Careers on the River - An Option in Memphis

Memphis is the 4th largest inland port in America, so it makes sense to expose and educate high school students about career opportunities on the River. On Friday Apr. 24, that happened. It was the 1st Annual "Who Works the Rivers" program in Memphis.

100 students toured a Wepfer Marine towboat, took a hike down the "Mini MS riverwalk," visited the MS River Museum @ MI River Park, and met representatives from waterways industries to learn about maritime jobs and careers.

In New York City, there's a full-time version. The Harbor School is a public high school on Governor's Island that offers a maritime curriculum to educate and prepare students in marine science and technology. As Memphis focuses on jobs for the future, the 1-day workshop looks like fun and a great step in that direction.

Sponsors and career fair participants were Wepfer Marine, ACL - American Commercial Lines LLC, Dickson Marine, Economy Boat Store, Fullen Dock and Warehouse, International Port of Memphis, Lucy Woodstock Marine Terminal, Mid-South Community College, The Seamen's Church Institute, Memphis District Corps of Engineers, and United States Coast Guard. Chick-fil-A provided lunch.

Canoe Outfitting & Guiding 101

Interested in starting your own canoe/kayak river business and don't know how or where to start?

A 2-day course, May 2-3 at the University of Louisiana at Monroe will give you the answers.

Participants will learn techniques to safely guide canoeists through local bayous, rivers and lakes; the many challenges and opportunities associated with a nature tourism business; how to proceed in the pursuit of an outfitting business, and more.

No previous canoe experience is required, but participants must be comfortable in water settings, and must be capable of physical exertion, including lifting and loading.

The cost, $199 per person, includes all necessary canoeing gear and printed materials on starting a small business in nature tourism. John Ruskey of Quapaw Canoe Company will teach the course, assisted by Mississippi River Guides Braxton Barden and Mark River.

For more information, or to register for this course, click HERE.

South Main Mosaic Artwalk

Last October, 8 pieces of public art went up in South Main, the perfect addition to downtown's art district. This Friday, after "Hook Up, Clean Up, Bottoms Up," take a stroll and check them out.

Click map to enlarge.
The art is by 13 artists: Jonathan Auger, Brendan Lawton,Ben Avant,Ryan Morris, Chris Hoal, Marcellous Lovelace, Brandon Marshall, Kenny Hayes, The Metal Museum, Nick Pena, Lance Turner, Stephanie Crosby, and Esther Szisk.

Photographs and descriptions are posted on the S. Main Assoc. website.  Click HERE.

South Main Mosaic Artwalk is a Downtown Memphis Commission project.

How appropriate and exciting that this Earth Day 2015, our Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan has been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Sustainability Award by the American Planning Association. John Zeanah, Administrator of the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability, accepted the award at the APA conference in Seattle, WA.

The Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan was funded by a $2.6M Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant awarded to Shelby County Government from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development in Nov. 2011. From 2012 to 2014, the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability led a consortium of over 80 organizations, among them Friends for Our Riverfront, and 300 individuals toward the development of the Greenprint plan and related studies. The final plan, GREENPRINT 2015/2040, was published in Nov. 2014. For more information or to download the plan, click HERE.

Hook Up, Clean Up, Bottoms Up

This Friday is going to be a great time to be downtown. Come help spiff up the City for Memphis-in-May. Then try your hand at a little bocce while you sip a Ghost River before checking out the S. Main Mosaic Artwalk and all the shops and galleries open for Trolley Night on S. Main. 

America's Most Endangered Rivers - 2015

A list of the 10 rivers whose future is most threatened by critical decisions during the next year, the most endangered rivers report has been compiled by American Rivers each year since 1984. It lists the rivers, summarizes the threats, presents alternatives, identifies crucial decision-makers, and points out opportunities for citizens to take action on behalf of the listed rivers.

Nearest Memphis are the Harpeth in TN (#9) and the Pearl in MS (#10), and wherever we live all Americans feel an affinity with the iconic Colorado in the Grand Canyon, listed #1 in this year's report.

Click HERE for the 2015 report and information on how to help protect our rivers.