Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (AIMM) Mission
To commemorate America's rich naval and maritime heritage through the preservation and
exhibition of historic naval vessels with an emphasis on the era of World War II through the present.
Arkansas Has a Rich Naval History
Arkansas, although a land locked state, has a long, deep, and direct connection with the maritime trades and with naval and maritime history. Many of her sons and daughters have "gone to sea in ships". Some, like Admiral Charles Cooke of Fort Smith, rose to positions of great leadership in the Navy.
Even today, Arkansas continues to be connected to maritime issues. For example, the red and green lights on the bow of a bass boat are there because of maritime law.
Arkansas ranks #1 in the US in minnow farming and #2 in catfish farming.
Aquaculture, that is, raising fish, is nearly a $200 million dollar a year industry in Arkansas, with an total economic impact of over $1 BILLION dollars a year to the state. In addition, recreational fishing has an impact of over $400 million dollars a year.
Image courtesy U.S. Naval Historical Center
Maritime Trade is Important to Arkansas
Maritime trade, specifically Arkansas River barge traffic, has a very specific impact on our lives here in Central Arkansas. The Arkansas River (actually called the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, or MKARNS) carrys about 13 MILLION tons of cargo a year.
If this cargo were put on trucks, over 500,000 trucks a year would travel up or down Arkansas freeways each year. This translates into about an extra 1,400 trucks EVERY DAY, 365 days a year (or about one truck every 30 seconds, around the clock). Think about the impact that would have on YOUR commute every morning, or on your trips around town running errands. Cargo to or from at least forty two different countries has traveled the river. The river isn't just traveled by barges, either (or just by submarines).
Image courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers