connected system of parks and public spaces along our waterfront? 

The PBS series, "10 City Parks that Changed America," shares the history of our urban parks and their potential to change our cities environmentally, socially, economically, aesthetically, ....


Memphis's own Overton Park is one of the 10! To watch the video, click HERE.

Don Richardson (1950 - 2016)

Donald Sanders Richardson, a founding board member of Friends for
Our Riverfront, died in Memphis on Feb. 3.  Lovingly nickmaned “the tree man,”  Don,  was widely respected as a conservationist and advocate for sustainability, environmental justice, and public parks.
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Has the Bloom left Bass Pro/Pyramid?


With it looking like Bass Pro had something to do with illegally clear-cutting the bank and floodplain along Wolf River Harbor and that they have no intention of rebuilding the pedestrian bridge to Pinch historic district, citizens are again shocked by the retailer.  The Commercial Appeal reports: City on Hook to build Bass Pro garage  It seems that buried in the complex contract between the City and Bass Pro, the City committed to build a parking garage for the megastore.This expensive detail comes as a shocker to many, including former City Councilmen Harold Collins and State Senator Lee Harris.
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What Now? Call for Action

After the floodplain and Harbor Path were clear-cut, the City filed an after-the-fact request. They are asking the Corps of Engineers and TDEC for approval for what they've already done plus for what they want to do - clear-cut an additional 1000-feet of Wolf River Harbor. They've ironically named it the Wolf River Greening Project.

To prevent more clear-cutting and to begin a discussion to determine how to environmentally restore Wolf River Harbor, write or email


Tell them your interest in the area and your concerns. Request that they deny the after-the-fact permit request, prohibit more clear-cutting, and begin a collaborative process to environmentally stabilize the bank and restore the area.

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Where were the Trees?

Before Dec. 12, trees and shrubs stabilized the floodplain and bank of Wolf River Harbor 
from point #1 to point #2 -- a 3,658-foot stretch.

They lined the harbor bank, providing a gentle beautiful walking path and some shade in the summer and a natural habitat for fish and birds, especially migratory birds and butterflies.

The trees and shrubs were clear-cut without plan review or permits.


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